Apple's New iPods Are Good News For The Next iPhone

Photo: Courtesy Apple.
As Apple has focused on things like the iPhone and the Apple Watch, we've almost forgotten about the poor, neglected old iPod — the product that led to the iPhone in the first place. After three years, (and just in time for the 10-year anniversary of the podcast) Apple has updated its iconic music player, which is good news for the next iPhone.

The iPod touch, priced at $199, will keep the same four-inch form factor as it has for the past three years. But, on the inside, it's basically an iPhone 6. It has a faster A8 processor (same as the iPhone 6), an M8 motion coprocessor (for tracking your motion and fitness data without draining battery life — same as the iPhone 6), and an eight-megapixel, rear-facing camera. The camera can do things like 120 FPS slo-mo, burst mode, and cinematic video stabilization, which reduces shakiness in videos. Apple updated the iPod's front-facing FaceTime camera with a new sensor, so it can take brighter images and HDR photos. It's also got faster WiFi, like the most recent iPhones.

These updates to the iPod touch are significant. What's likely happening is that Apple is reusing "old" iPhone 6 parts for the iPod, as the next iPhone gets a new processor, other new chips, and maybe even a new camera. (For a bigger look at everything we expect from this fall's new iPhones, click here.)

Who actually needs an iPod when you've got an iPhone?

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But...new iPods? Who actually needs an iPod when you've got an iPhone? While most of us with iPhones don't really need another music player and gaming device, there are some scenarios where a cheaper, WiFi-only iPhone makes sense. If you've got an older home-audio system and don't want to plug and unplug your iPhone all the time, an iPod is a handy way to keep your music collection — and now all the streaming options out there, too — right there. iPods are also useful to kids, tweens, and teens who a.) don't need a $650 smartphone yet and b.) don't make phone calls anyway. As long as they're connected to WiFi, they can communicate to friends and parents via iMessage and chatting apps.

Thus, on that note, the iPod is convenient for anyone who doesn't want to shell out close to a grand for an iPhone, but who would still like access to most of the iPhone's best features. Lastly, the iPod is extremely useful as a tool for developers, who often use the device for testing their apps before shipping them to the App Store.

The new iPod touch comes in five colors: blue, pink, space gray, silver, and gold — as well as Apple's (PRODUCT)RED red. It starts at $199 for the 16GB model and costs $249 for 32GB, $299 for 64GB, and $399 for 128GB. Apple also updated the colors for the smaller iPod nano and shuffle, and both are still priced at $149 and $49, respectively.
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