Is There a Future for the iPod touch?

Is There a Future for the iPod touch?Guest blogger Ben Laley writes:

This year looks to be the biggest year yet for tablet computers. Google’s Nexus 7 tablet has been buttered up and unleashed unto the public, Apple released an updated iPad, and Microsoft’s offering will have to wait a while before it can be run through the gauntlet.

Google’s release of the Nexus 7 has been met with fanfare for some and gnashing of teeth for others, but the main point remains constant: New devices are great for competition and its price point makes a compelling proposition. I’m sure that Apple is keeping an eye on the situation as I think one of the casualties of the Nexus 7 will be Apple’s own iPod touch.

Apple’s iPod touch can be pigeonholed into a few different categories. Some people would call it a portable media device or a personal digital assistant; it could even be described as a handheld games console, but how different is it from its big brother the iPad? Apart from its form factor, not a huge amount. So if you were deeply invested in Apple’s entertainment offerings and the price and/or size of the iPad put you off, there is really only one other device that could be its replacement. When the iPad was released, it was described as a big iPod touch and, if that’s the case, then the touch is a small iPad.

So why do I think touch sales will be eaten into by the Nexus monster? Its price point. The cost of a device largely trumps other considerations for the average consumer when purchasing their new toy. In the tablet’s respective $199 forms you get 8 GB of memory, front facing camera, and access to a large library of apps, music, and movies. iPod touches are bought in large numbers as gifts for children and teens around birthdays and holidays as it’s a relatively low cost of entry. With the Nexus 7 now strutting onto the scene, things become a bit more complex. What are the talked about devices at the moment — the ones that get everyone all worked up? Smartphones and tablets. My suspicion is that the average consumer will feel like they’re getting a better deal on a 7″ tablet rather than a 3.5″ tablet or portable media device when presented with the two for the same price point.

Apple’s problems could be compounded further were it to, hypothetically, release a 7″ tablet of its own to compete with Google. Price would be an issue; currently, the iPod touch is priced from $199 to $399 and iPads from $399 to $829. If a 7″ tablet were to be released at a competitive price to Google’s tablet, the iPod touch may not seem like such a good deal any more. I’m sure all will be thrashed out in the fullness of time, but for now, what do you think is the future for Apple’s iPod touch?

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  • Karl Newark

    Apple have said they won’t release a “smaller tablet”, I think they may stick to that and compromise by making the iPod touch with a bigger screen, maybe the size would be somewhere between the Galaxy SIII and the Galaxy Note.

    • tommyalmond

      Why did I never consider a bigger iPod touch? I know it’s practically the same thing as a smaller iPad, but from a marketing point of view … oh my god

  • mau5trap

    Then people might as well just get people on there birthday a nexus 7 since its practecly the same thing a huge touch screen with the dame space and features

  • Jasoco

    The thing is Apple will always need an iPod. One that people can carry, but also has a bit of space. Problem is the iPod and iOS devices have always been low on storage as have the Nano and Shuffle models, but they don’t seem to be interested in the older Classic anymore. But still, people will want a normal full-sized iPod. And the Touch was that model. At least for people who didn’t want a Classic, and couldn’t get an iPhone.

    Even if they released a smaller iPad, it still wouldn’t fill that market because people are not going to want to take a small tablet when they go out walking.

    Of course, these people could still get a Nano. But those are pretty small. Both in storage and size. Some people want a normal sized iPod to carry their music.

    So it’s really a conundrum.

    • Karl Newark

      I think they still care about the Classic, it’s just pretty much perfected.

      • Jasoco

        Ah, but you know how people get when Apple doesn’t update hardware for a while. “Oh my god. Why would you discontinue it?” It’s just a shame they don’t offer one less than $250. That’s a pretty high price for what it is these days. If they did drop the Touch, the Classic should be lowered to $200. If they have to, they could offer smaller drive space. (160GB can easily be cut down to 120 or 80 and still offer something great. Especially since 80 is still more than the maximum 64GB iDevices offer.) Then again I can see them not really caring about it since it still uses a “Hard Drive”.

  • Bharat Kumar Gupta

    they have to introduce a better camera with flash in ipod touch, since its a dedicated media device it shud have specs to be one. more performance, screen real estate duh! and ipod since its made by apple has a great quality, i don’t feel its going away, its very popular in many countries like ours(India) and for music only its “the” device to have!

  • Joshua Rideout

    I wouldn’t want a physically larger iPod Touch, that would be horrible. I really like how mine fits comfortably in my pockets, with other things in them. It’s not a tablet. it’s not meant to be. What it is, is an iPhone that doesn’t cost $100 a month to own for people who don’t need the phone bit and the ridiculous contracts they come with. Apple needs to keep it’s specs behind the iPhone, so that they can sell more phones. The only problem with the iPod is that it’s waiting for the iPhone to update this fall so that it can get upgraded to last years specs.

  • Robin

    One of the biggest markets for the iPod touch is children. They want to play iPhone games and watch videos but they don’t want to carry a big screen around.

  • Sanjay

    I have been using ipod touch from since the first version was released. Now i carry it always with me and use my blackberry hotspot where there is no WIFI. Its a good fast digital companion.

  • maaen

    A six inch screen and 128gb memory and a fantastic camera…..gps and nfc…..Now that would make it a BABY IPAD or a big boy ipod touch….and it would be the most successful device from Apple ..even more than an Ipad Mini…The only thing is Apple does not have the willingness to make people truely happy..A six inch screen would make so many apps amazing to use and the movies and videos would look so good ..and the large battery would be so useful….and no contract…a simple down payment and on you go and enjoy all the wonders …and pocket the device when done using it….So much more portable to carry around than a normal ipad oe even a mini ipad……SORRY GUYS BUT I JUST CAME ACROSS THIS CYCLE …..I LOVE THE IPOD TOUCH BUT HATE THE SMALL SCREEN….IT IS TO SMALL…..DESPITE THAT I CARRY MY DEVICE WITH ME ALL THE TIME …..BUT HAVE ALWAYS WISHED FOR A LARGE IPOD TOUCH ..OF A SIMILAR SIZE TO THE GALAXY NOTE AND OTHER LARGESCREEN SMART PBONES…….BUT WILL APPLE SEE SENSE????