Apple launched a new entry level iPod Touch early Thursday, and also quietly confirmed that they've sold 100 millon of the portable media devices since launching the line in 2007.
Both announcements came, well, without announcements of any sort; the new iPod quietly appeared in Apple's online store last night, and company spokespeople mentioned the sales milestone in a conversation with blogger Jim Dalrymple. There isn't a related press release to be found.
The $229 device features the same slim form factor, A5 chip, 4" Retina display and iOS 6 operating system as Apple's other Touch models, but lacks the rear-facing camera and larger storage capacities of the previous Touches. Available only in one configuration (16GB of storage paired with a black & silver finish), the newest iPod will ship within 24 hours and be available in Apple retail stores tomorrow.
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For all the attention iPad and iPhone duly garner, iPod Touch is a pretty stunning piece of technology. Measuring a scant 6.1 mm front-to-back and weighing just over three ounces, the sixth-gen Touch is amazing to hold. The new 16-GB model retains the 4" display and front-facing camera that make it so popular for gaming and video chat/selfie photo sharing. In other words, it's perfect for the teenager in your life who's adept at sniffing out open WiFi networks but can't pay his own $80/month iPhone bill.
Curious is the fact that Apple added the new model under the radar instead of using either CEO TIm Cook's appearance at D11 this past Tuesday or the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference to launch the device. While it's not entirely out of character for Apple to slip a relatively low-profile new device out into the wild without much hoopla, the company's marketing teams have to be aware of what they've just done to fan the flames of the "Cheap iPhone" rumor mill.
Which was probably the point.