The iPod touch 6th generation release may not be something Apple fans can count on in 2014 according to a new analyst report suggesting Apple plans the iWatch to replace the iPod as a core product. There is only a small mention of the iPod line in this new note to investors, but this is not the first time a report points to the iPod touch 6th generation wait continuing.
iPod sales declined for each of the last quarters, but it is still a popular option for many users who are waiting for an iPod touch 6th generation release date to buy a new iPod in 2014.
This new reports is the second to suggest that Apple is skipping the iPod touch 2014 update, and a third leaves a new iPod touch off the Apple roadmap.
As Apple stock climbs Brian Blair of Rosenblatt Securities shared a note with investors about the future of the iPod touch as part of a broader Apple report on the iWatch. Apple Insider shares this investor note which estimates Apple plans to sell 18 million to 21 million iWatch devices in 2014 to iPhone owners. Apple is working on multiple iWatch models including one with a Sapphire display. Additionally the iWatch may feature a circular display, similar to the Moto 360 that is coming in the near future.
For comparison, Apple sold just over 6 million iPods in the 2013 holiday season and roughly 10.5 million iPods during the second half of 2013. Blair points to the declining iPod sales as the reason Apple will use the iWatch to essentially replace the iPod line. Apple told investors that iPod sales would not pick up in early 2014, leaving some hope for a fall iPod touch 6th generation release, but analysts continue to cast doubt on this.
In April Christopher Caso, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group told Barrons that Apple may skip the iPod touch 6th generation in 2014, and all iPods. This report arrived weeks after noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo left the iPod touch and any iPod update off of his roadmap of 2014 Apple products.
The iPod touch is almost an iPhone 5 without a cellular radio. The most recently announced model is from 2012, which Apple announced when they showed off the iPhone 5, but Apple skipped announcing a new iPod touch in 2013 as iPod sales continued to dwindle.
Apple’s focus for 2014 may be on the iPhone 6 and the iWatch as over half of seniors own a smartphone and overall smartphone ownership in the U.S. hits 70% according to recent data. It is clear that many users are jumping to a smartphone since Apple announced the iPod touch as a contract-free iPhone alternative for users that didn’t want a monthly plan or need always on connectivity.
Although many users are switching to smartphones there are still a number of users who want a new iPod touch with the performance of an iPhone 5s or rumored iPhone 6 features, and are dead-set against a contract. Some of these users don’t want the monthly payment and others are buying an iPod touch for a child and there is no need for all of the communication features.
Apple will take the stage on June 2nd at WWDC 2014 to announce iOS 8, which we expect will arrive on the iPod touch 5th generation, as well as some new hardware — but it is not likely that we will see an iPod touch 6th generation at this event. After this event wraps, eyes turn to the fall when we could see an iPhone 6 release date in September, possibly with an iWatch, and history suggests Apple will deliver an iPad Air 2 and new iPad mini Retina in October.
If Apple plans an iPod touch 6th generation for 2014, it would likely arrive at one of these events. Keep in mind that this is an analyst report, not an outright confirmation from Apple.