Where is the new iPod touch? It’s been 1,364 days since the last update that broke the 1,036 day streak of the previous iPod touch being sold. That’s an age that’s given new meaning to the clever caption engraved on the iPod touch in Apple’s marketing material: “You’re only as old as your playlist.”
If Apple doesn’t plan on replacing the aging iPod touch hardware with a new model, we’re entering the point in its product life where it should probably be discontinued. Fortunately, there’s hope for future iPod touch customers …
iPod touch was once an annual upgrade with new hardware released in the fall from 2007 through 2010. Then the fourth-gen model stayed on the market a bit longer, roughly 25 months, and the shift to a two-year upgrade cycle was viewed as a bit of neglect for the iPod touch. So was the two and a half-year gap until the current model.
We’re now approaching three years with the current iPod touch, and the rest of the iPod line has been discontinued. Should we expect a new iPod touch, or will the iPod brand be sunset with the touch joining the iPod classic, nano, and shuffle?
Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo certainly believes a new iPod touch is in the cards for 2019. So does Japanese blog Macotakara. Both have a history of accurately predicting Apple hardware releases. We just don’t know when in 2019, if that’s still Apple’s plan.
It certainly seemed like the iPod touch release was imminent back in March. Apple replaced the similarly neglected iPad mini 4 with a much more capable iPad mini 5 alongside the new iPad Air 3 on a Monday, replaced the 2017 iMac with a speed boosted 2019 model on a Tuesday, and released second-gen AirPods on a Wednesday.
You could reasonably guess that a new iPod touch release was scheduled for Thursday or Friday that week, but Apple’s hardware release extravaganza concluded with AirPods. (Apple did cancel the AirPower charging mat project the following Friday, just days after its March 25th services event.)
So if the iPod touch isn’t dead, it’s just sticking around in the product lineup until a let’s-face-it-slightly-spec-bumped version is ready, when might the iPod touch 7 show up?
Historically, iPods were September products, shown off alongside new versions of iTunes, save for the fifth-gen touch that appeared in October. The current iPod touch made a surprise appearance in the dead center of July.
For future iPod touch customers, that’s the grain of hope. Apple can release new hardware anytime it wants, and that sometimes means the middle of July like last year’s MacBook Pro revisions — or anytime in the year for that matter.
But if you’re anxiously awaiting a new iPod touch, it may be wise to consider the last iPod touch release date as a clue about this year as well. After that, then we can start questioning the rumors.
For some, the iPod touch still serves a sweet spot in the iOS product lineup. For my family, my daughter is still too young for an iPhone and uses the $329 iPad for learning, communication, and some games. The 9.7-inch iPad doesn’t fit in your pocket though (and neither does the 7.9-inch iPad in most cases), so the iPod touch is a fun solution for us.
Unfortunately, the battery inside her iPod touch died last year and I can’t bring myself to replace the old hardware with the same old hardware. The battery is serviceable, but for a $79 fee that could instead be applied toward the purchase of a new iPod touch … if Apple releases one.
The biggest problem with the current hardware (aside from speed) is that it simply can’t support Group FaceTime video calls due to the processor inside. Who knows what future software features will be forgotten when iOS 13 comes around later this summer.
Hopefully there will only be a few weeks between the first software beta and a new iPod touch actually arriving, giving iPod touch customers two months before a new version of iOS is actually released.