updated 08:00 am EDT, Tue July 21, 2009
iPod touch w Cam and Mic
The heavily rumored iPod touch with camera is not only being manufactured but should gain a microphone that might enable video, according to a rumor late this past evening. A purportedly "well-connected" insider says that media players with both media capture features are already being made in China and that they should ship within two to three months, keeping in step with Apple's recent practice of launching new iPods in September. Capacities and prices aren't part of the Wired leak.
It's not completely evident whether the iPods would be specifically capable of video capture, as the move would require using a camera similar to that of the iPhone 3GS and likely the same processor power. The latter is unofficially expected given Apple's past tendency to make the iPod touch as fast or faster than the iPhone that precedes it.
Adding both features would potentially revolutionize the iPod touch, which has been limited mostly to playing back content and only has a rudimentary ability to generate content today when combined with an external mic, such as Apple's optional earbuds with in-line remote or a microphone add-on. A camera and an integrated mic would give the iPod much wider support for software in the App Store, leaving out only apps that are intended specifically for use with an always-on 3G connection.
A launch of the sort is also a potential shot across the bow of cellular carriers by enabling VoIP without any additional hardware and by reducing the incentive to buy an iPhone for those who won't switch to an exclusive carrier like AT&T or Rogers, or else who can't necessarily justify the frequently expensive monthly rates for phone and voice service.