New $229 iPod Touch loses rear camera, color options

Apple has quietly released a new, 16GB version of its iconic device and dropped the rear-facing camera to make for a slimmer design. Plus: 100M iPod Touches sold.

Apple quietly began selling a new version of the iPod Touch on Thursday.

The new, fifth-generation 16GB iPod Touch costs $229 -- making it a bit less expensive than the fifth-generation 32GB iPod Touch at $299 and 64GB iPod Touch at $399, both of which were released last fall.

Apple iPod Touch
Meet the new iPod Touch. Apple

Meanwhile, Apple has stopped selling the fourth-generation 16GB iPod Touch with a 3.5-inch screen, which had cost $199.

The new 16GB iPod Touch features a 4-inch Retina Display and is powered by a dual-core A5 processor.

If you purchase the 16GB version of the iPod Touch, however, you will lose the rear-facing camera. The loss of the camera contributes to the slim design of mobile gadget, which weighs about 3 ounces and is 4.86 inches tall and 2.31 inches wide. The front-facing camera remains, though it doesn't feature 1080p video.

The 16GB device has a black front and silver back. The 32GB and 64GB versions are also available in pink, yellow, light blue, and red.

The iPod Touch has been popular over the years. Apple has sold 100 million of the touch-screen iPods since their introduction in 2007, according to blogger Jim Dalrymple at The Loop.

If you want to get your hands on the 16GB model, Apple is selling the new variant in its online store.

Meanwhile, rumors persist that Apple is looking at the development of a cheaper iPhone model to rake in a wider customer base. In an analyst note , Citi Research says the tech giant is heading naturally toward less-expensive models, and this "shift" is considered not only a move toward long-term, rather than short-term, profitability for Apple, but for the tech industry as a whole.

Recent image leaks of an allegedly lower-cost, iPhone have surfaced, suggesting that a cheaper, plastic-cased iPhone may also be on its way. Apple has not confirmed that a less expensive iPhone model is in the works, but considering the quiet introduction of a cheaper iPod Touch and the $329 iPad Mini, it may not be an unrealistic expectation.

Update at 7:36 a.m. PT: Added information on the number of iPod Touch devices that Apple has sold.

 

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