six colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

iPods not quite dead yet, think they’ll go for a walk

New iPod colors
MacRumors has dug up some images from inside the iTunes 12.2 update that point to new iPods coming at some point:

The images depict six different color options for the iPod nano, shuffle, and touch, showing each model in silver, space gray, red, bright pink, deep blue, and light gold. The latter three colors, pink, blue, and gold, are new shades that are not currently available. The space gray model may be slightly darker than the existing color, but it’s difficult to determine from images alone.

But when will these magical devices appear?!

The Calendar app on the iPod touch in the images reads “Tuesday 14,” leading some of our readers to speculate that Apple might plan to introduce new models on Tuesday, July 14, which is two weeks from now.

Quick, check the Clock app to find out when they’ll show up!

The iPod lines haven’t received substantive updates in almost three years now. (The shuffle hasn’t really changed in almost five years.) None of that’s surprising, given the iPod’s diminishing role in Apple’s product lineup; as was pointed out last week by unofficial Apple homepage tabs historian James Dempsey, “iPod” has been banished from the navigation bar on the company’s site, subsumed into “Music,” along with “iTunes.”

Despite that, the chance of a major revamp seems slim—especially if Apple really does intend to roll new iPods out on a random Tuesday in July. The iPods used to anchor their own event, but it’s been a long time since that’s been the case. And given the number of things that Apple still has on its docket—new iPhones, new iPads, a new Apple TV, a possible Apple TV service—it wouldn’t be a huge shock if the company decided to give the iPod lineup a little bump before getting to its real business, to avoid overcrowding an already busy fall slate.

For the nano, Apple is apparently satisfied with its role as a little ersatz iOS device. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a little interface redesign to bring it more in line with the rest of Apple’s aesthetic, but other than that I suspect it’ll remain unchanged. Apple might drop the price to $100, but I doubt it needs to bolster sales at the expense of margins.

The iPod touch seems like it needs a little more love; it’s still trapped in the iPhone 5 era, with a 4-inch screen and an A5 processor. The latter at least seems like it deserves a bump, especially with iOS 9 in the offing. But the iPod touch continues to fill a weird niche—I primarily hear of it serving one of two purposes: 1) developers who want a test device (increasingly less relevant as it’s increasingly distanced from the iPhone) and 2) parents who want to give their kid an iOS device when they’re not ready for a phone (though I think the iPad line may be gobbling up a large chunk of that demographic).

But I think Apple is happy enough to continue with the iPod lines for the moment, and they seem like they’re due for a refresh. So keep your eyes peeled.

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[Dan Moren is a tech writer, novelist, podcaster, and the Official Dan of Six Colors. You can email him at dan@sixcolors.com or find him on Twitter at @dmoren.]