Apple today made a quiet update to its iPod touch lineup, launching a new 16 GB fifth-generation model without a rear camera for $229. The new iPod touch, which is only available with a black front and silver back, replaces the fourth-generation iPod touch that Apple had continued to offer since the introduction of new models late last year. The new model is available now in Apple’s online store and should be available in the company’s retail stores starting tomorrow.
New design aside, there are a series of notable additions for the new low-end iPod touch. Removing the rear-facing camera and 16 GB of storage from the higher-end iPod models, Apple could reach the $229 price point, which is $70 cheaper than the fifth-generation iPod family. Keeping the front-facing camera (bumped to a 1.2 MP “HD” status) allows Apple to keep FaceTime and ensure basic compatibility with third-party iOS camera apps.
Apple is, essentially, future-proofing the iPod touch family: adding Lightning, a taller Retina screen, a dual-core A5 chip, faster WiFi on the 5GHz band, and, presumably, more RAM than the 256 MB found in the fourth-gen iPod, the new 16 GB iPod touch will certainly be capable of running iOS 7 and future updates. It’ll be interesting to see if iOS 7 will run on the just-discontinued iPod touch 4th gen, which had less RAM than the iPhone 4 (512 MB), also released in 2010.