The iPod touch should have been Apple’s ultimate entry-level device
All the news, rumors, and tips you missed this week.
By David Price, Editor, MacworldMAY 13, 2022 11:30 pm PDT
Welcome to our weekly collection of all the Apple news you missed this week, in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s cool if you want to give it a read during lunch or dinner hours too.
The last of the gang to die
Pour one out for the iPod touch, which went out like a boss this week. And by “like a boss,” we mean “in a weirdly vague press release after lots of people assumed it died years ago.”
With the mini, nano, shuffle, and other iPod models having departed long ago, this is a sad and anticlimactic end for one of Apple’s most iconic product lines. It’s also unlike Apple, which normally follows the “leave them wanting more” principle when killing off beloved products. The iPod touch languished without an update for three years before getting its death sentence. That’s practically torture.
It didn’t need to be this way. Many Apple fans were introduced to the company’s product ecosystem by an iPod (for me it was a black iPod nano in roughly 2006) and the iPod touch continued to serve that role up to its final model, providing an introduction to both iOS and the Cupertino design ethos for under $200. Even its original $299 price tag in 2007 cost hundreds less than the iPhone.
Apple is very good at keeping people inside its walled garden, but the high price of its products can make it hard to tempt new customers to come through the gate. The iPod touch was Apple’s gateway device.
It’s easy to see a future for the iPod touch because there will always be a market for a version of the current iPhone that doesn’t do as many things but costs less money. With the right promotion and regular updates, the touch could have carried on for as long as the iPhone does, tempting converts with its tasty price tag and then pushing them to the costlier devices once they’re comfortable with the interface and interested in taking things to the next level.
The danger with most entry-level products, such as the iPhone 5c or the recent iPhone SE, is that they feel cheaper and can potentially tarnish the premium brand. The genius of the iPod touch is that it’s a completely premium rendition of half a product. It’s like the hardware version of a feature-limited free software trial. It doesn’t leave you dissatisfied; it leaves you hungry for more.
It was not to be. But of course, official discontinuation is not the end of the story. This week’s announcement prompted numerous owners to post photos of still-operational iPods, and we hope these devices will continue to give pleasure for many more years. Indeed, while the iPod touch has since sold out in the US, you can still pick one up if you know where to look and are in the market for a music player with a ton of history.
Apple plans to expand its ever-growing services portfolio by selling groceries, according to a well-known analyst.
As WWDC looms, Apple is quickly running out of Macs. Which could be a clue about this summer’s launches… or just evidence of logistical problems.
We now know exactly how much taller the iPhone 14 Pro’s screen will be. And the answer is… not very.
Podcast of the week
It’s been nearly three years since Apple released the AirPods Pro. What’s up with that? We talk about the state of Apple’s AirPods lineup–as well as the last stand for the iPod–in this episode of the Macworld Podcast.
And with that, we’re done for this week. If you’d like to get regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news stories. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend, and stay Appley!