Apple could launch a brand new iPod music player as soon as Tuesday, a new report suggests.
The latest surprise revelation from this week’s iOS 11 final build leak is the possibility of a brand new Apple iPod. We’ve seen all manner of titbits uncovered from the Gold Master iOS 11 leak – that’s the official general release version, coming to users shortly – but nothing has surprised us as much as this.
Prolific tipster Benjamin Geskin has spent some time digging in the iOS 11 code, and discovered a line that reads “Unlock your iPod with your face”, in a string for the setup.app file:
It’s still currently possible to buy an iPod Touch from Apple, although there’s no current face-unlocking feature. The new iPhone 8 (or is that iPhone X?) is tipped to get a 3D facial recognition system on the front to allow face-based user authentication, but existing iPod models aren’t equipped with the technology.
This could be an early sign that Apple may be working on a brand new iPod, which touts similar facial recognition systems to the upcoming iPhone.
It’s heavily rumoured that the new iPhone will feature facial recognition as a way to eschew fingerprint scanning, which makes it possible to fill more of the front of the phone with screen. If Apple is adopting this design for the iPhone, it’s only a small leap to apply it to an iPod Touch too.
Apple typically follows a 2-3 year release cycle for iPod models, with the iPod Touch arriving in the following years:
With that in mind, it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to assume Apple will debut a 7th-generation version of the device in 2017. It’s not clear if there’s still a massive market for devices that store audio, given the popularity of streaming services like Spotify and the proliferation of smartphones, but cheap storage components could make it possible to provide huge-capacity iPod Touch models relatively cheaply.
In any case, Apple hasn’t confirmed such an announcements, so we’ll have to wait and see what CEO Tim Cook debuts during the iPhone launch event on Tuesday, September 12.
Related: iPhone 7S
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