Well what do you know, the iPod Touch is finally getting an update – its first update in four years. Problem is, the iPod Touch, now in its seventh-generation avatar, doesn’t look very different from the sixth-generation version which was launched in 2015. This is because all the changes that the seemingly new iPod Touch brings in, are internal. Problem is, I am not sure these changes are enough, to make it qualify as THE next-generation iPod Touch. That’s TWO big problems for a product that, at best, has always been about a select clientele – and I understand if that select clientele isn’t very happy with whatever Apple is trying to pull off here.
There are three key updates to talk about here, so let me quickly sum that up for you (no pun intended)-
-A10 Fusion chip for up to 2x faster CPU performance and up to 3x faster graphics
-256GB storage option
- 802.11ac WiFi
But the most visible update – for the long-term – is that the iPod Touch 2019 will be able to run the next few versions of iOS without breaking a sweat. Next in line will be the fact – a fact that even Apple reiterates in its press release – that the iPod Touch 2019 will be the MOST AFFORDABLE iOS device – you can choose to call it modern, or otherwise. Both these aspects are crucial for Apple going forward. With iPhone sales dipping by the day, Apple needs an iOS device that can run its latest and greatest software and is also, to some degree, light on the pocket – so it can peddle its subscription services, where bulk of its revenue is coming from (and is going to come from in future).
Apple likely believes the iPod Touch can be a perfect platform for promoting Apple Arcade – a collection of 100+ new and exclusive games that will be playable across Apple devices. While music has always been the core DNA of the iPod, the Touch was launched with a much broader perspective – only, its true potential remained largely untouched to this day. There are no two ways about it, Apple wants you to play games on the iPod Touch – even better if you could subscribe to Apple Arcade, which you would because why else would someone buy THIS THING in 2019?
It’s easy to write off the seemingly new iPod Touch. There are just so many better options for music, and even games, out there – it simply makes no sense. They call it a smartphone and there are so many of them (even cheaper), they’ll overwhelm you with options. And then there’s the iPod Touch. Unless you’re someone who is specifically invested in the whole Apple ecosystem (which is the case for all Apple products), the new iPod Touch may not even be in your radar.
That’s not to say it doesn’t make sense for Apple. It doesn’t cost Apple much to make it - recycled design/3-year old processor. In plain sight, it’s just ‘another’ medium for Apple to serve its new streaming services - that’s where the profits will be coming from. Which means, every device (sold) counts – now more than ever.
As optimistic as I am about the iPod Touch living to die another day, I can’t help but point out two lost opportunities here. Apple could have set some sort of example with the iPod Touch pricing in India – and set it apart from its iPhones that literally cost a bomb in the world’s second largest market. The iPhone has the claim of being a flagship product to back its exorbitant pricing. The iPod Touch holds no such claim.
Here are the iPod Touch 2019 India prices:
-32GB: Rs 18,900
-256GB: Rs 38,900
The other flaw I see here is that 32GB base model. I don’t even know why that’s there. In 2019.
It’s like Apple isn’t even trying (to be different) anymore – at least in India, it isn’t. A market where it has so many potential subscribers – probably waiting to subscribe to services like Apple Arcade.