The iPod touch 6th generation release is not likely in the next three months as Apple advised investors that the company expects iPod sales to decline year-over-year in the March quarter.
During the Apple Q1 2014 Earnings call Apple pointed out the lower iPod sales through the holiday quarter and in an answer to Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley Apple’s CFO Peter Oppenheimer shared a short preview into the future of the iPod line which includes the much awaited iPod touch 6th generation.
Oppenheimer explained iPod sales are down year over year 52% in terms of units sold, adding we, “Expect them to decline year over year in the March quarter.”
Apple Q1 2014 ended on December 28th and the Apple Q2 2014 will end in March 2014 which suggests any new iPods including an iPod touch 6th generation will not arrive for several months.
The iPod touch 6th generation was expected in fall 2013 during the iPhone or iPad events, but Apple focused on new iPads and iPhones. The only change Apple delivered in late 2013 was to offer the iPod touch in space gray. The iPod touch 5th generation that is currently on sale was announced in fall 2012, making them over a year old.
Apple did offer a iPod touch without a rear facing camera in May, at a lower price, but this is not a new iPod touch that added features.
While many of Apple’s products have shifted to a fall release cycle it is possible that Apple will announce a new iPod touch 6th generation with an Apple A7 processor and some of the iPhone 5s features like slow-motion and burst mode in the March to June timeline, though these features are only speculation at this point.
Apple is not talking about the iPod touch specifically or about any features, but as the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c age Apple could choose to add any of the following features to an iPod touch before introducing an iPhone 6 later this year.
- Apple A7 processor
- Touch ID
- True-tone flash
- Better FaceTime HD camera
It’s not clear what Apple will do with a iPod touch 6th generation, but in the past Apple used this device to offer some of the iPhone features in a product with no cellular radio and no contract or monthly cost. The iPod touch with a camera is $299 and the no camera model with less storage is $229.
Part of the reason Apple ignored this market is may be due to a push to get more shoppers to switch to an iPhone. From 2012 to 2013 smartphone sales to teens 13-15 grew 20% as teens and parents saw increased value in one always connected device.
Apple CEO Tim Cook refused to comment on Apple’s future pipeline during the earnings call, but that doesn’t mean we are in the dark. Analysts and insiders expect to see two new iPhone 6 models with larger screens in 2014. We may also see a MacBook Air Retina model in the middle of the year. Additionally there are rumors of a larger iPad with a 12.9-inch display.