Market Insight

Apple unveils new additions to its iPod lineup

September 12, 2012

Laura Aguilera Laura Aguilera Senior Research Analyst, Service Providers & Platforms

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Alongside the iPhone 5, Apple also introduced two new iPods. The fifth-generation iPod Touch shares many of the same features as the new iPhone: a 4-inch, 1136 x 640-pixel display and front side camera; while other elements are different,  most notably it has the A5 processor from last year's iPhone. The device also gains Siri and becomes available in multiple colors for the first time.

Apple also introduced the seventh generation iPod Nano, which like the new Touch, has a larger screen  (2.5 inch) and is thinner than its predecessor. It features an FM tuner with built-in recording as well as Bluetooth for connecting to wireless headphones and speakers. Apple is promising a 30 hour battery life.

The iPod Touch is due to start shipping October and costs $299 for 32GB version and $399 for 64GB. While Apple will only offer a 16GB model of the Nano available for $149.

It's no longer news that the Pod is in decline, selling 6.8m units last quarter down from 7.5m the previous year and 9.4m for the same quarter 2010. But the device family remains an important part of the company's product portfolio even as its importance declines in both absolute and relative terms when compared to the growth of the iPhone and iPad. This year's updates, in time for the Christmas buying season, both have some interesting aspects albeit for slightly different reasons. For its part the iPod touch continues its role as a second fiddle iPhone; gaining the new screen will increase the installed base of devices with the new aspect ratio, but at the same time not getting iPad-like cellular connectivity leaves Apple's product segmentation intact. This differentiation from the iPhone is actually quite clearly telegraphed by addition of being available in different colors to the iPod Touch line up. This feature, which has been a popular element of Apple's iPods mini and nano for some time, has traditionally marked out the company's lower tier products where its flagship handhelds have tended towards being available in  black and white. The iPod nano, by contrast has reverted to something closer to the elongated form factor of earlier models and regained the ability to play video.

Apple Inc.
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