A widening gulf appears to be growing separating iPod touch and iPhone owners’ willingness to run the latest Apple operating system software. Only 55 percent of iPod touch users have upgraded to OS 3.0 or higher, in stark contrast to around 95 percent of iPhone owners, a survey indicates.
At the heart of the disparity appears Apple’s decision to charge iPod touch users for upgrading, while OS 3.x is free for iPhone owners. Also, many features in OS 3.0 and higher are targeted toward the iPhone, rather than the non-cellular iPod touch.
“Push notifications? MMS? Tethering? Essentially useless on a device that relies on WiFi for a connection. iPod touch users are essentially asked to pay for copy/paste, in-app purchases, and the ability to buy a segment of the latest apps from the app store,” according to online ad network Chitiki. The Westborough, MA. company based its findings on a sampling of its network traffic.
Unlike iPhone owners, which received free OS upgrades, iPod touch owners were charged $5 to $10, depending on when they purchased the device.
In September, Apple released iPod touch OS 3.1.1., an update of the iPhone Software 3.0 introduced in June. The 3.1.1. update also unveiled a lower price: $4.95. The same month, Apple released a 64GB iPod touch. (A 128GB iPod touch may be in the wings, as word of a new NAND module from Toshiba leaked earlier this month.)
For Apple, the iPod touch is growing in importance. Not only is the touch the one bright spot in declining iPod sales, but the device serves the dual purpose of being a gateway to the iPhone, as well as a gaming alternative to the Nintendo DS.