Apple has sold more than 100m of its iPod touch PMPs, the company has confirmed, with the latest variant on the best-selling media player being revealed earlier today. The touchscreen gadget launched in its first generation back in 2007, and has since sold in excess of 100 million units, Apple told The Loop; this morning, a $229 16GB iPod touch with a 4-inch Retina display was made official.
The new model marks the demise of the 3.5-inch iPod touch, which Apple had kept around following the launch of the 5th-gen 4-inch model to cater to the entry level market. However, there are a few compromises to be made to hit that price, not least the removal of the rear 5-megapixel iSight camera.
Apple’s cheapest iPod touch also loses the lanyard ring, and is only available in the single color: metallic silver.
At the last count – back in July 2012 – Apple said it had sold 82m of the iPod touch. It’s an impressive climb in the intervening period, particularly given widespread industry predictions that smartphones – such as Apple’s own iPhone – would kill off dedicated media players given they were capable of all their functionality and more.
Instead, the iPod touch did the unthinkable, and ramped up the pressure on dedicated gaming handhelds from Sony and Nintendo. The rise of 99-cent games in the App Store, and the regular bumps in processing and graphics performance the iPod was capable of, meant picking up a specific device solely for gaming began to pale in its appeal.
Meanwhile, the majority of Apple’s focus has arguably shifted to the iPhone and iPad, though the iPod touch sales announcement suggests that the PMP has not been entirely left behind. Whether it also means that the 3.5-inch screen size is soon to be retired completely – meaning the demise of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is also relatively imminent – remains to be seen, though there are long-standing rumors of a cheaper iPhone (potentially being made by Pegatron) that would presumably offer the same 4-inch screen size of the iPhone 5.