Apple's dwindling iPod lineup to see long-awaited refresh this year

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 2015
Though the iPod lineup has not seen any significant changes since late 2012, Apple will revisit its media players this year with an anticipated update to at least one model, a source has told AppleInsider.




A source familiar with Apple's future product plans indicated that Apple's iPods -- specifically the largest-screened model, the iPod touch -- are expected to see an update later this year.

The source suggested that Apple could retain the same 4-inch screen size as the current iPod touch model, though they didn't offer any certainty on that front.

Though the iPod lineup has been neglected for years, this year could be an opportune time for an update, as Apple works to further integrates Beats products into its ecosystem. The popular headphone maker was acquired for $3 billion last year.
The last meaningful update for the iPod touch came in 2012, but Apple's acquisition of Beats could play a role in a long-awaited refresh.
If previous iPod touch updates are any indication, it's likely that Apple will recycle parts from previous-generation iPhones. Given that the current iPod touch lineup features the A5 chip that was used in the iPhone 4S Apple released in 2012, there are plenty of newer --?and more powerful --?options for the company to turn to.

The A6 processor introduced in the iPhone 5 continues to be produced for the iPhone 5c, making it a potential candidate for an iPod touch refresh. There's also the A7 processor from the iPhone 5s, which would make the device the first iPod touch with a 64-bit processor.

Another area where the iPod touch could see an upgrade is storage: Apple currently offers its media player in capacities of 16, 32, and 64 gigabytes. But the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus come with a higher-capacity option of 128 gigabytes that could make its way down to the iPod lineup.




The cameras in the iPod touch could also see an upgrade, as current models feature a 5-megapixel iSight camera capable of 1080p video with image stabilization. The device's forward facing FaceTime Camera is capable of 720p video.

iPods have become less of a focus for Apple as sales have declined. The company no longer reports unit sales for iPods, lumping them in with services and the upcoming Apple Watch.

But in the last period when iPod sales were reported, which was the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, sales were just 2.6 million units, earning the company a mere $410 million in revenue.

As sales have slid, Apple has made a few tweaks to its entry-level iPod touch over the last few years, revising components and adjusting its price. But the base fifth-generation iPod touch has not been updated since September of 2012.

Given dwindling sales for the iPod lineup, it would not be surprising if a next-generation iPod touch were to keep the same general design as the existing model.

For the last two and a half years, the iPod touch has had a 6.1-millimeter thick design with a 4-inch Retina display. It has support for the Siri voice-driven personal assistant, Apple's Lightning connector for charging and syncing, and it comes in six colors.

A unique aspect of the iPod touch not found with other Apple devices is the Loop accessory, a lanyard that allows the portable device to be securely attached to a user's wrist.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91
    anderkhanderkh Posts: 23member
    They better keep the iPod Touch around - it's the perfect entry point for kids when their parents aren't willing to pay for a data plan (yet).
  • Reply 2 of 91
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,134member
    I'd love to see them come out with a ruggedized and waterproof iPod shuffle, plus improve that bloody clip.
  • Reply 3 of 91
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,260member
    Talking of 'iPods'. I took all my old iPhones and iPads out of the cupboard yesterday to give them a charge up just for kit inspection. It is fun seeing old versions of iOS again. I was quite surprised, as I had long forgotten, to see the app called iPod. Wow, it was so simple and intuitive to use. Am I the only one that finds the new Music app in iOS and iTunes on the Mac are both trying to do too much these days?

    Interface design is a very hard thing to get just right and I know it is a moving target with a moving audience. Here's another example, Netflix on the Apple TV is a really good intuitive interface IMHO, but I have found HBONow extremely annoying by comparison. Perhaps I am just getting too old lol.
  • Reply 4 of 91
    Apple could really hit a home run here. Upgrade this bad boy to be the ultimate gaming system. It kills any portables out there. It is also great for messaging and social media. As already stated it is a great entry point for kids. It also sets Apple up nice to create a line up of future phone customers. Just need to keep the specs more current. The storage increase would be welcome as kids take a lot of pics and video. Also movies local on the device is attractive when traveling.
  • Reply 5 of 91
    dcgoodcgoo Posts: 213member



    It is also probably a not insignificant Enterprise device.  How many restaurants and other retailers are scrambling for wireless POS terminals?   What is the typical device today?  an iPod Touch.  Add Apple Pay and EMV credit cards to the mix, and you've got another market to dominate.

  • Reply 6 of 91
    glubengluben Posts: 21member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anderkh View Post



    They better keep the iPod Touch around - it's the perfect entry point for kids when their parents aren't willing to pay for a data plan (yet).

    Personally, I'd rather they just killed off the iPod range completely. I know they won't, since it's a big market, but to me it's a dwindling market that isn't that interesting any more. Everyone I know, old and young, has a phone which has enough storage for music. Nobody has a music player.

  • Reply 7 of 91
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,860member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anderkh View Post



    They better keep the iPod Touch around - it's the perfect entry point for kids when their parents aren't willing to pay for a data plan (yet).



