The newly redesigned iPod Touch and iPod Nano take an unexpected twist.
Like clockwork, Apple never fails to refresh its iPod lineup every fall. In recent years, though, one can't help but notice that the ritualized iPod unveiling has lost some of its gusto compared with the fanfare surrounding the iPhone and iPad.
Still, Apple remains the top manufacturer of portable media players. Those of us old enough to remember the "iPod wars" that occurred nearly a decade ago can attest to the fact that Apple's tenacity in making the world's most popular MP3 player laid the groundwork for the success of the iPhone (pour one out for the Zune, friends). Apple may have moved on to bigger, better products, but maintaining its dominance in the diminishing world of MP3 players is just good housekeeping.
And so, the 2012 Apple iPod lineup offers a mix of new and old. The most notable additions are the 5th-gen iPod Touch with its larger screen, and the iPhone-ified version of the iPod Nano. Both devices (for better or worse) make use of Apple's new Lightning connection in place of the 30-pin dock connection that's been around for years.