Today Apple released a new version of the iPod Touch. The previous model of the iPod Touch was released back in 2012, and over time it has seen a few changes with the addition of a 16GB model without a rear-facing camera, and then the camera being added back to it further down the road. This 2015 model of the iPod Touch is an evolutionary improvement, but still the biggest improvement to the product that we've seen in quite some time. To see what has changed, you can check out the chart below for a comparison of the 2012 iPod Touch and this new 2015 edition.

  iPod Touch (2012) iPod Touch (2015)
SoC Apple A5
2 x Cortex A9 at 800MHz
Apple A8
2 x Typhoon at 1.1GHz
GPU PowerVR SGX543MP2 PowerVR GX6450
NAND 16/32/64GB 16/32/64/128GB
Display 4.0" 1136x640 IPS LCD
Dimensions 58.6 x 123.4 x 6.1 mm, 88g
Camera 5MP rear-facing
1.2MP front-facing
8MP F/2.4 rear-facing
1.2MP F/2.2 front-facing
Other Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, Lightning connector 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.1, Lightning connector
Price $199 $199/249/299/399

By far the biggest improvement with the 2015 iPod Touch is the adoption of Apple's A8 SoC. This brings the internal hardware of the iPod Touch up to par with the iPhone, which is something we haven't really seen since the third generation iPod Touch as the fourth gen didn't have the 512MB of RAM of the iPhone 4, and the fifth gen used Apple's A5 SoC while the iPhone 5 sported A6. Along with the obvious improvements to performance that Apple's Typhoon cores bring when compared to the dual Cortex A9 cores in A5, there's also a doubling of memory and significant increase in memory bandwidth. Moving to A8 also brings Apple's latest ISP, which allows for features like slow-mo video recording and larger panoramas which were not possible on the previous iPod Touch. Interestingly enough, the iPod Touch is like the iPad Air 2 in that it's limited to 1080p30 video and 720p120 slow-mo, while the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can record 1080p60 and 720p240 video. 

As for the cameras themselves, the 5MP rear-facing camera of the previous iPod Touch has been bumped to an 8MP sensor. It's likely that we're looking at the same F/2.4 sensor with 1.1 micron pixels as the iPad Air 2, but this would require a deeper look to confirm. The front camera is still 1.2MP, but it has the wider F/2.2 aperture from the front cameras on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple's A8 ISP also enables features like single-shot HDR for photos taken with the front-facing camera.

Other changes include a new 128GB capacity, and the addition of 802.11ac WiFi connectivity. Apple's listing for Bluetooth 4.1 support also confirms that their Bluetooth software stack has been updated to that version.

As far as the design and form factor of the iPod Touch goes, the 2015 model is unchanged from the 2012 model. Apple has revamped the selection of colors you can choose, but the chassis itself is exactly the same. This means that's we're still looking at a 4" 1136x640 IPS display, rather than the 4.7" or 5.5" displays found on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Buyers interested in the iPod Nano or iPod Shuffle should note that the new colors for the iPod Touch have also been brought over to Apple's other iPods as well.

Despite its improvements, the 2015 iPod Touch maintains the same price. It starts at $199 for 16GB, with a $50 increase bringing you to 32GB, an additional $50 to get 64GB, and another $100 to get 128GB. This makes the 128GB model the same price as two of the 16GB models, which is a lot of money for some flash memory.

In any case, the new iPod Touch is definitely a welcomed improvement over the 2012 model. This update means that the Apple A5 SoC no longer exists in any iOS products, with the exception of the Apple TV which has no app store. A8 represents an enormous leap over A5 in every respect, and users will definitely notice the improvements in speed when running iOS 8 and soon iOS 9. I'm not sure of exactly how large the market for a device like the iPod Touch is with how ubiquitous the smartphone has become, but with Apple updating the line there's obviously some group of users who are interested in a product like the iPod Touch. For those users, the 2015 iPod Touch appears to be the best model yet.

