iPod Pricing: Will 2009 Be The $199 Year For iPod touch? | iLounge Backstage


iPod Pricing: Will 2009 Be The $199 Year For iPod touch?

A simple question for readers who follow iPod pricing details like we do: will this be the year when the iPod touch becomes a $199 device? Or will Apple maintain 2008 pricing while boosting storage capacities?

iLounge’s editors have been discussing two likely pricing scenarios for the iPod touch family in light of recent economic and competitive trends; they go something like this:

(A) Due in part to the September 15 release of Microsoft’s touchscreen Zune HD at $219 (16GB) and $289 (32GB) prices, and in part to global economic conditions, Apple decides to completely wreck its competitor’s latest launch by using pricing that will guarantee its strongest holiday quarter ever. The third-generation iPod touch is announced in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities starting at $199, then graduating to $249 and $299. For the first time, a 128GB model is introduced at $349, putting the last nail in the coffin of the 120GB iPod classic, which is unceremoniously discontinued. The iPod nano drops to $99 and $149 prices, and the iPod shuffle drops to $49 or $59.

(B) Apple opts to preserve $229 to $399 pricing for the iPod touch, and releases three models: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The company operates under the presumption that Microsoft’s Zune will remain essentially non-competitive regardless of any price advantage it maintains. iPod shuffle, nano, and classic models remain in their past configurations with feature tweaks at or near current pricing levels.

Which do you think is likely to happen? Or something else? We’d like to hear your thoughts in the lead-up to tomorrow’s Rock and Roll event in San Francisco.

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im still getting a zune hd though… the key here is that with the Zune HD, mobile applications and game programming will be coming to the masses with the widely used and supported .NET framework and XNA.

Posted by dave on September 8, 2009 at 10:49 AM (CDT)


I like option A but it seems very unlikely that a 128gb ipod touch flash model will be released or even sold for that low , especially as top iphone model is 32 and they always double the top iphone for touch

Posted by rob on September 8, 2009 at 11:09 AM (CDT)


I’d love to see option A, but I’ll be shocked if it’s anything other than B. I’d most like to see that 128 GB touch (it’s the only reason I’d opt to buy a touch, since I currently have a 32GB iPhone). I would finally be able to carry around all my music again, but I just don’t see it happening. Maybe next year!

Posted by urbanslaughter on September 8, 2009 at 11:16 AM (CDT)


Given Apple’s history, it seems more likely that Apple will avoid a price war and stick with the current pricing of the touch while upping the capacities to 16, 32, and 64GB, as outlined in option B.

Instead of going into a price war and lowering their profit margin, Apple could use a strategy similar to what they did with the iPhone. They can keep the current generation 8GB version of the touch around and mark it down to an attractive price point, say, $149 or $179. I think that would be more likely since there is precedent for it with the iPhone 3G and 3GS and the plastic Macbook pricing.

The lower-capacity 8GB touch would probably not cannibalize too many sales from the existing 8GB and 16GB nano sales, assuming Apple does not up the capacities for the nano.

I really doubt Apple would unveil a 128GB touch tomorrow. Given the price of flash memory, it seems next year might be better and that this upcoming year might mark the final year of the classic as the high-capacity iPod.

Posted by cxc273 on September 8, 2009 at 11:29 AM (CDT)


Neither. If you pay even the slightest bit of attention to the flash pricing market then you know that option A is impossible. A 64 gb ipod would be more than 299, and a 128 gb ipod would be about 500 dollars at minimum. That said, I am sure that they will try to get the touch below 200. 199 for a touch with 16 gb, no camera or GPS. 299 for a touch with 32 gb and both a camera and GPS, and a 64 gb with cam and gps for 399

Posted by labrats5 on September 8, 2009 at 12:08 PM (CDT)


16/32/64 G for 199/299/399 USD.

Posted by Dennis on September 8, 2009 at 12:18 PM (CDT)


What Dennis said. 

Only Q is whether the low-end $199 Touch will have a camera & 3GS specs.  My guess is yes.

