Apple planning to release 4-inch iPod Touch alongside redesigned iPhone-esque iPod Nano

Tue, Jul 24, 2012

News, Rumors

With the resounding success of the iPhone, Apple’s iPod line has been languishing over the past few years. So while iPhone growth continues to increase by leaps and bounds, Apple’s iPod sales have been trending downwards for a few quarters now.

But the iPod still generates a few billion bucks for Apple each quarter and it’s not as if they’re going to give up on the device that helped drive the company back to relevancy and prominence anytime soon. On the contrary, word is that Apple is planning a significant iPod refresh this fall.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a solid track record with respect to Apple rumors and MacRumors recently relayed a report¬†from Kuo claiming that Apple is set to release brand new iPod Toch and iPod Nano models this Fall. Notably, a Macotakara report from a few weeks ago said that Apple’s next-gen iPod Nano will have an iPhone-esque design, complete with a home button. Peep the rendering below.

As for the iPod Touch, it will reportedly feature the same in-cell touch display technology Apple is reportedly also using on its next-gen iPhone.

The Wall Street Journal described the technology a few days ago:

The technology integrates touch sensors into the LCD, making it unnecessary to have a separate touch-screen layer. The absence of the layer, usually about half a millimeter thick, not only makes the whole screen thinner, but the quality of displayed images would improve, said DisplaySearch analyst Hiroshi Hayase…

For Apple, the new technology would also simplify the supply chain and help cut costs as it would no longer have to buy touch panels and LCD panels from separate suppliers.

That said, Kuo anticipates that iPod sales in the Fall quarter will be robust, driven primarily by sales of the iPod Nano.

Though all new design iPod touch and iPod nano will be launched, growth momentum will mainly come from the latter. The new iPod touch, like iPhone 5, uses in-cell panel, whose availability is limited in the initial stage. Shipments will therefore be hindered.

And fleshing out some of the details of the rumored iPod Touch upgrade – which hasn’t seen a significant refresh in nearly two years, Macotakara is reporting that the next-gen iPod Touch, much like the rumored iPhone 5, will come with a larger 4-inch screen and a “buffed aluminum” back, in contrast to the glass back Apple currently uses on the iPhone 4S.

As for the insides, the CPU and other specs are said to be similar to the current iPhone 4S.

According to asian source, new iPod touch (5th generation) will have 4 inch LCD which is the same size with the coming iPhone 5.

CPU or other spec is considered to be same with iPhone 4S, and the back case has a different design, which will not be mirror polished but buffed aluminum. And it seems to be prepared black and white color model.

Below is a rendering from Macotakara.

Somewhat oddly, the report notes that the device has a hole at the at bottom of the device -evident in the render above – but that its function or purpose remains unknown at this point.

Over the past few quarters, Apple’s iPod sales have been decreasing as the entire lineup has effectively been carried by the iPod Touch. As such, it will be interesting to see if these two new models will be able to inject some much needed life into Apple’s iPod lineup.

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