Apple has killed the iPod Touch. After many months of speculation about the diminutive device – last updated in 2019 – Apple exec Greg Joswiak penned an Apple newsroom piece that said the “spirit of iPod lives on”. It also neglected to mention outright that the device had been canned. Instead, it inferred that by saying the iPod Touch could be purchased “while supplies last”. So much for Apple’s famous directness in comms.
It was an odd piece in other ways too, framing the iPod Touch as hardware primarily for music. That’s no more true than the iPhone is a device primarily for making phone calls. The iPod Touch was ‘iPod’ in name, but not in nature. With full access to the App Store, it’s long been a capable device for films, email, web browsing, gaming, digital art and more.
So is it bad Apple’s finally sent iPod Touch to the great hardware graveyard in the sky, alongside the Mac Plus, Apple Pippin and every other iPod? Yes – and also no. Here are five reasons we’re sad iPod Touch is no more – and five why we at Stuff are totally OK with this.
Why Apple shouldn’t have killed the iPod Touch
Steve Jobs introduces the original iPod Touch.
It gave us an alternative: The first iPod touch arrived within months of the iPhone, for a fraction of the price. It remained the obvious choice if you wanted an iPhone experience, but couldn’t afford – or didn’t need – an actual iPhone.
It was affordable: Apple doesn’t do cheap, but the iPod Touch’s final iteration cost a reasonable £199 for the 32GB model – helped an iPhone SE and over £100 less than an iPad. Great for kids – but less great for Apple’s bottom line.
It’s so tiny: You forget how portable devices were before surfboard sized phones took hold. iPod Touch is a reminder of when pocketable meant just that. The iPad is comparatively massive. Try shoving one in your trousers. We dare you.
It’s bright and cheery: Admittedly, it took until 2013 for iPod Touch to stray beyond boring black and wearisome white, but then it impressed with bright colors that screamed fun. It was a device for enjoying life – not for boring office calls.
It was a capable extra: With iCloud, iPod Touch increasingly became a superb ‘back up’ device, for when your iPhone keeled over or you just wanted to focus. It also excellent as an over-the-top remote to control other Apple hardware.
Why it’s good Apple killed the iPod Touch
The iPod Touch next to a modern iPhone.
Its tech is old: The lack of a compass is an irritant – frustrating when apps expect one. Worse: the lack of Face ID and Touch ID robs the iPod Touch of modern security. That keeps costs down, but still.
It lacks power: The sporadic release cycle twinned with last-gen chips even in new units meant the iPod Touch rapidly aged. The final model has an A10 from the iPhone 7. We don’t recommend buying one – that chip’s on borrowed time.
Its cameras are garbage: 1.2MP around front. 8MP around back. Those specs are now dismal in an age of soaring video calls – and you also want digital snaps of precious moments to last, rather than age out due to being shot with bad tech.
It’s fiddly: The flip side of squeeing about iPod Touch being so tiny is grumbling because it’s so tiny. For children, it’s fine. For adults, it can feel like you’re a giant wrestling with a stamp.
Apple doesn’t care: When the company loses enthusiasm for a product, there’s no point in it sticking around and stagnating. We’d love a new iPod Touch – an SE with the cellular bits ripped out. Apple wouldn’t, so that, as they say, is that.
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