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Clues That Apple Could Be Getting Ready to Debut New iPods

Science & Technology

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(NEW YORK) — Remember the iPod — the pocket-sized jukebox that had fans lining up outside of Apple stores?

Three years since the last release, Apple may be gearing up to debut new iPods, according to several reports.

While it was never really killed off, the iPod faded into the background of the company’s gadget line-up with the rise of the iPhone doubling as both of a phone and music player.

A report from iGen, a French technology website, said Apple is preparing to launch a revamped iPod Touch, along with new colors of the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. MacRumors said it found a lineup of six news colors for the new iPods in iTunes resource files.

It’s important to note Apple has not commented on the rumors — and they could just be that. However, the timing would make plenty of sense.

Apple of course has a history of changing the shape of the music industry. Both the iTunes store and the first iPod were launched in 2001, paving the way for digital downloads. With the debut of Apple Music, it’s possible the launch of new iPods could be another way to get more people on board with Apple’s new music streaming service.

“If Apple subsidized the initial purchase price of an iPod with Apple Music, I could see that driving sales of iPods and Apple Music,” Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told ABC News on Monday.

Peter Csathy, CEO of investment and business consulting firm Manatt Digital Media, has expertise in the world of music streaming. He told ABC News he still sees a need for an iPod in Apple’s ecosystem of products.

“The iPod transformed our experiences as lovers of music. And, in the process, it transformed Apple as a company, bringing it in to the ranks of being a media juggernaut,” he told ABC News in an email. “As a result, ‘iPod’ is a great brand and has the potential to be a much more optimal form factor for on-the-go users (at the gym, running) than the bulkier iPhone and overly minimal Apple Watch.”

Launching a new iPod Touch with faster processing power could also allow Apple to hit a sweet spot in the market of smartphone-like devices that look like an iPhone and mostly act like an iPhone, but don’t have cellular service.

While it’s unclear what a potential new iPod Touch would cost, current models are around $199, allowing Apple to compete with other Android-running players on the market that offer similar functions but a different user experience.

In other words, releasing an updated iPod Touch would allow Apple to continue to build even more brand loyalty for people looking to experience iOS at a price point lower than an iPhone.

If history is any indicator, many of Apple’s big releases happen on a Tuesday. For now, we’ll have to wait and see what, if anything, Apple has planned.

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