Just when you thought Apple may have given up on the iPod touch, reports emerged early this year claiming that one of the most successful gadget in the company’s history was going to make a comeback. And with Apple rolling out everything from a new iPad mini to updated AirPods over the past few days, speculation rose that we’d finally see our first new iPod touch in four years.
Well, this week has come and gone. And we’re still waiting for that iPod touch.
Given all the apparent evidence and detailed reports about the device that have appeared so far, it’s hard to believe that Apple has scrapped plans to revive the iPod touch. Let’s take a closer look at how we got to this point and when a new iPod touch might arrive.
The evidence for the iPod touch revival
Back in January, a Mac Otakara report claimed Apple had a 7th generation iPod touch in the works, citing supply chain buzz. And that hearsay was given some validity later in the month when code sleuths discovered the mention of a never-before seen iPod touch model (called "iPod 9,1") written into the base of iOS 12.2. Also in that code: new iPads, which Apple has gone ahead and released this week.
Then in February, market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo piled on by including an iPod touch with a faster processor in his forecast of upcoming Apple product releases. Kuo tipped the iPod touch’s debut for the first half of the year.
That brings us to this week — a busy few days for Apple, in which it released refreshed iPads, iMacs and AirPods in consecutive Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning press releases. Even though some sites expected the iPod touch to be in that avalanche of releases, the fact that it wasn’t doesn’t necessarily rule out the music player’s return. Apple is holding a press event on Monday (March 25), though that’s expected to focus entirely on video and news services. Still, the iPod touch and the long-delayed AirPower charging pad could make a cameo there… or get their own unveiling-by-press-release later this spring.
What to expect from a 7th generation iPod touch
Rumors about the timing of an iPod touch release have been more prevalent than any details about the device’s reported specs. MacRumors believes that the iPod Touch’s 6th generation design — featuring a 4-inch Retina display housed in an iPhone 5-like aluminum body with a home button — will live on in the 7th generation. Instead, the new iPod would get upgrades over the 2015 model’s A8 processor and 8-megapixel rear camera.
Of course, an aluminum body would mean that the iPod Touch wouldn’t be wireless charging-compatible — and thus, not compatible with AirPower. And, according to info about the new iPod Touch found in iOS 12.2 code, Touch ID and Face ID for biometric security won’t be on board, either.
Considering that Apple could want to keep its next iPod Touch at the same $199 starting price that the last touch offered, it should be no surprise that the 7th gen version won’t pack all of the iPhone’s latest and greatest hardware.
It sure seems like Apple is ready to announce a new iPod touch, whether that comes during the March 25 event or in the days afterward. Or Apple could even wait until April if it wants its video and news subscription services to enjoy the spotlight for a while.
Still, if Apple is planning on introducing new services into our lives, it makes sense to have devices at the ready that let us consume all those TV programs and news articles. And adding an iPod touch back into the mix would help with that goal.