Apple debuts stripped 16GB iPod touch 5G, nixes 4G model

Apple debuts stripped 16GB iPod touch 5G, nixes 4G model 1

Without a press release, Apple has quietly released an unusually stripped-down 16GB version of the fifth-generation iPod touch, eliminating the rear iSight camera and loop wrist strap found in the previously-released 32GB and 64GB models. The new 16GB iPod touch retains the other specifications of the late 2012 models, but is available solely in a silver and black color combination, selling for $229 with packed-in EarPods earphones. It is two grams lighter than before due to the missing components, and will be available in U.S. stores starting tomorrow.


Apple simultaneously appears to have discontinued the fourth-generation iPod touch, which remained available in two storage capacities to preserve a $199 option in the touch family. iPod sales have continued to slide from previous highs quarter after quarter, due as much to weak feature and price combinations as the continued strength of new iPhone and iPad models.

Update: Apple has also announced that 100 million iPod touches have been sold since 2007. [via Engadget]

  1. Scrapping the 4G was long overdue (it was overdue when the 5G came out) as it has virtually zero developer support at this point in terms of new releases. Even when a notable game “supports” it, it usually comes with crashes, downgraded graphics, and 10-20 fps.

    On the other hand, I don’t understand how they think dropping a $5 camera part from it (that is surprisingly decent in good light) and charging $70 less is what the market needs or wants. The touch is the iPhone lite for those too young, too poor, or too frugal to spring for an iPhone (/raises hand) – dropping the camera destroys a lot of what made the 5G such a competent alternative to the iPhone.

    At this point, watching more and more devs not support ANY touch, Apple needs to get with the times and ship the rumored el cheapo iPhone with no need for any contracts or services to activate. They’ve got too many products for developers to adequately support and the touch line is the product line getting the cold shoulder. This low end 5G touch is a band-aid on a severed artery all in the pursuit of a “magic” price point.

  2. My 5 y.o. hammers home exactly what is wrong with this design: Kids freaking love cameras. This doesn’t have a point and shoot camera. Ergo, the most likley audience for a cheap touch is completely missed by the design.

    He’s got my old 4G touch, and even as a 5 y.o. is quite aware it’s a piece of electronic trash relatively speaking. Any time he sees a new game he knows he has to ask if it will run on his device, he is used to constant crashes, and knows more clearing the task bar and rebooting than most adults with iOS devices. He says he wants a touch like me and his sister all the time. Still, when I presented him with the question of if he would want this particular 5G touch variant for Christmas this year, his answer was a solid, “no”.

  3. I keep thinking that this story is a spoof, that there is no such thing as a new iPod Touch. I figure that if I look closely enough at these stories, I’m going to see a byline from The Onion or Saturday Night Live. I keep checking the calendar to see if it’s April 1, April Fool’s Day somewhere.

    Or, I’m going to discover a Samsung label on it! Or, wake up from a funny dream and discover it really didn’t happen!

    It makes little sense, very little sense. The price break isn’t big enough, dropping the camera loses a key part of its appeal, and it hurts the Apple brand itself.

    Could this be a trial balloon to see if the market would accept a low-cost iPhone without a camera? If that’s the case, or even if it isn’t, Tim Cook has made a major blunder on this– and I’m usually a defender of his from all the detractors!

  4. “It makes little sense, very little sense.”

    See, I think it does make sense, just not *good* sense…

    Apple redesigned the logic board, re-fitted some factories, threw case designers yet another curve to deal with, and destroyed a good chunk of the touch’s appeal for those too young for a touch all for one key reason: so those who go for the sub-$300 iDevice will NEVER forget they’re using a sub $300 iDevice.

    It’s not just about getting a product out there at the allegedly magic ~$200 price point (even if it’s yet again strangely $29 higher), it’s also preserving the exclusivity of going up to a ~$300 price point.

    It’s not a good reason, but it seems to be the only one that rises to the level of making any sense at all.

  5. Doh. Brain fart strikes again. That’s supposed to be, “…destroyed a good chunk of the touch’s appeal for those too young for an iPhone…”

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