updated 06:01 pm EDT, Wed October 24, 2012
iPad mini and iPhone taking over for media player
Apple's latest iPod touch, introduced alongside the iPhone 5, represents a significant overhaul of the previous generation, however KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the media player is at the end of its product life cycle. Sales of the flagship iPod are said to have already been affected by the iPhone, and are expected to be further diminished by the new iPad mini.
The cheapest iPod touch costs $299, compared to $329 for the iPad mini, while the iPhone 5 can be purchased for $199 due to carrier subsidization. The iPhone 4S is available for even less, and the iPhone 4 can be obtained for free.
Kuo suggests the sales impact from the iPad mini and iPhones has led Apple to place the Touch in the "final stage" of its life cycle, according to details of the research note posted by AppleInsider. The device is unlikely to disappear, however the company is not expected to make significant investments in its ongoing development.
iPod sales growth has slowed as the popularity of smartphones, wether the iPhone or competing platforms, has continued to surge. The iPod touch still serves a niche, providing access to the App Store and serving as a handheld game console that competes with Sony's Vita and Nintendo's 3DS.