If there is one thing that Apple has always done well, it’s marketing. Many of you will point out their market leading design, their obsessive focus on thinness, their almost unsurpassed ability to innovate and to lead their sector. Yet, right from the offApple has been a company that has dominated marketing. From their famous TV commercials to the legendary Steve Jobs led product launches, Apple have always had a knack of pushing their products shrewdly and highly effectively. All of this makes the launch of the IPod Touch 5 2013 update, which happened quietly last week, all the more strange.
The IPod Touch has been one of Apple’s biggest hits. They recently announced that Touch sales have now exceeded 100 million units globally, continuing the legacy of the iPod. Lightweight, super slim, remarkably customisable (for an Apple device, at least) and relatively affordable, the Touch has found many pockets of demand. One of these is the gym going crowd, who have seen real value in the Touch as an alternative to carrying their phone onto the gym floor.
So what’s changed with the iPod Touch 5th gen 2013? The new iPod Touch is aimed at the affordable end of the market, as its owing in at $229 for a 16GB model. Featuring less memory and the removal of the front camera, leaving just the rear facing, the 5th gen update model is actually a spec downgrade. Apple’s willingness to introduce a downgraded, cheaper version of their existing technology, demonstrated with this model and the ipad mini, opens up the lily hood of a smaller, cheaper iPhone later this summer too.
The cheaper Touch 5th generation is probably a reaction to the increasing competition which the device faces from rival smartphones, not to mention the iPhone itself. Smartphones were supposed to kill the iPod, yet 18 million units have shifted since July 2012 alone, showing that demand remains solid.
The introduction of a ‘mini’ iPod touch could be another indication that Apple will break with tradition and launch two versions of the new iPhone. As a cheaper iPhone would cut into the market for the Touch even further. By launching a lighter Tiuch, Apple can ensure that they have demand for their products across the spectrum. This opens up ever more markets for the tech giant, not only within their core markets but also in the emerging markets worldwide.
So the quiet launch of the new iPod is strange, but the bottom line is that the new 5th generation iPod is a more affordable, slightly downgraded version of the old one. The wider implications could be that we will see a mini iPhone launching in around September time alongside the IPhone 5s.