This upcoming May will mark three years since Apple released the 7th generation iPod touch. That’s enough time for a newborn baby to learn to walk and communicate, so that must mean the iPod touch 8 is coming this year, right?
Absolutely not. All signs point to the iPod touch maintaining its status as a product that remains in Apple’s lineup, but there are no rumors of an iPod touch 8 ever existing. I would sooner bet that the iPod touch 7 languishes until it loses support for the newest iOS version than wager that a new iPod touch is coming.
That’s purely my hunch, however, and an 8th-gen iPod touch with a processor upgrade and not much else is totally possible! Maybe Apple would even bring its new midnight and starlight colors to the iPod touch. Who knows! Not me, but it’s fun to think about.
“Back in the day…”
The iPod touch was legendary when it premiered in September 2007. The iPhone was brand new, priced at $499 and up with a two-year contract, and limited to select carriers globally. The first-gen iPod touch, however, was $299 for 8GB (compared to $599 with a two-year contract for the iPhone) and disconnected from the complexity of carriers.
It was also the most advanced digital music player by leaps and bounds at a time when the iPod and iTunes were still revolutionizing the music experience. For context, Apple was celebrating 100 million iPods sold and 1 million iPhones sold during the same week that the iPod touch debuted.
The iPod lineup that year also included a new iPod classic and an iPod nano that played video on a two-inch display. Meanwhile, the iPod touch ran the same operating system as the iPhone, featured a 3.5-inch touch screen, and included wifi for Safari, YouTube, and something called the iTunes® Wi-Fi Music Store. Things really got good the next year when the App Store launched.
I was 17 when the original iPod touch came out, and the iPhone was nowhere near attainable for me. It would be another two years before I had my first iPod touch.
By then I had gone through a couple Android smartphones (running Cupcake) that I themed like an iPhone, but my iPod touch was how I experienced what we now call iOS. (You also paid for iPod software updates for the touch back then. Weird, right?)
The iPod touch was actually a pretty great device for a freshman in college living on campus with wifi available everywhere – especially if your carrier wasn’t AT&T. I graduated from iPod touch life with the iPhone 4. Newer versions came back in my life for my kids before the iPad lineup matured enough to have more affordable versions.
Now, just like in Apple’s retail stores, the iPod touch just sits on a shelf collecting dust mostly. Now let’s return from that nostalgia trip that made me feel a bit dusty myself.
Will there ever be another?
The question of “will there ever be another iPod touch?” is one that is older than the iPod touch 7. Yet as the years go by, the possibility that there won’t be seems ever stronger.
Let’s face it: In the era of modern smartphones, we just don’t see iPod leaks drop like they once did. It’s easier to look at iPod touch release dates historically or project iOS version support for current models.
The first four iPod touch models had one year between each version. In 2010, the iPhone 4 happened, and in 2011 it gained Verizon support after years of AT&T exclusivity in the US.
The next two iPod touch models each stuck around for three years before being upgraded. The 6th generation iPod touch extended its lifetime to four years as the current model until software support became an issue.
That’s when the 7th and current generation iPod touch appeared, and now it’s just a few months shy of turning three. You could reasonably guess that the current iPod touch has another year left in the tank, but how does processor support look?
The current iPod touch launched in 2019 with an A10 Fusion chip that debuted in the iPhone 7 in 2016. The current version of iOS (15.2) supports iPhones from a year earlier. It’s rumored that iOS 16 will drop support for the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and first-gen SE, but the current iPod touch would still be supported.
Since we’re looking for the iPhone 7 to stop receiving major software updates, it’s likely that the current iPod touch will continue receiving iOS updates for another year or two at least.
That brings us to that big, lingering question again. Will there once again be a processor update and a color swap, or should we expect the current iPod touch to be the last? Share your thoughts!