As Apple’s iPod business slows in favor of iOS device sales, Apple is devoting little attention to the music-focused iPods. And even the iPod touch announcements at last week’s media event were nothing more than minor cosmetic and pricing changes compared to major improvements — such as the Retina Display and a front-facing camera — added in previous models.
As far as we can tell, the only physical change Apple made to the iPod touch is the addition of a white model. Pricing has changed slightly too, with the 8 GB model dropping from $229 to $199, while the 32 GB and 64 GB models keep their $299 and $399 prices. The new models will be available on 12 October 2011 to coincide with iOS 5 and iCloud.
In essence, the new iPod touch gains new features by virtue of coming with iOS 5 and working with iCloud. Although nothing was said about compatibility with older models, the company has previously said that iOS 5 would run on the third-generation and later iPod touch models.
The iPod nano retains the same form factor, but Apple made a few changes both in the hardware and the software. On the hardware side, the Nike+ sensor is now built in, so no extra dongle is required for it to track your walks and runs. On the software side, Apple increased the size of the icons to make it easier to swipe between them. Also, because of the popularity of watch bands designed for use with the iPod nano, Apple added 16 new clock faces, including Mickey Mouse and LED designs.
The iPod nano is available in seven colors and now costs $129 for 8 GB and $149 for 16 GB. It’s available immediately.
Although it merited only the briefest mention in the Apple keynote, the iPod shuffle remains available for $49; as far as we know, there are no changes.
And yes, the iPod classic continues to soldier on, with 160 GB of storage for $249.