Posted by lookmark on September 8, 2009 at 12:37 PM (CDT)


Waiting for flash capacities to get to 64 GB has been excruciating. Assuming they go to 64 GB tomorrow, that will finally surpass the capacity of the iPod 5G which was 60 GB four freaking years ago. My music collection hasn’t shrunk since then. I feel like they might get rid of the iPod classic and have the touch become the iPod, but I doubt a 128 GB version yet. I think we’ll see Plan B.

Posted by brted on September 8, 2009 at 3:02 PM (CDT)


I have to agree with brted,

I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting to replace my 30GB 5G iPod, but a $400 32GB iPod Touch just isn’t worth it for me (I have to swap stuff in and out of my 85GB music, video, and podcast library as it is now and I’m getting tired of it).

What’s so wrong with HD based storage anyway? I have a HD based 5G and a HD based 4G, both of which still function perfectly and still get a good 4hrs of usage time per charge on my old 5G.

Here’s hoping I’m not waiting another year, again!

Posted by jsk on September 8, 2009 at 4:15 PM (CDT)



The iPod Touch will be sold at

in the 2010 September Event
The Classic will RIP
and the iPod Touch will become the iPod
no more iPod Touch/iTouch-lol
and the shuffle will be cut for a $99 iPod Nano Touch

Posted by Corey on September 8, 2009 at 5:09 PM (CDT)


As much as I’d like to believe the “price war” scenario, I don’t see it happening. Apple views their product as premium and they don’t need to go for the Zune’s jugular this early.

That being said, unlike the laptop/netbook space, Apple could kill all other competitors if they adopted the $199 (16 gig) - $299 (64 gig) price structure. I view this as a 25% chance, it would be a very aggressive move.

I’ve made up my mind that I’m getting a Touch to replace my 80 gig classic, but I don’t like the limitations of 16 gig of storage. So whatever the 32 gig pricepoint is, I’ll be placing a preorder! But if I can get 64 gig for $300, that would be hugely tempting.

Posted by Mike on September 8, 2009 at 6:13 PM (CDT)


I doubt that the price will go up in increments of $50, with double the capacity.

If you think about this, previous iPod touches have gone up by increments of $100 whenever the storage doubles, even though the iPod touch 2G started out from $229, Apple didn’t want to make it $199 because the same amount of people will pay $229 for the same device, because it’s the cheapest one!

Same 5with the iPhone, increments of $100, 8GB $100, 16GB $200, 32GB $300….

The only device that goes up by $50 is probably the iPod nano, because if it goes up by $100, that’s already 2/3 of the nano price, opposed to 1/2 on the touch. Nobody would buy the 16GB one.

Posted by lavababy94 on September 8, 2009 at 8:26 PM (CDT)


Haha.  Since when does Apple and the iPod need to compete with the Zune, any Zune, HD or otherwise.  That would be like Porsche trying to sell itself down to Toyota Camry buyers.  Who cares what the cheapskates are buying?  They’re Zunes, plain and simple.  What do they have?  Like maybe a dozen games and two apps, fer crissakes.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a 64 GB iPod Touch with a 3GS class processor in it.  $400, so what.  It should be good for at least a couple of years use.  My iPod Video 30 GB is going past the three year mark as strong as ever since I put in a new battery.

I’ll be so happy to get some Japanese-language educational apps on that Touch.  Some handy dictionaries and kanji memorization apps will be a perfect fit.  I’d like to see the Zune HD compete against that.

Posted by iphonerulez on September 8, 2009 at 9:17 PM (CDT)


Scenario B sounds a lot more likely. Apple’s never been about undercutting the competition, and besides, a $10 price advantage for the Zune HD is pretty negligible. A price cut for the nano would be a smart move (I’m guessing $129 for the 8GB and $169-$179 for the 16GB), and it would be nice if, like cxc273 suggested, the 8GB Touch was kept around with a lower price.

Posted by Jerome on September 8, 2009 at 10:39 PM (CDT)


If the ipod prices drop down to 199.99 then it would also put them in the price ranges with handheld gaming systems.

Posted by Brandon on September 9, 2009 at 6:32 AM (CDT)

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