Apple's iPod Touch media player has always enjoyed a popularity above most of its rivals, but with smartphones and tablets providing the same capabilities plus so much more for a price tag that's not much higher, some speculate that Apple may be phasing out the iPod Touch line of devices.
This rumor is gaining ground as we pass the normal two-year production period that has traditionally been between each new generation of the iPod Touch. And with the last generation being released in September of 2012, we're past due for the sixth generation.
Still, speculation is festering around what Apple might bring with a sixth gen iPod. Will it continue to follow in the footsteps of the iPhone as the "phone-less iPhone?" Or will it reach into new territory to set itself apart in the face of mounting smart device competition?
As far as rumors go, there are quite a few. It's almost a given that the new iPod Touch will be less expensive than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and right now, the iPhone 6 starts at $199 for the low-end 16 GB edition. That's the same price as the current iPod Touch, and that's not going to work. So how much lower could the iPod go, and would it be worth it (considering it houses much of the same hardware) to widen the gap for more appeal to a broader audience? Or, could the iPod become a preferred media player once again, outperforming the media capabilities of the competition's smartphones and tablets and making it a viable option as an additional device? A double-digit price tag might sway consumers to go that way.
One main determiner there is performance and quality. It's rumored that the sixth gen iPod Touch will house the same A8 processor as the iPhone 6, but others are saying that the delay is due to the fact that the iPod Touch will be getting the A9.
Another nearly sure bet is that the newest iPod Touch will be available in more colors, as was true with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. But will the iPod Touch be available in the same two size distinctions as the iPhone had last year? Offering a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch version of the iPod Touch seems like overkill at this point.
But now all eyes are on the next possible event where an iPod Touch 6 announcement could be made. Since CES came and went without a peep, many believe that the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain will be when word is released. The conference happens from March 2nd through the 5th, and the innovative new Apple Watch is also believed to make an appearance at that same time. Would Apple overshadow one with the other? We only have a couple more months to see.
But as Stabley Times points out, the iPod Touch shouldn't need its own media event as it's normally piggybacked on the big iPhone events each year. "The iPod touch 6th generation is not a vital enough product to be given its own Media Event, meaning that if Apple launches it now, it will have to do so by simply issuing a press release and placing the new version on its website," the tech site states. "That alone will get plenty of press attention, hundreds of articles written about the changeover, and will provide a decent opportunity to get the word out to potential buyers.
"But if Apple wants to give the iPod touch 6th generation the biggest launch possible it'll need to wait until it's ready to hold a Media Event for a bigger product launch such as the Apple Watch."
As Apple continues to monitor the impressive sales figures from the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, we imagine the company will determine its next move in introducing variations of the iPod Touch from there.