Will the iPod return in 2019?

I get a little giddy at the notion of another iPod. It’s almost entirely nostalgic, of course. And Apple long ago abandoned my own favorite, the definitely dead iPod Classic. The Touch, on the other hand, just kind of faded away. “The king is gone, but he’s not forgotten,” Neil Young once sang.

But 2019 could mark a sort of return for the final iteration of the beloved music device — which, toward the end more closely resembled a cellular-free iPhone than any of its predecessors. What form a new iPod Touch might take is uncertain, but a couple of breadcrumbs have suggested that the line might have a little life left in it, after all.

Earlier this month, a report tied to supply chain sources suggested a potential redesign of the hardware. That came alongside news that the iPhone might finally switch to USB-C. That would put the devices in line with the latest iPad Pro, and could signal a larger company-wide shift toward the more ubiquitous port. Whether or not the music-focused product would drop both Lightning and the headphone jack is just one of a million questions around the potential refresh.

This week meanwhile, eagle-eyed Steve Troughton-Smith noted an “iPod 9,1” among the Apple products listed in the iOS 12.2 code. The list also appears to confirm recent rumors around the addition of a new iPad. Tellingly, the iPod listing doesn’t include Face ID or Touch ID, which could be an attempt to keep the device at a reasonable price. 

Of course, the ubiquity of the iPhone and other handsets, along with the exponential growth of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, have dampened the necessity of music-only hardware devices. Still, as I noted in my bit of Palm phone wish-fulfillment, some days an iPod would hit the spot.