Apple’s iPod Lineup to See Refresh This Year ➝

Neil Hughes, reporting for AppleInsider:

A source familiar with Apple’s future product plans indicated that Apple’s iPods — specifically the largest-screened model, the iPod touch — are expected to see an update later this year.

The source suggested that Apple could retain the same 4-inch screen size as the current iPod touch model, though they didn’t offer any certainty on that front.

He goes on to suggest that Apple is likely to reuse parts from the iPhone lineup in the new iPod touch. But, what if the iPod touch is to the Apple Watch what the iPad is to the iPhone? What if, instead of reusing parts from the iPhone, Apple builds a beefier version of the S1 (maybe call it the S1X) that’s intended to run a full installation of iOS?

There’s no need to worry about Apple having economies of scale with the iPhone, they’re going to continue selling enough units to be able to maintain inexpensive manufacturing costs. But, building efficiencies in the manufacturing of the Watch is a little more difficult. Even if the Watch is a smash-hit it’s unlikely to ever outsell the iPhone.

Sharing parts (or similar parts, as the case may be) between the Apple Watch and iPod touch could be a clever way to get the manufacturing of both products combined up to a scale that’s closer to that of the iPhone. This, of course, would help lower the cost to manufacture those parts and help keep their margins high while maintaining a price point that doesn’t have the benefit of beingobfuscated by cellular contract subsidies.

Or, they could just continue designing the iPod touch with the same parts they’ve used in previous iPhone models. But, thinking about the iPod touch as more of a peer to the Apple Watch than the iPhone makes a lot of sense to me.