Along with the iPhone 5 making its official appearance at Apple’s September 12 media event this Wednesday, it is also rumored that the iPod Touch, which mirrors the iPhone line but eschews the cellular radio, will also be upgraded to match the same screen size of the new iPhone. Though there has been a number of leaks surrounding the design, specs, and hardware features of the iPhone 5, there has been little leaked about Apple’s iPod lineup, which has the iPod Touch as the flagship model.
According to iMore, the next-generation iPod Touch will have the same 4-inch 16:9 aspect ratio display that Apple intends on using on the iPhone 5. This would end Apple’s long-standing era of a 3.5-inch display, which has been used on the company’s phones since summer 2007.
At this point, it’s unclear if Apple will utilize the exact iPhone 5 display panel inside the iPod Touch or if Apple will use a lesser quality panel for the cheaper media device. In the past, though the iPhone and the iPod Touch have the same display size and resolution, Apple blessed the iPhone’s display with better specs, including the use of IPS technology that allows for better color displays and viewing angles on LCD screens. The move is said to be part of a measure to control cost, and it’s likely Apple will repeat this with the iPod Touch.
It remains to be seen how Apple will upgrade the iPod Touch’s design and if the line will feature as drastic of a design change as the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5 transition.
It’s also speculated that Apple may introduce a 128 GB iPod Touch model that would allow the company to transition the entire iPod family to flash storage and retire the iPod Classic line. The iPod Classic has not been updated in a while and remains the only member of the music family to still rely on a spinning hard drive. With WiFi support, additional content can also be hosted in iCloud.
While the iPhone 4S last year got the Apple A5 processor and a bump to 64GB, the iPod touch got no processor or storage bump, only a white option. It seems logical that Apple would rev the iPod touch processor this year, but whether or not it goes to 128GB also remains in question. A 128GB iPod touch could let Apple retire the venerable iPod classic line. However, services like iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match have made iOS devices far less storage-constrained than they were in the past.
Additionally, with an incoming music streaming service that’s been rumored to compete against Pandora, Apple may be shifting its music strategy. Rather than having users carry every song they own with them, Apple will rely more heavily on the cloud and the Internet to deliver content.
Other members of the iPod family may also get upgraded, including a new iPod Nano form factor with a home button and a redesigned iPod Shuffle.
Apple is also rumored to be introducing new earphones along with the new iPhone and iPod line.