Just in time for back-to-school shopping season, Apple has refreshed its entry-level iPod Touch, and cut the price of its more expensive siblings.
The bottom end of the iPod Touch line is now anchored by a $199 unit with 16 GB of storage. It features both a front- and rear-facing camera, and a 4-inch Retina display. Like its more-expensive counterparts, the device has an aluminum shell and comes in a variety of colors, including one that supports Product(Red), a charity that aims to eradicate HIV and AIDS around the world.
In addition to the new device, the 32 and 64 GB iPod Touch models have now had their prices cut to $249 and $299 respectively, making them a bit more accessible for people who want a pocket-sized iOS device on the cheap.
The new entry-level device will replace a predecessor that was entirely out of line with the other iPod Touch models Apple was selling. It cost $229, and came in one color: a shiny aluminum back, devoid of rear-facing camera, and a black front.
People looking for a high-performance iOS device should look elsewhere, though: the iPod Touch uses Apple’s A5 chip, not its more powerful A6 or A7 models, so apps and games built for newer devices will probably run slower. Still, it’s the only way to get an iPhone feature set in a similarly-sized package without having to purchase one of Apple’s smartphones.
It’s not clear what Apple’s future plans are for the iPod Touch line. This refresh and price drop clearly indicate that it has become cheaper for the company to make the devices, but they haven’t upgraded the iPod Touch’s internals since October 2012. If Apple chooses not to release a new revision of the device this Fall, there will be reason for concern about the future of the product line.