An update to Apple's dwindling iPod lineup is indeed in the works, Apple's own iTunes software appears to indicate, thanks to graphics showing gold versions of the iPod touch, nano and shuffle, along with new shades of blue and pink.
AppleInsider exclusively reported in April that Apple plans to revisit its media player lineup this year with updated hardware. And Apple itself added to the evidence this week, as the newly released iTunes 12.2 update shows off a trio of new colors not currently available in the current lineup.
The new iPod nano, shuffle and touch can be seen by plugging an existing iPod into a Mac or PC and connecting it to iTunes. The iTunes 12.2 resource file also includes files showing individual models with the new colors, suggesting that the three new options will come to the entire lineup.
The iPod lineup is already available in blue and pink, but the ones pictured in iTunes are significantly different shades than the current offerings. iPods are also available in yellow, but not gold.
The current iPod touch lineup is available in a total of six colors: space gray, silver, pink, yellow, blue, and (product)RED. The iPod shuffle and nano are available in eight colors, adding options for purple and green. The new colors were first spotted by belgium-iphone.
What other changes to the lineup, aside from new colors, might be in the works remain unknown. But it's expected that the new models will debut later this year.
Noticeably, the new iPod touch does not appear to have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor in its home button. Its absence, if accurate, would likely mean that Apple Pay support will not be included in the update.
However, it should also be noted that the iPod touch is shown running iOS 8 with Passbook. Apple's forthcoming iOS 9 update renames the application to Wallet. This could be a mockup error, or it could suggest that new iPods will ship before iOS 9.
AppleInsider's own source indicated that the iPod touch would see an update, but suggested it would retain the same 4-inch screen size.
Though the iPod lineup has not seen any significant changes since late 2012, this year could be an opportune time for an update, as Apple works to further integrates Beats products into its ecosystem. The popular headphone maker was acquired for $3 billion last year.
If previous iPod touch updates are any indication, it's likely that Apple will recycle parts from previous-generation iPhones. Given that the current iPod touch lineup features the A5 chip that was used in the iPhone 4S Apple released in 2012, there are plenty of newer — and more powerful — options for the company to turn to.
The A6 processor introduced in the iPhone 5 continues to be produced for the iPhone 5c, making it a potential candidate for an iPod touch refresh. There's also the A7 processor from the iPhone 5s, which would make the device the first iPod touch with a 64-bit processor.
Another area where the iPod touch could see an upgrade is storage: Apple currently offers its media player in capacities of 16, 32, and 64 gigabytes. But the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus come with a higher-capacity option of 128 gigabytes that could make its way down to the iPod lineup.