Apple hasn't updated the iPod touch since July 2015 - that's when the sixth-generation model came out. Since then, the company has discontinued all the other iPods - as of July 2017. So will the iPod touch be next for the cull? Or will Apple finally release the seventh-gen iPod touch in 2019? Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo certainly thinks so.
As we know from the Mac mini and MacBook Air, being neglected for three to four years doesn't mean Apple will never update a device again. The company surprised us back in October 2018 by updating the mini and the Air - and impressive updates they were too. The iPad mini and Air got similar resurrections in March 2019.
In this article we round up the leaks and rumours concerning the launch of the seventh-gen iPod touch for 2019, covering its release date, design, new features, price and tech specs. If you're more interested in the current range, read our iPod buying guide.
Is iPod touch 7 coming out any time soon? It looks like it could be.
Apple has applied to extend the trademark for iPod touch to include "hand-held units for playing electronic games" and "handheld game consoles". Since the iPod touch is already known to be a reasonable gaming device - due to it running iOS software - this does suggest that Apple is doing a bit of tidying up prior to launching an update, for which it sees gaming as more important.
That's not the only indication that a new iPod touch could be in the works. Japanese website Macotakara reported in January 2019 that "several suppliers of Apple" say the company "might be developing iPod touch (7th generation) that takes over iPod touch (6th generation)".
In July 2017 (when Apple discontinued the other iPods) the iPod touch's price dropped slightly. Current prices are:
The new iPod touch is likely to cost the same or more than the current price.
However, in January 2019 Apple issued a profit warning after failing to sell as many iPhones as forecast. There have been suggestions that this is due to Apple pricing the 2018 iPhones too high for the average consumer. On that basis, perhaps introducing a new version of the iPod touch might appease this market.
While the iPod touch won't accept a SIM card, it can still join a Wi-Fi network which gives it much of the functionality of the iPhone, including Wi-Fi calling using FaceTime. It seems like a long shot, but could an updated iPod touch be the low-cost iPhone we are all waiting for?
The new iPod touch could take on the same slim-bezelled, Home-button-lacking design of the 2018 iPhones.
The 6th-generation model measures 58.6mm by 123.4mm, similar to the now discontinued iPhone 6, 6s and iPhone SE. Apple could slim down the device further while keeping the 4in display, or it could make a larger device more in line with the iPhone XR.
The sixth-gen iPod touch comes in pink, silver, Space Grey, gold, blue and (Product) Red.
We expect the new models to come in similar colours, but potentially we could see them mirror the iPhone XR, which comes in white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (Product) Red shades.
New features and tech specs
If Apple does update the iPod touch, what can we expect to see in terms of features and specs?
The iPod touch (6th generation) currently uses the A8 chip and M8 motion coprocessor found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It has an 8Mp rear camera with slo-mo and burst mode. And it offers 802.11ac Wi-Fi support and Bluetooth 4.1. The top of the range model includes 128GB storage.
A new iPod touch is likely to take on the A12 Bionic chip found in the 2018 iPhone models. The camera could improve to 12Mp. We might see Bluetooth 5.0. NFC is another possibility, which could bring Apple Pay functionality.
We could also see an 256GB storage option on the high end.