Apple announces its first new iPod in four years

Posted at 10:54 AM, May 28, 2019

Apple hasn’t forgotten iPod touch lovers: On Tuesday it announced the first new iPod since 2015.

Although the iPod may seem outdated to some, its smaller size and cheaper price help Apple attract a different market segment than customers who buy its premium iPhones. Apple’s iPhones are mired in a sales slump, and CEO Tim Cook has said price increases had played a role in slowing growth.

At the iPod’s peak in 2008, Apple sold more than 55 million units. Apple stopped releasing its iPod sales figures in 2013, after it sold fewer than 20 million of the music players. They’re no longer prominently listed on the company’s website or showcased in Apple Stores. But they still attract a niche audience.

The new iPod touch

The new iPod touch is getting a slight hardware upgrade. It will run on the A10 Fusion chip, which is a little older than chips found in the latest iPhones. The iPhone 7 also runs on the A10, so it’s about three years old. But the A10 is faster than the A8 chip that the 2015 version ran on.

The upgraded chip means the iPod touch is “twice as fast as before,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s product marketing vice president, said in a statement.

It also means the new iPod touch can support Group FaceTime calls and augmented reality apps. Apple is also using the product launch to promote its upcoming gaming subscription, called Apple Arcade, which it announced back in March.

The iPod touch is also getting a new 256 GB storage option to address those customers who have a few extra music files they need to save. That’s by far the biggest storage capacity Apple has ever put in an iPod. The discontinued iPod Classic (that’s the iPod with the click wheel) came with a maximum of 160 GB of storage.

The new iPod touch looks similar to the older ones with a physical home button, a small four-inch display, and a lower price than most modern iPhones.

The new iPod touch starts at $199 for the 32 GB storage option and goes up to $399 for the 256 GB option. It comes in space gray, white, gold, blue, pink, and red, and is available for online order in 27 countries starting Tuesday.