After announcing the new iPhone 5 on Wednesday morning, Apple(s aapl) showed off the new and improved iPod touch. In many ways the device is a blend of the new iPhone 5 and prior models. Like the new phone, the iPod touch gets the same 4-inch, 1136 x 640 resolution touchscreen but is even thinner at 6.1 millimeters. Other improvements include a faster processor — the A5 from older iPhones — over the prior touch model, aluminum back with a choice of five colors, faster Wi-Fi and better cameras.
Short of adding GPS and mobile broadband connectivity, the iPod touch has all the bells and whistles of an iPhone and will likely be a hit seller this holiday. A new wrist strap called the “iPod touch loop” makes it both easier to carry and reminds me of the strap you’d see on a point-and-shoot camera.
Indeed, with a better 5 megapixel, backlit camera sensor, LED flash, autofocus and the new panorama mode in iOS 6, the new iPod touch can certainly take the place of a traditional camera for many. Picture samples shown at Apple’s event looked vastly better than from the last iPod touch model. The front facing camera is now a 720p iSight version for FaceTime and other video calls.
In terms of connectivity, the new iPod touch gains the same Wi-Fi improvements as the iPhone 5: Up to 150 Mbps wireless with 802.11 a/b/g/n support with 2.4- and 5 GHz bands for 802.11n. Bluetooth 4.0 with low energy is also included, so health-gadgets, such as my Wahoo Blue Heart Rate monitor should work nicely. The Wi-Fi can now be used for AirPlay mirroring as well and with connectivity, iPod touch users can take advantage of Siri, Apple’s personal digital assistant software.
One difference for this model is the aluminum back, which is available in multiple colors. Apple says the new iPod touch can play music for 40 hours and will be available in October, with prices at $299 for 32 GB and $399 for 64 GB of storage. Pre-orders begin September 14; the same day as the iPhone 5. How fitting!