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  • modulusshift - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - link

    Your pricing is wrong. Four models, starting at $199, 249, 300, 400. Not sure what you're talking about.
  • Brandon Chester - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - link redirected me to the Canadian site. My bad.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - link

    The Canadian dollar is really hampering any electronics purchasing plans for me right now :(

    Spec out a budging gaming build under 800? Whoops, clicked the wrong flag, welcome to your 1000 dollar rig, plus my provinces ridiculous 15% sales tax.
  • WinterCharm - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - link

    Yikes :(
  • Brandon Chester - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - link

    Looks like it just took another dive today too. RIP.
  • iWatchHogwash - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    Other Apple news not mentioned here:

    Apple Watch sales fall by 90 per cent

    Apple has another lemon

    It is turning out exactly as we said – sales of Apple's latest cure for cancer have slumped to a shadow of their initial "glory."

    While the Tame Apple Press and a big chunk of analysts sung praises for the iWatch, claiming it would sell 70 million in its first year. We pointed out that the gizmo was nearly two years out of date and lacked most of the software which would make it moderately useful and if it succeed it was a triumph of user stupidity and marketing.

    Lately analysts have been slowly withdrawing the enthusiastic sales figures they gave the watch, and now a new survey has shown that sales have fallen by 90 per cent.

    Apple is selling fewer than 20,000 watches a day in the US since the initial surge in April, and on some days fewer than 10,000. This is not too bad, but it does suggest that most people who wanted an iWatch have one, and existing users are not managing to win many converts amongst their friends to make it take off. For the record to make the 70 million figure apple would have to sell 195,000 a day.

    Data collected by Slice Intelligence show that Two-thirds of the watches sold so far have been the lower-profit "Sport" version, whose price starts at $349, according to Slice, rather than the costlier and more advanced models that start at $549. Apple's gold "Edition" model priced at $10,000 or more has only sold 2,000 of them have been sold in the US.

    The figures are based on the electronic receipts sent to millions of email addresses following purchases. The company conducts market research on behalf of consumer-goods companies, among others, many of them in the Fortune 500.

    All up though these figures are not bad, but they are not the sort of numbers which Apple needs to convince its investors that it can make mega sales any more. With sales drying up in China, Jobs mob will not have a good bottom line this year.

  • iWatchHogwash - Friday, July 17, 2015 - link

    And regarding the yearly recurring iCrap (TM) spill:

    A9 chip production starts

    Delayed by Apple

    Samsung and TSMC have started production of the chip which is supposed to be under the bonnet of the iPhone 6s.

    Dubbed the A9, the chip's production was delayed by Jobs' Mob who insisted on last minute layer changes which mean that both chipmakers to rework wafers.

    The rumours said that the modifications are not expected to impact the release schedule of the next-generation iPhone so unfortunately it will be still ready in time.

    Apple's iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and new iPod touch are powered by the A8 chip, but the A9 uses TSMC 16nm process.

    TMSC is also expected to manufacture fingerprint sensors and audio chips on a contract basis for future iPhones.

    At the moment it is not clear what Samsung is doing, it seems the eastern leakers of the reports come from TSMC. A9 chip production in July is considered reasonable if the next iPhone is expected to launch in two months.

    The Tame Apple press is gearing up to claim that Apple order "a record-breaking" 85-90 million "iPhone 6s" units from suppliers by the end of 2015. If it does, it is ignoring the downturn in the smartphone industry generally and the fact that its crucial Chinese market is moving away from Apple products. So if the Tame Apple Press is telling the truth then Apple is going to have a lot of iPhones in its warehouse gathering dust.

    Other than the A9 the "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" are expected to be announced in September. They will be pretty much the same as the iPhone 6 with the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes 2GB of RAM, Force Touch, a faster Qualcomm LTE chip, an improved 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and 7000 Series aluminium.

    The overall design of the smartphones will likely be nearly identical to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus so it will be super flexible. Most users will not be able to notice any difference at all.

  • Chidoro - Sunday, September 3, 2017 - link

    It's funny to go back and read comments like this just to see how wrong they are. Especially when their is so much piss and vinegar in its tone.
  • psychobriggsy - Thursday, July 16, 2015 - link

    15% is pretty good, if you look at sales taxes over most first world countries.

    And sales tax is one way to get past the issue of corporations not paying their due corporate taxes due to tax avoidance schemes.
  • Vanditz - Thursday, July 16, 2015 - link

    Or 50% of Americans paying no income tax. I'm part of the 1% that pay 70% of our contrey's taxes, but you keep on blaming those bad corporations that create jobs to hire you......

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