In a move that pretty much no one was expecting, Apple released a new iPod Touch last month.
Considering that its last iteration was released in 2015, the 7th generation of Apple’s touchscreen music player naturally boasts some significant upgrades — it’s now equipped with an A10 Fusion Chip (not top of the line, but it’ll do), up to 256GB of storage, and even comes with AR compatibility as well.
Honestly speaking I’ve never been a fan of the iPod Touch, but one made its way into my hands anyway (perks of working in the tech scene, I suppose). As I stared at the nostalgia-inducing device lying next to my iPhone X, however, one word kept popping in my head:
Back In The Day…
When the first iPod Touch was released back in 2007, the tech landscape that we know today was still in its early stages.
The smartphone revolution had barely started, and dedicated MP3 players were still a thing that most people owned (mobile phones could play music at that point, but real music lovers needed more than the 200 songs that their Nokia 3250’s could hold, y’know?).
As smartphones became more…well, smart, MP3 players consequently became more redundant as well. Even with the iPod Touch having full access to the App Store, it would always play second fiddle to iPhone due to its inability to make calls.
And as phone storage reached capacities of upwards of 512GB — more than the original iPod Classic ever had, mind you — having enough space for songs stopped being an issue too.
The advent of services like Spotify and Apple Music seemed like the final nail in the MP3 coffin — streaming music from the cloud meant that anyone with a 3G phone now had access to not just their own playlists, but literally tens of millions of other songs as well.
For all intents and purposes the music player had become obsolete, it’s main purpose absorbed by a superior product.
I suppose the main point that I’m trying to get across is this — If an iPhone can do everything that the iPod Touch can do (and more), what’s the point of getting the latter in 2019?
Touching A New Audience?
As a longtime Apple user, I’m used to having every new product being a supplement to my current setup. The iPod Touch, however, is not one of those products, and might actually be for everyone but Apple enthusiasts.
This is mainly due to its relatively cheap price tag — starting at S$299 for the 32GB version, the iPod Touch is essentially the cheapest gateway into Apple ecosystem.
This is an exciting prospect for Android users looking to make the switch to Apple, as they can now try out iOS without having to commit S$1,649 for an iPhone XS.
With Apple Arcade due to hit the App Store later this year, the iPod Touch is also perfect for mobile gaming enthusiasts. With the gaming subscription service poised to to take mobile gaming to new heights, the iPod Touch could be used as a dedicated gaming device, rather than draining the precious battery on your smartphone.
Considering that Steve Jobs once called the iPhone Touch “training wheels for the iPhone”, it makes sense to use the iPod Touch as a starter “phone” for children as well.
Coming in at a low price point with no monthly fees to speak of, it’s a cost-effective way for parents to test if their children responsible enough for an actual smartphone.
So while the iPod Touch might seem out of place in Apple’s current lineup, it could actually be the key in attracting an entirely new, previously untapped customer base. If they’re successful, it’ll be one of the smartest sales moves they’ve made in recent memory.
Header Image Credit: Vulcan Post