Without much fanfare, Apple has cut prices on its current 5th generation iPod Touch line while relaunching the 16GB model in the US. The 16GB model, once relegated to the entry-level model without the key features in the 5 megapixel camera and magnetic button for the wrist strap accessory along with the expanded color choices is now discontinued and has been replaced by a new model adding the aforementioned options for $100 less, now starting at $199.99.
The rest of the lineup gets a price cut with the 32GB version at $249.99 and the 64GB version at $299.99. With these changes, Apple’s longstanding iPod Touch lineup finally features parity across all price points, but the question still remains as to whether Apple will be updating the line further following the launch of the long-rumored sixth iPhone expected for later this year.
The iPod Touch has yet to receive any meaningful updates in terms of hardware since the launch of the 5th generation in 2012 and Apple has offered no hints as to the future of the iPod Touch with the conglomerate’s recent focus on iPhone-OS X cross-pollination. While the price cuts and 16GB iPod Touch update may be a sign that Apple still wants to drive iPod Touch sales, the price cuts may also mean that Apple wants to see whether there is still demand for the standalone iPod model as consumer habits shift from individual music/video purchases to streaming media.
Many observers have also long hoped for Apple to offer iPhone models without cellular radios as iPod Touch models over the years, and Apple’s current direction seems to suggest that the standalone iPod Touch is not long for the market and will be slowly de-emphasized for the iPhone and iPad, even though the iPod Touch faces no real competition, easily offering an alternative for those that want to use iOS but don’t want to spend the cash for an iPhone; this is also despite the iPod Touch featuring lesser hardware than the iPhone and recently being refocused as a gaming device first, media player second.