Apple Debuts First New iPod Touch In Four Years

The iPod was a revolutionary product unveiled by Apple in 2001, one that changed the way people listen to music. It also catalyzed the shift of Apple from a computer company to an all-around consumer electronics company.

More recently, the iPod has fallen behind other Apple products, most notably the iPhone (which debuted in 2007) and the iPad (which followed in 2010). The iPod shuffle and iPod nano have been discontinued, and while iPod refreshes used to arrive yearly, the last iPod of any kind to arrive on the market was the iPod touch iteration which debuted in July of 2015.

That changed Tuesday, with the arrival of a new iPod touch. The seventh-generation iPod touch was announced by the tech giant, and will arrive in stores later this week, per a recent press release from Apple.

The new device includes features that are new to the iPod product line -- including Group FaceTime and augmented reality capability.

The price points for the new iPod touch are $199 for the 32GB model, $299 for the 128GB model, and $399 for the 256GB model, per Apple.

While the iPod models before the iPod touch lineup had featured a clickwheel, the first-ever iPod touch debuted in 2007 -- a few months after the unveiling of the iPhone. Featuring a touchscreen, the iPod touch could do most things the iPhone could do, with the exception of placing phone calls.

The iPod design scheme changed gradually over the course of the ensuing decade, with its design changes often resembling those of the iPhones introduced earlier each year. The first iPod touch only featured Apple's in-house apps -- but, like the iPhone, the development environment was opened to third-party programmers the following year.

After the iPad was introduced in early 2010, the iPod touch began to see a sales dip, and no new iPod touch was introduced in 2011. The iPod touch sales plunge continued, and the last iPod touch -- prior to this latest development -- was introduced in 2015. That same year, Apple stopped including sales of the iPod as an individual line item in its quarterly earnings reports. However, earlier this year, Apple stopped listing sales of individual product lines altogether.

"We're making the most affordable iOS device even better with performance that is twice as fast as before, Group FaceTime and augmented reality starting at just $199," Apple executive Greg Joswiak remarked in the press release. "The ultra-thin and lightweight design of iPod touch has always made it ideal for enjoying games, music and so much more wherever you go."