The next iPod line is set to debut sometime in the near future, either later in the year or early next year. What will Apple do with their iPod lines? Let’s discuss this in great detail. We will talk about the “Big 4” AKA the shuffle, nano, touch, and the classic.
Classic- Any people out there who are looking forward to buying a new classic will be genuinely disappointed. By my predictions (and quite a few others) Apple will cut its iPod classic line just as it will with the Mac Pro. The iPod Classic was last updated in 2009. This revision, including the one before it in 2008, was minimal. The last major update was in 2007, 5 years ago. It has been only two years or less for the other iPods’ updates (depending on the type of iPod) and people are already getting fired up about a new update. An iPod generally updates once every one to two years. The iPod classic in particular was almost always one year in between updates. The time between the latest update and the one before it was 12 months (this would be the 2009 and 2008 revisions, respectively). If I were you and wanted a iPod classic, I would get one now because soon it will be just what it’s name is.
Expected time of release of the new iPod line- we should be expecting a new iPod line sometime in the fall, possibly somewhere around September since September is usually the time they release the new iPods (the previous touches, nanos, and shuffles were all released in September along with almost every other model).
Shuffle- The iPod shuffle has been a popular iPod release ever since it was released alongside the Mac mini (see the irony?) in 2005. It is light and small and holds enough songs to get a good workout out of and more. It is also one of Apple’s more affordable products. It’s the iPod for people on a budget. Because of this, Apple preserve the same price. Apple will more than likely step up it’s game when it comes to storage. It may be able to feature a 4 and 8 GB storage for 49.99 and 69.99 respectively. They will probably keep the same shape and just improve the overall “guts” of the shuffle.
Nano- The iPod nano has been a great member of the iPod family ever since Steve Jobs took it out of the “jeans pocket that had no use until then” (if you saw the keynote you will know what I mean). The iPod nano has seen some interesting shape changes in its years. First it was a long rectangle, then a shorter, flat rectangle, back to a long rectangle again and then now a touch-screen square. Personally, my favorite shape was the square (3rd generation). If I were Apple, I would make it this shape and make it touchscreen at the same time. I think they should get rid of the small square. I will admit, though, it makes a great watch! Of course I’m not Apple and as it turns out, IF the rumors are right, they are sticking to the nano as is. However, there may be a few new features to that. One, there will probably be a camera. Many people were not to happy when they dropped the camera from the last model (especially since they can no longer record videos using the cyborg effect). I think Apple will see their mistake there and put a camera in this time. The last time there was a camera, it was 3.2 MP, pretty low compared to today’s standards. I believe Apple will feature a higher MP camera on a new iPod nano. We may be looking at 5MP, however don’t expect it to go higher than this since the camera does take room and room is not something the nano has. Two, there might be a new feature similar to that of AirPlay. It will be able to send the music wirelessly from iPod to Apple TV. I think the regular iPods are ready for this. The iPod touch already sports it, so why cant the nano? The operating system will probably stay the same. It’s iOS-like features appeal more to people than Apple’s iPod OS. The changes under the hood will probably feature a storage boost, something we haven’t seen in a while from Apple. It is a possibility that it could sport its typical 8GB low-end model but instead of just 8 and 16, it may be able to feature 8, 16 and 32 at $129, $149 and $169 respectively. The sound quality will be improved even more than it is now (even though it’s excellent as is). The guts of the iPod nano will definitely have an improvement however we may not see much of an improvement in terms of shape or OS.
iPod touch- These “training wheels for the iPhone” have been saved purposely. We always have to save the best for last! The iPod touch 5G will feature better guts but may end up getting cosmetic and OS work done too. First, the boring stuff then the exciting stuff. The storage on the iPod touch now is very interesting. It features 8, 32 and 64 GB models. Apple has been stuck on the 8GB entry model for a while now and I think it is time to move on. I think a 16 GB model would be good as the low end. This would be followed by a 32, 64 and a possible 128 GB model. That’s right a 128GB model. Apple could pull it off if it wanted to, it has the resources, and if it doesn’t, it has the labs to design new resources. I think Apple could easily pull it off. I have a 32 GB model and I find myself having to remove apps off it all the time since I need more space for new ones. It’s the music, videos, TV shows and movies that take a burden on my space, even if I had a 64 GB, I may end up being burdened after a while. The camera is something that has bothered me for a while now. It’s ok at recording (720p) but its MP is just not good. I think Apple should strive for 1080p, especially since its on the new iPad already. I think on terms of megapixels we could be looking at 5MP, since again, space is an issue and the new iPad is 5MP, I don’t think they will give an iPod touch a better camera than an iPad, but then again the iPhone 4S does have 8MP with 1080p video so maybe we might see more than 5. I believe another feature Apple should include is glare-resistant, fingerprint-proof screen. I know I’m not the only that says they get annoyed at glare and fingerprints. It isn’t a huge deal but at times it does hinder performance. The new A5X processor debuted in the new iPad and I expect that it will make an appearance in the new iPod touch and ultimately the iPhone 5. This of course will lead to an big increase in performance allowing for 1 GB of RAM (finally) and better speed and graphics. I believe some changes in software will occur as well. I believe we will be well into iOS 5.2 or even 5.3 which could feature voice dictation among other things. One thing that Apple could do is offer its adaptation of the 3D screen, kind of like a 3DS. It would make the iPod more fun, but fun may not apply to business users. Many business people use the iPos touch because of its ease of use and light weight. In speaking of weight, I think the next generation will feature an even lighter weight and a even thinner thickness.
There are many possibilities of different variations, different ways and features Apple could put in their new iPod line. We will have to wait and see what Apple does next with them. Please comment what you would like to see in the next iPod line.
Thanks for reading,