It’s been ages since Apple added new iPods to its lineup of music players, and the beloved iPod Classic retired to the Apple Product Hall of Fame recently. Now, it seems that Apple will finally update its iPod lineup in a bold way.
Updated on 07-13-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added rumor of 64-bit iPods and a possible July 14 launch date.
Upgraded 64-bit iPod line
Although the new iPod lineup may not get a huge refresh, it seems that the updated Nano, Shuffle, and Touch will come with some new hardware. Based on leaked model numbers spotted by French site iGen, the Shuffle and Nano won’t change dramatically, but the iPod Touch will see a real change.
The site speculates that the iPod Touch may sport a 64-bit processor, which would be a huge performance boost. Of course, that’s just an educated guess. Apple has been focused on updating all its devices to 64-bit processors in recent months, so it is possible that iGen’s hunch is right.
This most recent leak lines up with a report in April from Apple Insider that the Cupertino-based company would revisit its iPod lineup later this year. Apple has neglected the iPod entirely since late 2012. Current plans reportedly call for a very conservative refresh — the new devices will pack updated internals, but no bump in screen sizes or Touch ID sensors.
New colorful iPods leak
Support for Apple Music isn’t the only exciting thing about the newest iTunes release, apparently. According to MacRumors and others, the latest version (12.2) of Apple’s desktop storefront contains renderings of previously unrevealed iPods.
One of the assets depicts an iPod Touch, iPod Nano, and iPod Shuffle in dark blue, gold, and hot pink respectively — colors that aren’t available as part of the current lineup. Another resource file within the iTunes program directory shows the Nano in all three of the aforementioned shades.
Why are we getting new iPods now?
Why has Apple waited so long to release new iPods, you might ask? Unsatisfactory sales numbers, most likely. iPod shipments have declined every quarter since 2009, and they took a particularly steep dive last January. Sales fell 52 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. It’s a self-inflicted wound, a fact former Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer acknowledged in 2009. “We expect our traditional MP3 players to decline over time as we cannibalize ourselves with the iPod Touch and iPhone,” he said.
Now, though, things are different. Apple’s obviously eager to widely disseminate its newly launched Apple Music service, and no doubt sees refreshed iPods as one means to that end. The new lineup might be an attempt to attract the attention of the lower-end market, a segment which lacks the means to afford the expensive postpaid phones that stream Apple Music right now.
It seems most likely that the new iPods will launch in September during Apple’s expected iPhone launch event, but iGen suggests a July 14 or summer launch date instead.