Apple on Thursday lowered prices of its declining-in-interest iPod Touch portable media players and upgraded the cheapest option to include the same rear camera and color varieties as its brethren.
The 64-gigabyte version of the newest iPod Touch, at $299, is now $100 cheaper. The 32-gigabyte version came down to $249 from $299. The 16-gigabyte version, now with a rear-facing camera, costs $199 instead of $229.
The price drops hint that Apple is trying to clear store shelves ahead of the release of a new set of iPods, which have seen new introductions about every two years since an initial release in 2001. The current set of iPod Touch devices went on sale in Sept. 2012. Some analysts have also speculated that Apple will scrap iPods in favor of a focus on iPhones and smartwatches.
Apple sold just 2.8 million iPods in the first three months of this year, its lowest total in a decade and one that accounted for 1% of the company's revenue in the financial quarter. Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, the company has sold fewer and fewer iPods in general. Even during the holiday season, when iPod sales see a bump, the spikes have been shorter.
Apple still dominates the noncellular, portable media market because of minimal solid competition despite attempts by Sony and Microsoft over the years.
Apple said in a press release that the reduced-price iPod Touch devices would ship with iOS 7, but can be upgraded to iOS 8 when the operating system becomes available in the fall. All the iPod Touches have 4-inch displays.