Apple Weekly News Roundup: Sixth gen iPod Touch launches, A9 production ramps up for iPhone 6s debut and more

Apple launches sixth generation iPod Touch.

The iPod is still clinging to life, as Apple released its latest generation last Wednesday. In the brand's first refresh in two years, the sixth generation iPod Touch upgraded to a 64-bit A8 processor and an 8 megapixel camera. A 128GB model was added to the lineup and the device is now available in several new colors. The iPod nano and Shuffle are now available in new colors as well. The Touch starts at $199 for a 16GB model.

With the traditional iPhone launch time (mid to late September) rapidly approaching, Apple's supply chain partners have reportedly ramped up A9 processor production. The new chip, which is manufactured by Samsung and TMSC will power the so called iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

Rumors about the next generation iPhone have ramped up as well. One surfaced last week regarding the iPhone 6s Plus. Details of the handset's casing were leaked as a source described it as being roughly the same size as the current iPhone 6 Plus, but a bit sturdier and not quite as smooth. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reported that the new iPhone will be slightly wider, taller and thicker, increasing the first two dimensions by .15 mm and the last by .02 mm. The new Force Touch feature likely required the size increase.

A rumor regarding iPad's future surfaced last week as well. According to the report, the iPad Air will not be refreshed in 2015, but the mini will, and it may be that unit's last. The iPad Pro may be unveiled in November.

A week after the iOS 8.4 launch, Apple seeded the first iOS 8.4.1 beta to developers. It reportedly includes bug fixes and minor tweaks, and could be the last update before iOS 9 is released in September.

It came to light last week that Apple is in discussions with carriers about a universal standard for e-SIM cards. The embedded SIM cards would allow subscribers to sign up for any network and easily switch networks at any time. Samsung is apparently involved in the talks as well, along with a number of carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile and Vodafone among others.

On Thursday Apple launched an App Store promotion, "Amazing Apps & Games for 99¢." As the title suggests, there are currently a number of productivity apps and games available at big discounts. There are 24 titles in all, notably Pixelmator, Scanner Pro 6 and Trivia Crack.