Apple is reportedly buying a boatload of camera modules similar in type to those already used in the iPhone 3GS, according to a recent report in TechCrunch. Citing a source in Asia, the report notes that Apple is paying $10 a piece for each module, and that the order size is so large that the only feasible explanation for the order is that the cameras will be used in an upcoming iPod refresh sometime this fall.
While the iPod Touch is largely expected to receive an updated camera with video recording capabilities during the next refresh, the large order adds even more credence to earlier reports that the smaller iPod Nano will soon receive point and shoot camera functionality as well. Less than 2 months ago, both iLounge and Hardmac reported that the next iteration of the iPod Nano will sport a camera on the back in an effort to yet again keep customers interested in the latest and greatest from Apple. While analysts have been claiming for years that the iPod market is saturated, Apple has consistently defied expectations and has been able to increase Pod sales by adding new features that have kept consumers upgrading their devices season after season.
And adding even more credence to the above reports are two case designs for the iPod Touch and iPod Nano that were found on accessory websites. The two images below, which are apparently upcoming case designs, show holes in the back of each case in locations where a camera would presumably be placed.
With the current camera on the iPhone 3GS already a big hit, adding cameras to the iPod Touch and iPod Nano seems to be a logical step for Apple. Other rumors have noted that upgraded iPod models will become available sometime in late September.