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I'm an Android user who really hopes Apple releases a new iPod Touch

Apple iPod Touch 8th Gen rumored design
Apple iPod Touch 8th Gen rumored design (Image credit: Steve Moser)

The rumor mill has been buzzing that Apple is gearing up to release a new iPod Touch this fall to celebrate 20 years since the iPod lineup launched. That may not sound too exciting for many, especially since most people own smartphones that can do more or less the same thing as an iPod Touch, but with the bonus of a cellular modem. However, I think it's a great idea for Apple to launch a new model. And even though I'm an Android kinda guy, a new iPod Touch is something that I've wanted for years.

I'll start by saying that I've never owned an iPhone and probably never will. That said, I've owned quite a few iPod Touch models, up until the 6th-generation, which was released in 2015. As the iPhone and iPad exploded, the iPod line waned in relevance, especially since most of the line was dropped in 2017, leaving the iPod Touch to fend for itself. And even then, any updated versions only received hand-me-down chipsets from previous iPhones. The current iPod Touch (7th Gen) model released in 2019 and featured a chip from the iPhone 7 released three years prior. The design has remained largely unchanged since 2012.

But that might change with the upcoming iPod Touch. It's rumored that Apple is planning a big redesign for the device, complete with smaller bezels, a new chip, and no notch. As a result, it would look more or less like the cross between an iPhone 12 and an iPad Pro. If that's true, take my money now. But given how little attention the iPod Touch gets, is it really worth releasing a new model?

Gene Munster, an analyst at Loup Ventures, seems to think so. The iPod Touch may not be the hot ticket that it may have once been, but it remains a viable option for families. "The iPod Touch still exists as largely as a kids device for entertainment and wifi contact," Munster says. He adds that it's also a good way for parents to save money by not purchasing a data plan like they would with an iPhone or even an iPad.

Releasing a new iPod Touch could also make sense in the grander scheme of things, even if it doesn't make much financial sense. According to Munster, the line is expected to bring in only $500 million in revenue this year or "1/3 of a percentage of overall revenue." That's compared to the hundreds of billions that the iPhone brings in annually. However, the iPod Touch represents yet another avenue for customers to tap into the company's various subscription services through Apple One. Sure, the company has its tablet devices like the new iPad Pro (2021), but their size means they lack a certain portability that it found in devices like an iPhone or iPod Touch. And while the iPod doesn't have its own cellular modem, it's often easy enough to tether your phone connection or download media for offline listening or viewing.

An iPod Touch is the perfect way to experience iOS without the commitment.

Not only that, but it's also a good way for devoted Android users like myself to get their hands on an inexpensive iOS device without the full financial commitment that normally comes with buying an iPhone. After all, it's always good to know how that other side is doing, and it could be helpful when apps like Clubhouse launch first on iOS before reaching Android much later. Additionally, I have always liked the idea of having a separate device on hand to carry some of the burden that my daily driver would normally endure. That way, I can preserve battery life on my smartphone for when I actually need it.

The iPod went from a music-centric device to an entertainment device, and Apple should highlight that if they are indeed releasing a new one. If Apple can bring a good device to the table with plenty of storage, a decent camera, and maybe even a headphone jack (wishful thinking, I know), then the company could breathe a bit of much-needed life back into the iPod.

A bigger screen is a must-have feature for a new iPod Touch.

The current model starts at 32GB, which, even in 2019, was a paltry amount of storage for storing apps, music, and photos. The new iPod Touch should have at least 128GB, a figure that's found on even some of the best cheap Android phones. The camera may not be the main focus for a device like this, but it should still come with at least one decent sensor and some of the new software chops found in Apple's latest iPhones. Oh, and it needs a bigger screen. The 4-inch display just isn't cutting it in this new decade when streaming video services are all the rage. I played with the 7th Gen model not too long ago, and I couldn't believe how small it was. It felt oddly unwieldy, and I can't imagine watching videos or playing games on such a small screen nowadays.

It would be nice to have a headphone jack so that the company could really lean into the new Lossless Audio in Apple Music, but we all know how stubborn Apple can be.

Of course, more serious audiophiles can always spring for a Sony Walkman if a dedicated music player is what you're looking for, but many of them are overpriced and out of reach. Besides, at this point, the Apple iPod touch has become much more than a music player. People may not be clamoring for the next iPod Touch, but it's still an important device for the company, families, and even Android users like myself. After all, the iPod lineup helped the company grow into what it is today. It would be a shame if Apple didn't celebrate that.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