    It was one thing when iPhones were still new, but today after so many upgrades, parents can just give kids their old iPhones, which also contain GPS for tracking the delinquents.

  • Reply 8 of 91
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DCGOO View Post

     



    It is also probably a not insignificant Enterprise device.  How many restaurants and other retailers are scrambling for wireless POS terminals?   What is the typical device today?  an iPod Touch.  Add Apple Pay and EMV credit cards to the mix, and you've got another market to dominate.


     

    Also useful for app developers who want a cheap test device.

  • Reply 9 of 91

    What about including an A7 chip, Touch ID, NFC, better cameras and larger screen (same as iPhone 6).  Keep the price under $200 and up the basic storage to 32Gb....could be onto a winner there.

     

    The only problem is that iPhones have made the iPod obsolete to a certain degree.  Yeah iPods are good for kids, but most kids 11-12 year olds are getting iPhones and the younger ones are getting iPads or cheap tablets.

     

    In the UK, you can get the iPad Mini 3 for only £100 more than an iPod and it's a much better device.

  • Reply 10 of 91
    I think they should have separate WiFi and cellular models like the iPad.
  • Reply 11 of 91
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gluben View Post

     

    Personally, I'd rather they just killed off the iPod range completely. I know they won't, since it's a big market, but to me it's a dwindling market that isn't that interesting any more. 


    So you would feel better if Apple gave up the revenue, and eliminated this option for those who find it preferable or more affordable. Got it.

  • Reply 12 of 91
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    gluben wrote: »
    Personally, I'd rather they just killed off the iPod range completely. I know they won't, since it's a big market, but to me it's a dwindling market that isn't that interesting any more. Everyone I know, old and young, has a phone which has enough storage for music. Nobody has a music player.

    +1

    With older iPhone and new Watch there is almost no place for iPod now.
  • Reply 13 of 91
    lmaclmac Posts: 188member
    400 million is a small business for Apple. I wouldn't mind that kind of sales revenue. The exercise market is still a good reason for a small rugged iPod. Forget the watch.
  • Reply 14 of 91
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,886member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gluben View Post

     

    Personally, I'd rather they just killed off the iPod range completely. I know they won't, since it's a big market, but to me it's a dwindling market that isn't that interesting any more. Everyone I know, old and young, has a phone which has enough storage for music. Nobody has a music player.


     

    You're missing all the other possible uses for an iPod. As others have noted, kids who don't yet need their own phone. Dedicated music players for working out or running. Some feel the phone is too big. How about as a dedicated music device to leave tucked away in a car. I keep an older Nano in my glovebox. All my music is available. It's always charged. Doesn't drain my phone battery and integrates nicely with the factory system. I bring it in once in a while to sync it and that's it.

  • Reply 15 of 91
    glubengluben Posts: 21member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MattBookAir View Post

     

    So you would feel better if Apple gave up the revenue, and eliminated this option for those who find it preferable or more affordable. Got it.

     


     

    No need for that. I just think it's a dying brand for me, personally. I'm sure many find it preferable, so I guess I was being too narrow-minded. Sorry.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mike1 View Post

     

     

    You're missing all the other possible uses for an iPod. As others have noted, kids who don't yet need their own phone. Dedicated music players for working out or running. Some feel the phone is too big. How about as a dedicated music device to leave tucked away in a car. I keep an older Nano in my glovebox. All my music is available. It's always charged. Doesn't drain my phone battery and integrates nicely with the factory system. I bring it in once in a while to sync it and that's it.


     

    True. Fair enough. My bad, as they say.

  • Reply 16 of 91
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    Why you guys only talk about iPod Touch? It may be no longer interesting product but iPod Nano and Shuffle still have a market there. I rather exercise with music from Nano or Shuffle than iPhone on my arm.
  • Reply 17 of 91
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

     



    It was one thing when iPhones were still new, but today after so many upgrades, parents can just give kids their old iPhones, which also contain GPS for tracking the delinquents.


    Very good point(s)! :)

  • Reply 18 of 91
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    matrix07 wrote: »
    +1

    With older iPhone and new Watch there is almost no place for iPod now.

    A brand new iPod is still cheaper than a used iPhone.
  • Reply 19 of 91
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Apple will only get about $1 billion in revenue this year on iPod.  That equates to $100 million in profits.

    I'm sorry but for Apple such small profits does not justify putting so much time/expense into iPod development.  

    Apple should not allocate resources to such a niche market.  They need to focus on Watch, iPad, iPhone, and Mac.

    Apple can probably make $100 million in profits selling hot dogs at Apple stores but that does not mean they should.

    IMO the iPod has no place in Apple's future. With the Cloud and the push for Watch there really is no reason for it.

    Dude, who the hell made you the arbiter of what Apple should do, or not do? I for one will buy a updated iPod on day one.
  • Reply 20 of 91
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    sog35 wrote: »
    No its not.  

    Trade in your 2 year old iPhone5 and you will only get $99.

    You can buy an iPhone5 or 4S for $150-$199

    Really? Show me where.

    Edit. Any mint condition iPhone 5 quickly goes up past $300 on eBay.
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