Target employees leak inventory listings for new AirPods, Apple TV, iPod touch and more

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Target inventory photos
Are these soon-to-be-released Apple products, supposedly uncovered by Target employees?
Photo: 9to5Mac

Unnamed Target retail store employees are sharing details of what some believe are soon-to-be-released Apple updates using purported images of product listings from the companies retail inventory system.

The supposed new products include Apple AirPods X Generation, a 10.5-inch iPad, a new generation Apple TV, a new iPod touch and a series of new Apple Watch bands. 

The images were released Saturday to 9to5Mac and Front Page Tech analyst Jon Prosser. Prosser then posted them to his Twitter account. 

As shown in the image above and in the images linked to below, the items include:

  • AirPods Gen X with a list price of $400
  • Apple TV‌ Gen X with a list price of $180
  • iPod Touch X Generation with a list price of $400
  • Apple Watch‌ Series X bands with a list price of $50

Leaked Apple product images from Target

The images, supposedly taken of screens from Zebra retail inventory-management scanners, show what appear to be placeholder names of products with pricing. Other listings for each product appear to be either related to multiple color SKUs or retail displays and their associated marketing assets.

The images appear to come straight from the handheld scanners used by store employees to stock items and check product inventory. They also look like images from multiple scanners. An analysis of the images for Cult of Mac by an Adobe Photoshop expert shows the chance of the images being doctored is slim.

It is not clear if the listings truly represent future products or if the listings and pricing are accurate. As with any reports such as these, they should be taken with some skepticism.

Prosser speculates the Xs in the product names are “just placeholders…to hide the real devices.” (Target employees responsible for the photos who spoke to AppleInsider concur with the placeholder hypothesis.)

Prosser also said that because the items are in the company’s inventory system “that launch is most likely within the next month.” However, he offers no concrete evidence or historic reference to make his assumptions.

Speculation … times four

Without much detail, the four products leave some room for assumptions and speculations as to exactly what they are.

The Apple AirPods (X Generation) potentially could be the much-rumored over-the-ear StudioPods headphones. With the purported $400 price tag running a full $150 more than AirPods Pro, it doesn’t appear these could be in the same category as in-ear solutions. The name suggests a low-cost, budget option that to some extent follows recent rumors of “AirPods Pro Lite.”

Some speculate that the “iPod Touch X Generation” is the rumored $400 iPhone SE successor, with six color SKUs listed. If these six SKUs correlate to product colors, that matches the number of colors available for the current iPhone lineup. Others think the product could be a replacement for the high-end iPod touch with 256 GB of storage, but that sounds unlikely.

Prosser and 9to5Mac speculate that the “iPad 10.5 X” is a new iPad Pro model. That product line has not been updated since October 2018.

The reported “Apple TV Gen X” mirrors the current 32GB Apple TV 4K in price at $180, giving more credence to the release of a new Apple TV model. Almost 2-and-a-half years old, there is little argument that the current Apple TV lineup is in need of an upgrade. Its chief competitor, Roku, revamped its product line more than four times in the same period.

New produts at an Apple March event?

These four products have been rumored for months to be introduced at a March Apple event. Prosser reports his sources as saying “Apple still hasn’t decided if they are going to have the March event yet. They say they’re 60/40 on if the event will happen or not.”

Again, Prosser gives no evidence to back up this claim. He also does not explain how Target retail store employees would know the intentions of a third-party product provider.

The multiple reports of new products tied to Target’s inventory system are something not recently seen leaking out from any retailer. And the vague names raise more questions than they answer. We’ll have to wait and see if the inventory listings prove accurate and true evidence of Apple’s real plans for new products.