Right on cue to dispel all rumors that the iPhone 5S would seal the fate of the iPod Touch, Apple goes and releases a brand new model that sends the whole debate back into chaos. And just to add a little further confusion to the disarray, the new 16GB Pod Touch for 2013 will retail for $229 as opposed to the previous entry-level model at $199.
So the big question is a pretty simple one – is it worth shelling out $229 when there could be a hugely affordable iPhone 5S on the cards, not to mention a budget-busting iPad Mini 2? Or better still, does the new iPod Touch deliver more than its closest rivals, other than the Apple badge?
Well, in terms of specs and features not a great deal has changed. For this price you’re not going to take home a rear-mounted camera and as mentioned above, 16GB is all you’re getting in terms of closet space. There’s still a 1.2-megapixel shooter up front for video calling and the like, while the 4-inch screen and A5 processor take care of business pretty well.
The new budget iPod Touch is expected to be joined by an array of new iPods and perhaps a couple of new iPhones later this fall, but chances are none will hit the market for a cheaper price than this. Which leads back to the same question – is it worth the money when compared to the alternatives?
As a first step into the world of iOS apps and gaming minus the binds of a service agreement, the new iPod Touch has been pegged as a pretty sweet deal for parents of younger kids. But then again, games and apps are always enhanced with a slightly larger screen which makes the iPad Mini seem like a better choice.
And then there’s the market for fitness fans and the like which are really just on the lookout for a small and slim MP3 player – the iPod Nano filling that particular role even better.
So in terms of in-house competition it’s really hard to find a place for the new iPod Touch, but Apple’s media player certainly outshines the likes of the Sony Android Walkman Z and the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 – both of which are rather overpriced for what you get.
The success or otherwise of the new iPod Touch therefore will in all likelihood depend on what Apple has in store in terms of pricing for the iPad Mini 2 and the iPhone 5S. In the case of the former, rumors of a sub $250 price have become all the more prevelent over the last couple of weeks, which could see the original iPad Mini tumble below the $200.
And if this proves to be the case, the $229 iPod Touch is going to prove a pretty hard-sell come October to say the least.