21 Comments
  • I'm with you 100% on this. Love the idea of having an iOS "dabble device" and such a great point that it can relieve the burden of your daily driver a bit to help spread the battery life. I'm sold!
  • I used to always carry two devices with me, my daily driver and an iPod Touch. I can't wait to get back to that and to play around with iOS again
  • The Digital Audio Player market is awash with high cost, ultra-low volume high resolution players. The only reason Apple would do this is to leverage their new hi-res streaming so, of course, it will have a headphone jack and there will be new, corded "wire pods" to take advantage of the fidelity...which the fanbois will truly believe, was invented in Cupertino.
  • I hope it has a headphone jack! It would make sense with the Lossless Audio. And yeah, I look at the Sony Walkman and they're SO expensive for like no reason. Apple would definitely benefit from having a cheaper option out.
  • Headphone jacks often sound worse than a digital connection, so your wish seems borne partially out of fallacy. You’re likely to get cleaner audio out of a lightning port than an analog headphone jack, because the headphone jacks are almost never superbly shielded - especially not in any cheap device. The headphone jack on my iPad Air 3 does not sound as good as the Jack from the Soundblaster discrete sound card in my desktop. It sounds like the front headphone port for the integrated audio card on a computer (or a cheap laptop headphone jack). Not sure why people wanting lossless high quality audio will want to listen to it through the analog port on a cheap portable media player. That’s a bit of an oxymoron.
  • While there maybe some nostalgia going on, it doesn't seem practical unless they are targeting young teens, but even then they also own phones.
    I just don't see people carrying around two devices when one of them does exactly what the other does and more.
    I just think it's one where after the nostalgia glow wears off it just doesn't seem practical .
  • I can see that — not everyone is down to carry two devices around. It was just something that I got used to, especially back when phones didn't have much storage capacity and battery life wasn't quite as good (not like it's gotten much better).
  • I never minded carrying around dedicated devices, now it's just done out 1. laziness and 2. the convenience of uploading and sharing and autosaving. But back in the day I loved my Kodak Zi8 mini camcorder and my SanDisk Sansa's mp3 players. The audio quality just isn't matched in today's phones compared to the dedicated PMP's from back then, they just used better DAC's then they do today in most phones. and the video quality of the Kodak was superior for quite a while until just the fast few years when manufacturers started to take video more seriously. Now if you'll excuse I'm off to play Pitfall on my Atari Flashback :)
  • I carry an iPhone 11 Pro and secondary Note 9 that I use as a PMP and secondary camera when I’m at the training facility. You think I’m taking my iPhone in the humidity of an ice rink 6 days a week for hours? Lol. Let that Samsung phone deal with the battery degradation from constant humidity and massive temperature shifts which also wear away at its IP rating. Not to mention, the phone sometimes plops out of my jacket when jumping, spinning or warming up, so there is a risk of breakage. That Note is disposable to me, my iPhone is not. I can buy a cheap Android for less than my deductible… Also, when I go for runs, esp. really early or quite late, I take the Samsung in case I get mugged and they take my phone. I’d rather they take that than my iPhone. For everything else, I use my iphone, except I often use the Samsung for listening to music or watching YouTube so I’m not wasting battery on my iphone.
  • But I must admit talks of the iPod touch does bring back memories and makes me pine for the days of dedicated PMP. The SanDisk line up was by far and away the best kept secret outside of the audiophile world. The sound quality on the Sansa Clip+ and the Sansa Fuze were just incredible
  • I couldn't care less about Apple making a new iPod Touch, Android phones are already superior MP3 players already and we can get mp3s for free on Android.
  • I think this is a great idea. My daughter 6, needed a device that was pocketable. We got tired of giving her our phones and I'm not buyer her a phone. The iPod touch ticks these boxes. It's not a cheap plastic piece of garbage and she can easily carry it around with long battery life. Educational games, media consumption and a camera to play with. Perfect for her.
  • I would buy one for entertainment purposes. Apple should definitely make one with a 5.5 to 6 inch screen and solid sized battery. I think size would be a hit with parents and people like myself who enjoy streaming/reading on a smaller screen right before bed. Tablets are big too large and expensive sometimes.
  • Huge battery not needed. It doesn’t do cellular. My 4th Gen iPod Touch had 3x the battery life of an iPhone 5S with half the battery size, cause it didn’t have an LTE radio for cellular. This is why they can often be thinner and lighter. I already have an iPhone 11 Pro so this doesn’t really offer anything to me. I basically use my Note 9 as a PMP when I’m doing sports training to anything that could potentially damage my iPhone if I used it, instead.
  • I currently have an Ipod Touch. It is almost solely for travel, which I do a lot of for work. It is my preferred option because I don't have to burn phone battery for music, nor am I consuming storage space on my phone for music, and it is considerable smaller and lighter than my Pixel.
  • This is exactly my point! Save the entertainment apps and some games for an iPod Touch, which can free up space on my phone and preserve battery life. Sure, a memory card can fix the space problem, but battery technology is still not catching up to smartphone advancements, so I'd rather just carry a second device around.
  • This is why I keep my Note 9 around. Stuff like whole movies get downloaded on that or my iPad, not my iPhone where I’d rather not eat up gobs off space with that stuff (or waste battery watching series episodes in the car).
  • I could have written this article myself. 😬
  • My last iPod had a click wheel. I was heartbroken when it finally died. I loved that I could change tracks with it in my pocket without pulling it out. Closest thing to doing that now is using my watch to change tracks when I bike.
  • Yes. A new iPod Touch that supports Bluetooth 5. Then I'll buy a new iPod and move on to wireless earphones.
  • Anything bigger than 4” and this thing is going to struggle to sale, unless more screen comes at the expense of bezels and home button (latter is doubtful). It’s a PMP and entertainment device. Not another phablet.