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July 12, 2010 9:43 PM   Subscribe

iPod Touch Filter: To wait or not to wait?

I played around with my friend's new iPod Touch (third generation) yesterday and I love it. Buying an iPhone is not really feasible in my country at this point, and I already own a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. The 5800 is a good phone, and pretty much matches the Touch feature-wise (as a media player), except that the iPod Touch is SO much better. Wayyy more responsive and better battery life. Not to mention the fact that a lot of useful apps can be installed. Symbian apps are highly disappointing, to say the least.

Here's my question: Should I go out and buy the third generation iPod Touch today (and avail of the free upgrade to iOS 4)? Or would it be smarter to wait for three months to buy the newer model? I don't really want a camera, so if there's any other reason to wait, please tell me.

I've owned an iMac for the past three years (and still going strong), if it makes a difference.
posted by murtagh to Technology (14 answers total)
Alternative: wait three months and buy the old model once its price has decreased significantly.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:48 PM on July 12, 2010 [3 favorites]

it's hard to know how much the new touches will change. Most of the rumors seem to indicate it will have a camera, but other than that no one is even pretending to know. It will probably have faster processors, more ram, but that might not make much difference to the end user.
posted by bluejayk at 9:48 PM on July 12, 2010

Definitely wait.

First off, if you buy the currently available 8GB model, you will not get multitasking, keyboard support, or several other big iOS features. You have to pony up for the 16GB or 32GB models. (The 8GB models in the store are "second generation" while the others are "third generation.")

Secondly, there's no way of knowing what price drops or new features are coming.

For the last 3 years, new iPod Touch models have been released in early September. A little patience now will be well rewarded then.
posted by JDHarper at 10:04 PM on July 12, 2010

Don't Buy - Updates Soon
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:08 PM on July 12, 2010

The Ipod touch was pretty cool for the first month. But it's a little too bug for the gym, and a little to small for anything else. Our's is getting pretty dusty these days except for the occasional wikipedia check from bed. I'd wait a loooong time, see if you're still interested even after the "ooh shiny" wears off...
posted by oblio_one at 10:15 PM on July 12, 2010

I just called the Apple retailer in my city, and they said that the fourth generation iPod Touch will take at least six months to arrive here.
posted by murtagh at 10:20 PM on July 12, 2010

Also, I've never owned an iPod, and am curious as to whether the sound quality is really as good as everyone says it is. Will I be able to use large headphones with it as well?
posted by murtagh at 10:23 PM on July 12, 2010

Will I be able to use large headphones with it as well?

If your headphones have a 3.5mm plug, yes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:11 PM on July 12, 2010

Your local Apple retailer won't know when the new models are shipping until they're actually announced, same as everyone else. What they do know is that you're more likely to come in and buy one today if you think the new ones won't ship until 2011.

How well it'll drive "large" headphones depends on the headphones, but my MDR-V6s sound great.
posted by Lazlo at 11:18 PM on July 12, 2010

I just called the Apple retailer in my city, and they said that the fourth generation iPod Touch will take at least six months to arrive here.
Lazlo is right: your retailer probably knows nothing (and is certainly not authorized to say anything) about unannounced plans for release schedules of new hardware. Ignore anything they say about that.
posted by caek at 1:20 AM on July 13, 2010

Your local Apple retailer won't know when the new models are shipping until they're actually announced, same as everyone else.

The iPod touches have all been released in September in US, except for one update (more storage) the following February, as near as I can tell. Yes, that doesn't mean Apple is 100% for sure going to release a new model this September. But the retailer may very well have a reasonable idea of how long it will take the new model to reach their country, based on past September US releases.
posted by 6550 at 5:59 AM on July 13, 2010

I bought an iPod touch (newest model, 8GB) in May after swearing never to buy an iPod again. I know that the subsequent models will get much better, but I am finding that I really like it, especially the fact that it has assigned volume buttons.

Like you, I have a perfectly good phone and no interest in paying AT&T a monthly fee. I spend most of my time around wifi, so, apart from the phone-y features, I feel like I get everything I need from my iPod Touch.

I don't use it a ton to surf the internet, but it's useful for things that updates a lot or that you read quickly. Great for status updates and keeping you off the computer when you're at home. Just last week, I was in a city I'm not from, and was able to get google maps directions all day long just by picking up wifi signals from coffee shops and bars along the way. I think the sound is as good as any other mp3 player I've used, but I'm always waiting for the headphone input break like it has on my previous iPods. It also seems to interact with my computer more reliably than older models.

If it had a camera, I'd think it was perfect. But since we don't know if that's ever coming, and if you're looking more for an iPod than a mobile web device, I say go for it.
posted by activitystory at 6:27 AM on July 13, 2010

I have been using my 2nd generation iPod Touch for a year and a half now, and I really love it. Only recently have I jailbroken it, and I really wish I had done so earlier, the added functionality is amazing. Namely - my device is not compatible with most of the iOS 4 key features (multitasking for example), but thanks to the jailbreaking I already have that functionality built in (as well as a little tweak to show my free memory beside the clock so that I don't push the system, as its lack of ram is why it is not compatible with the updates).

I carry it around with me pretty much all the time, whether to listen to music, watch videos, or to check the weather (which has become important in my new job as a farmer). The one feature that I really really miss is a camera. Also, living in a rural area, I think I could benefit from a phone with a more high quality signal for voice calls. It is getting to the point now where I am considering buying a jailbroken iPhone 3GS (now at a lower price due to the iPhone 4 introduction) and either using it with no phone functionality or to unlock it and use my pay-as-you-go card for voice-only. That way I have the camera functionality I want (though not a front-facing camera), the device will be more easy to use with a VoIP application, it will eliminate carrying around my phone, and I can rely on my Wifi to deal with data just as I am already.

However I think I will wait until the updates are released in two months to the line, just in case they release a model with a camera. With their last update in 2009 they took pains to NOT add these features to the iPod Touch line, as I believe they didn't want to gouge part of their phone market and also wanted to distinguish the Touch as more of a casual gaming and media device rather than a mini iPhone. However I would almost bet that they will be adding a camera to this year's update, at least it seems silly not to when they added one to their Nano.
posted by Meagan at 9:20 AM on July 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

It's pure speculation but in addition to a camera, the September upgrade may bring the new retina display to the iPod, which means vastly higher resolution. So if this is something that you see yourself using to read e-books or watch a lot of videos, that's another consideration in favor of waiting 3-6 months. Otherwise, more RAM and more disk space are the only guarantees. I have a 3rd Gen Touch and I love the little bastard and don't feel at all limited by either RAM or display resolution.
posted by EL-O-ESS at 9:37 AM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

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