The 7th-gen iPod touch we saw appear in 2019 was something of a surprise – before that, Apple hadn't refreshed its dedicated music player since 2015 – but apparently the pocketable jukebox isn't dead yet, with another model rumored to be on the way this year.
That's according to MacRumors contributor @SteveMoser (opens in new tab) and tipster @AppleLe257 (opens in new tab) on Twitter, although they're keen to label this as a 'rumor' rather than a 'leak' – so it sounds like it's something that's been heard in passing from inside sources, rather than something there is hard evidence for.
There are a couple of reasons we're inclined to believe it: number one, Apple's recent announcement of a lossless upgrade for Apple Music, and number two, it's the 20th anniversary of the original iPod this year.
We've got renders too, courtesy of @Apple_Tomorrow (opens in new tab), but it's worth emphasizing that these are based on specs and features that are being talked about – these aren't taken from any images or diagrams sourced from Apple, so bear in mind that they're slightly speculative at this point.
It looks as though the 8th-gen iPod touch could come in a variety of colors – like the iPhone 12 and the new iMac – and with a long-overdue upgrade to Face ID as well. The rest of the specs remain something of a mystery, though we'd be amazed if the current screen size of 4 inches wasn't upgraded.
We haven't heard much in the way of 8th-gen iPod touch rumors up to this point, and it felt as though Apple had largely forgotten about it. As Moser points out though, the iPod was mentioned (opens in new tab) in Apple Music promotional material pushed out in November.
So when might we see this colorful new music player? The usual tipsters (opens in new tab) are already hinting that we're going to see new hardware appear at the WWDC 2021 developer conference, which could potentially include this new iPod touch when it gets underway on June 7.
If not then, it might show up later in the year, around September or October time. Apple seems to be on schedule to launch its new iPhone 13 handsets in September, though it often has a hardware event in October as well.
Via XDA Developers (opens in new tab)