Apple’s never had a good fortune in the speaker game
A few days ago, the Cupertino company proved again that they aren’t really competitive in the smart speaker game. As in, Apple discontinued the HomePod, their Siri-powered smart speaker. Now for us, this isn’t news at all because we have seen something very similar in the past with the Apple Hi-Fi speaker system. We’ve always wondered why in spite of the great sound quality and the Apple ecosystem, the speakers the company outed were all unsuccessful.
Putting the Hi-Fi speaker aside, the HomePod, It seems like, Siri not being that smart and a failure on Apple’s part to unlock more possibilities with regards to being stuck on Apple Music service. As in, there were never really good third-party music software experiences with the HomePod.
And yes, the elephant in the room was the launch (2018) price of $349 when rivals brought out much cheaper ones. Later down the line, the price was dropped to $299 but by that time there were even more alternatives flooded in the market. However, you might want to grab the HomePod as it is still available for purchase but until supplies last.
Today, the HomePod mini takes the baton. We feel this could be their last chance to stay afloat in the smart speaker segment. The HomePod Mini is available for just $99, which may be enticing to a lot of potential buyers, and who knows if the same smoothens out everything for Apple. And building and reflecting upon this very matter, we feel Apple needs to not consider but in actuality just turn the off the lights off iPod Touch.
The iPod was once a cash grab for Apple!
You see, there is no denying the fact that it is the iPod portable music player that revolutionized the mobile audio experience since its debut in 2001. On that note, we also would like to remember the good old Walkman from Sony that ruled the audio world before the industry went all digital. Anyways, back to the point, fast forward to 2007, Steve Jobs brought in the iPhone which flipped the smartphone scene. In that same year, the company took the wraps off the iPod touch 1st generation which was basically an iPhone 2G without 2G, that is network connectivity.
Moving on, over the years, Apple brought out new iPod touch generations almost every year much like the iPhone. However, post-2010, apple skipped the yearly release flow and introduced a revamped iPod touch in 2012. Now, this is where things started to get rattly. That very same year, we got the iPhone 5 with a larger 4″ display as opposed to 3.5″ in previous iPhones. Banking upon that, the iPod touch 5th generation was released which was based on the iPhone 5 form-factor but with the A5 chip from the iPhone 4S.
For three years, the iPod touch was not updated to keep up with the times. This was a red flag that rang the bell indicating that Apple wasn’t keen on supporting the iPod platform anymore. As they were heavily invested in the development of the iPhone and Mac lineup. In 2015, the 6th gen iPod touch disappointingly debuted. The form factor hardly did change and pretty much everything felt exactly the same except for the A8 chip and 8MP sensor from the iPhone 6.
Speaking of which, the iPhone 6 had a 4.7″ display but that change wasn’t reflected in the iPod touch, which was a shame. As usual, Apple kept updating their iPhone lineup year over year with 2017 being the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, the iPhone X was introduced. The X had a bezel-less design and again the iPod touch failed to reflect on that too.
What’s up with the aging iPod touch today? Does it need to retire?!
In 2019, Apple outed the latest 7th generation iPod touch to the masses and at present, it retails for $199 ($269 in India!). And we were taken aback (in a very bad way though) as to how they were/are even trying this one out. It has the same 4″ display from 2012, a camera from the iPhone 6, and no Touch ID (headphone jack is here though!).
As mediocre as the specs feel, it is still not worse than its purpose to stay in the market. Why you may ask? Because Apple’s iPhone lineup starts from $399 all the way up to $1399. Meaning, you can get the iPhone SE 2020 for $399, which is $200 more (well worth the extra money for the flagship-grade specs on offer) compared to the outdated iPod touch packing a below-average spec sheet.
Who’s going out for a dedicated audio device today when smartphones have gone ahead of time? Even though the A10 Fusion chip is still blazing fast today (with regards to the iPod touch), we strictly do not recommend it at all. Oh, and by the way, the battery endurance is just mediocrity at its best.
Thank you for reading.