Apple will install a camera in the next version of the iPod Touch, according to a growing number of rumor sources, and possibly update the iPad and iPhone. Apple works to maintain a tight veil of secrecy around upcoming products, despite some high-profile leaks, such as an iPhone 4 prototype earlier this year.
If you believe the week's rumors, Apple is preparing to launch a
camera-equipped iPod Touch-one that would conceivably allow users to video-chat
with one another via FaceTime-when it carries out an expected iPod refresh this
"An iPhone parts supplier sent us these photos of what are claimed to be the
front LCD and bezel of the upcoming 4th
-generation iPod Touch," reads
an Aug. 5 posting on the MacRumors blog
. "The new part clearly shows a
front-sided hole that would leave room for a front-facing FaceTime camera."
The accompanying images indeed show an LCD and bezel evocative of Apple's
iPod Touch design, stamped "10-04-29"
on the back. The part also features what looks like a black rubber or plastic
strip, stamped "Apple (c) 2010" in white.
Other sources have suggested that a camera-equipped iPod Touch is on the
way. On Aug. 5, the
blog Hardmac posted a photo illustration
, supposedly done by an iPod case
manufacturer, showing a device with a camera aperture embedded in the back.
"Even if it is hard to have a perfect view through the case," read the
accompanying post, "it looks like the back is rounded, unlike the one of the
new iPhone, and of course there is a camera and flash."
In late-summer 2009, rumors also abounded that Apple was working on an iPod
equipped with a camera for stills and video. The company eventually released a
revamped iPod Nano with built-in video camera and FM radio.
According to the latest scuttlebutt, Apple could be planning a revamp of its
whole mobile-device line.
"Take this report with the requisite grains of salt, but here's what we've
heard about the upcoming late 2010/early 2011 iPod, iPhone and iPad lineups
from a highly reliable source," Jeremy
Horwitz, editor-in-chief of iLounge, wrote Aug. 4
. "Our sources' accuracy
level is very high but not perfect, which is about as good as can be expected
given the nature of Apple-related leaks."
Horwitz's unnamed source apparently suggested that Apple will launch a new
iPod Nano and iPod Touch, along with a revamped iPod Shuffle equipped with a
touch-screen. Other predictions included a 7-inch iPad for either late 2010 or
early 2011 release, cheaper all-silicon iPhone bumpers, and a fifth-generation
iPhone possibly due in early 2011.
"It's unknown whether this will be a repackaging of iPhone 4 components in a
different shell or something more substantial. We reiterate: It's hard to
believe," Horwitz wrote about the iPhone rumor. "But as with so many seemingly
farfetched early reports, it's not impossible."
For years, Apple managed to maintain a tight veil of secrecy around its
upcoming products. That changed in April 2010, when
an iPhone 4 prototype was discovered in a northern California bar and publicly
dissected by tech blog Gizmodo
. A few weeks after that mega-traffic
post-not to mention a police raid on the California
home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen-images
and video of another iPhone 4 prototype appeared on the Vietnamese online form
Those early leaks, however, did little to dampen sales of the iPhone 4. For
the third fiscal quarter of 2010, Apple reported sales of 8.4 million iPhones,
along with 3.27 million iPads and 3.47 million Macs. Quarterly
sales of iPods fell 8 percent year-over-year
, a phenomenon that Apple
previously attributed to cannibalization by the iPhone.