The iPhone and iPod touch are closely related — and not just because they look alike. Both devices run the same operating system and thus have the same key features: FaceTime video conferencing, support for Siri, iCloud, and iMessage, for example. But despite sharing many software features, the two devices are very different. You can see that by looking at them, of course, but the differences go much deeper than just the surface level.
Processor: A8 vs. A11
Processing horsepower doesn’t matter in quite the same way on mobile devices as it does on desktop and laptop computers. Still, having newer, more powerful chips is always better. The iPod touch uses the 32-bit A8 chip, which is now several generations old. The iPhones, on the other hand, use the latest chip, which can process data in 64-bit chunks, double what the touch can handle.
- 6th Gen. iPod touch: Apple A8, 32-bit
- iPhone 8: Apple A11 Bionic, 64-bit
- iPhone 8 Plus: Apple A11 Bionic, 64-bit
- iPhone X: Apple A11 Bionic, 64-bit
- iPhone XS: Apple A12 Bionic, 64-bit
Water- and Dust-Proofing
Mobile devices are bound to encounter some mishaps from time to time, especially being dropped or getting wet. The iPod touch doesn’t have much protection against the environment, other than whatever protection an add-on case might offer. The iPhone, on the other hand, is water- and dust-resistant to the IP67 standard, meaning the chances of those damaging elements getting inside your phone—even if you drop it in the water—are low.
- 6th Gen. iPod touch: No
- iPhone 8: Rated IP67
- iPhone 8 Plus: Rated IP67
- iPhone X: Rated IP67
The iPhone XS is rated at IP68, which means it can survive immersion in up to 6 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the iPod touch costs less than any current iPhone model—a lot less. An iPhone X costs $999 and up, while even the cheapest iPhone 8 costs $400 more than the most expensive iPod touch. And that’s before you even factor in the monthly costs for phone and data service on an iPhone, which the touch doesn’t require. You definitely get a lot with an iPhone, but compared to an iPod touch, you pay a lot, too.
- 6th Gen. iPod touch: US$199-$299
- iPhone 8: $699-$849
- iPhone 8 Plus: $799-$949
- iPhone X: $999-$1,149
- iPhone XS: $999-$1,449
With the iPhone XS, Apple introduced a trade-in program unrelated to your carrier’s pricing and trade-in program. If you’ve got a working Apple device in good condition, you can trade it in for a discount off a new iPhone. For example, a good-condition iPhone X will get you a credit of $500 off a 256 GB iPhone XS Max, which otherwise retails for $1,249 directly from Apple.