It would seem that Apple’s hardware plans have been inadvertently revealed by the latest beta release of iOS. iOS 12.2 was recently made available to developers and not only references a new iPod Touch – a device which hasn’t figured in Apple’s plans for some time – but also some new iPad models.
The code – unearthed by developer and serial snooper Stephen Troughton-Smith – appears to indicate that Apple is about to broaden its hardware family, although there’s obviously no timescale on when this is likely to happen.
While the last iPod Touch model – the 6th gen version, originally released in 2015 – is still part of Apple’s lineup, it has been largely forgotten by the firm; the £200 currently being asked by Apple for a 32GB model is also somewhat laughable – and the fact that you have to wait between 2 to 4 weeks to get it would suggest Apple agrees, as stock is clearly low.
However, a ‘new’ iPod Touch in 2019 might not look exactly how you expect, at least if the code found in iOS 12.2 is to be believed. It looks like this new model won’t have any biometric identification system – not even TouchID – so you’ll still have to use an old-fashioned passcode to unlock it. In 2019, that seems rather naff, but perhaps Apple will drastically reduce the price and aim this device squarely at the kiddies?
The code has some equally interesting info on the ‘new’ iPads. TouchID is mentioned, but the more recent FaceID – which recently made its debut on the iPad Pro – is absent. Four different iPad models are noted, which could suggest that the iPad Mini, which, like the iPod Touch, hasn’t been refreshed since 2015, is due for a revival. As for the other models, we could be looking at WiFi and cellular variants, as is usually the case with these products.
So when are these products likely to appear? Given that they’re mentioned in iOS 12.2, it’s likely that they could be released in the first half of this year; there would be little point in Apple including them within the OS if it didn’t plan to roll them out sooner rather than later.
Given the relatively small-scale of these devices – the iPod Touch is unlikely to be a massive seller in 2019 – it wouldn’t be unheard of for Apple to simply push them to market without a grand press conference, but if anything happens, you can be assured we’ll cover it.
Source: The Independent