New iPod Touch available in stores, pre-orders begin shipping

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Despite accepting pre-orders, Apple has maintained only a vague "October" ship date for their latest iPod Touch. However, as of today, it appears units have finally begun shipping from China. If you aren't one of the soon-to-be-delighted customers awaiting their pre-ordered iPod Touch to arrive, it may please you to know that the latest iPod is also now available in stores. Prices are $299 and $399 for the 32GB and 64GB models, respectively.

This release marks the iPod Touch's fifth iteration and arguably constitutes the biggest change-up since the introduction of the device itself. Apple's previous generation, the iPod Touch 4G, was launched in 2010 and was analogous to the iPhone 4. As such, the 5G stands to be a significant upgrade in a few ways.

For starters, it comes in five colors -- three of which have led me to believe Johnny Ive was both abducted by and supplanted with the Easter Bunny. For the record, these colors include a kinda-black, silver aluminum, lemony yellow, a striking aqua blue and a rose pink that's so elegantly pink, it would make Elle Woods blush.

The iPod Touch 5G may be more iPhone-y than ever, too. Their latest offering shares a very strong semblance to the iPhone 5, thanks to Apple's decision to maintain the same button layout as its smartphone counterpart.

Despite the physical similarities though, the 5G is essentially an amalgamation of the iPhone 4S and 5 -- the iPhone 5-like casing houses a dual-core A5 chip a la 4S, but sports Apple's improved (or perhaps not so much) low-light CMOS cameras and a 4-inch 16:9 aspect ratio display. In terms of software, the device is stuffed with FaceTime HD, Siri and iOS 6. 

One more interesting change the 5G brings to Apple's iPod lineup is their newly designed earbuds. Purportedly in development for nearly three years, the company believes their newest earphones are the most comfortable and best sounding ones yet. Personally, I think the bar was set pretty low though -- I admit to never caring very much for the OOTB earbuds.

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