My oldest daughter turned eleven over the weekend. As a sign of growing up, she asked for money instead of gifts. Her goal is to save enough money for either a Kindle Fire or an Apple iPod Touch. We are an iPad family, having acquired an Apple iPad 2 when they were first introduced in April 2011. But like the Coke bottle in the cult film The Gods Must Be Crazy, we only have one tablet that is unhappily shared amongst three children. My wife and I have iPhones, hers is an iPhone 4 and mine is an aging iPhone 3GS. So it makes sense for my daughter to stay in the Apple ecosystem to share our existing app and music collection. Currently she is giving the iPod Touch a slight edge over the Kindle Fire (games, sigh), so I started doing a bit of research over the weekend.
With any high-tech gadget, one has to evaluate whether to buy the current model or wait for the next one. With Apple, you’re never sure when the next model is going arrive, despite all of the rumor and speculation. Whether or not it arrives on March 7, everyone is expecting the iPad 3 sometime before May 2012.
But what about the iPod Touch?
I’ve never been interested in owning an iPod Touch before, so I turned to Wikipedia. The first iPod Touch was introduced in September 2007, shortly after the original iPhone was launched in June 2007. The second generation was introduced in September 2008, a few months after the iPhone 3G. The third generation was introduced in September 2009, a few months after the iPhone 3GS. The fourth and current generation was introduced in September 2010, a few months after the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4S was released in October 2011, a few months later than the typical June release. Although the iPod Touch would benefit from the faster dual-core processor and improved graphics of the 4s, the fifth generation iPod Touch is nowhere to be found. Wouldn’t it have made sense for Apple to simultaneously introduce a new iPod Touch going into the 2011 Christmas retail season rather than waiting a few months?
So I started thinking to myself, what if Apple introduces the fifth-generation iPod Touch along side the iPad 3? Then I had a weird idea.
So here’s my prediction.
When iOS 5 was released last year, the iPod app on the iPhone was renamed to simply “Music”. Clearly, the iPod revolution is winding down and so is the perceived value of the iPod brand. Therefore, Apple will not only release a successor to the iPod Touch during its iPad 3 event, but the new device will be rebranded as an iPad, possibly the “iPad Nano”. I’m undecided if Apple will introduce a medium-sized tablet to “compete” with the Kindle Fire. If there is a mid-sized iPad (let’s call it the “iPad Mini”), I predict that the iPad 2 and its inferior camera will disappear from the model line-up. If there isn’t, then the iPad 2 will remain at a lower price point to the iPad 3’s (and possibly refreshed with a better camera). I wouldn’t expect more than 3 members to the Apple iPad family.
In any case, I think I’ve convinced my daughter to wait for the iPad 3 event before purchasing an iPod Touch.
What do you think Apple’s future iPad plans are?