Apple's only iPod with iOS
At a Glance
The iPod touch is Apple's only iPod running iOS, offering access to the App Store and the same 4-inch Retina display found on the company's latest iPhone models. The 32 GB and 64 GB iPod touch models include a 5-megapixel rear camera, while all models include a front-facing FaceTime HD camera.
- $229 for 16 GB, $299 for 32 GB, $399 for 64 GB
- 4-inch Retina display
- Dual-core A5 chip
- Front-facing FaceTime HD camera
- 5-megapixel rear camera on 32/64 GB models
- Up to six color options, depending on model
At its September 2013 iPhone event, Apple quietly introduced a new Space Gray color option for its iPod lineup, replacing the previous black or slate option on the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle. The color was featured as part of the iPhone 5s introduction, but also quietly made its way into the iPod lineup.
No other changes were made to the iPods, but the minor color option change suggests that no additional updates to the products should be expected for some time.
In More Detail
The current fifth-generation iPod touch was introduced in September 2012, with shipments beginning the following month. The launch marked a significant enhancement for the iPod touch, moving to the same 4-inch Retina display found in the iPhone 5 while also upgrading to a dual-core A5 chip and adding a "Loop" wrist strap and an improved 5-megapixel rear camera, all in a thinner design than the previous generation.
The launch saw a split in the iPod touch lineup as the new model gained the same 4-inch Retina display found in the iPhone 5, an addition that contributed to the fifth-generation iPod touch's starting price of $299 for a 32 GB model and resulted in Apple continuing to offer the fourth-generation iPod touch as a lower-priced option at $199 for a 16 GB model. That split lineup was not rectified until May 2013, when Apple introduced a new 16 GB fifth-generation iPod touch at $229, taking advantage of component cost declines and the removal of the rear camera and Loop wrist strap to help reach an acceptable entry-level price point for the new iPod touch. That move allowed Apple to officially discontinue the fourth-generation models, unifying the iPod touch line under the 4-inch Retina display and Apple's A5 chip.
The 32 GB and 64 GB fifth-generation iPod touch were originally offered in slate, silver, blue, pink, yellow, and special (PRODUCT) RED color options, while the 16 GB model introduced in May 2013 is available only in silver. Apple's minor September 2013 update saw the slate color replaced with a space gray option on the 32 GB and 64 GB models.
While Apple's iPod lineup has seen declining sales in recent years as customers have increasingly shifted to smartphones for their media player and app needs, the iPod touch remains the flagship model in routinely accounting for over 50% of all iPod sales. The device is the only iPod model to offer compatibility with the App Store and has now sold over 100 million units since its 2007 debut.
As for the future of the iPod touch, Apple appears to be moving toward a biennial update cycle, which would mean that a significant update could appear in the latter part of 2014. It is, however, possible that Apple could slip in a mid-cycle update such as a capacity bump to 128 GB before that time if the company so desires. Mid-cycle updates are not unheard of, as was seen with the new 16 GB fifth-generation iPod touch and the 128 GB fourth-generation iPad, but there have been no specific rumors about Apple's plans for the iPod touch.