May 30, 2013: Apple marks the sale of the 100 millionth iPod touch by launching a new, stripped-down model with a budget price of $229.
The new 16GB music player lacks some features of its high-end siblings. However, the smaller price tag and a savvy selfie cam make it appealing to new customers.
By 2013, the iPhone had long overtaken the iPod, which went on sale in 2007. Nonetheless, Apple’s 100 million milestone proved significant. It demonstrated clearly that a loyal customer base remained for the iPod touch.
A cheaper iPod touch
The new model released in May 2013 couldn’t really be called a sixth-generation iPod touch. (Apple released a proper sixth-gen iPod touch in 2015.) Instead, it was a minor upgrade of the 2012 iPod touch, only without that model’s color options, storage capacity and 5-megapixel main camera.
What customers did get was the same 4-inch Retina display, dual-core A5 chip, EarPods and two-way Lightning connector as the 2012 model, but at a lower price. It came with a front-facing 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera for selfies, able to shoot stills at 1,280×960 and video at 1,280×720.
A savvy selfie camera
The cheaper iPod touch arrived just as Oxford Dictionaries dubbed “selfie” the Word of the Year. Focusing on the new device’s selfie camera was a clever way of turning a negative into a positive on Apple’s part.
The device’s dual-core A5 processor made it ideal for mobile gaming. Owners of this iPod touch could take advantage of the ever-growing catalog of cheap games in the App Store.
While certainly not a major iPod release, the silver-and-black 2013 iPod touch upgrade nonetheless did its job. It offered younger customers a more affordable entry point into the Apple ecosystem. After all, as Steve Jobs once said, the iPod touch was intended to be “training wheels for the iPhone.”
The iPod touch’s influence continues to be felt. Just last year, Apple surprised users with a new iPod touch. Powered by a speedy A10 Fusion processor, it was built for gaming and immersive AR experiences on the go. It’s more affordable, too, with prices starting at just $199.
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