Apple’s iPod Touch announcements this week were viewed by many as a dud. After months of reports that the Touch would receive a similar camera to the one currently used in the iPhone 3GS, the only significant upgrades were a faster processor and more storage capacity.
Explaining the lack of a camera in the Touch, Steve Jobs told the New York Times’ David Pogue that Apple was focusing on positioning the iPod Touch as an affordable gaming device, and that the addition of a camera would have added an unnecessary cost to users.
Not everyone, though, is buying that explanation, and corroborating a story that surfaced in the days prior to the event, AppleInsider is now reporting that Apple made the executive decision to axe a camera equipped iPod Touch just one month ago in light of a high failure rate on the device’s camera modules. Apple, therefore, was forced to scramble and put that particular upgrade on the back burner, and instead, focus on touting the Touch’s faster processor and upped storage capacity.
As for when we might see a new iPod Touch with a video camera in tow, AI writes that Apple “remains committed to delivering camera capabilities on the touch lineup as soon as possible.” The question, then becomes, when would this upgrade occur? Apple can’t issue an upgrade too quickly after the current models hit the shelves, but they also don’t want to wait too long either. Perhaps an announcement sometime in January is on the horizon? An upgrade in time for the holiday shopping season would be ideal, but that might piss off consumers who purchased an iPod Touch in the weeks prior.
And like most things Apple, we’ll just have to wait and see.
One of the more interesting tidbits in the AI article was how Apple goes about determining costs and supply chain details and decisions for its upcoming products.
It should be noted that Apple retains an extensive cost analysis team that begins working with an established supply chain and new prospective partners on feature cost feasibility many months — if not years — in advance of production.
These assessments are then refined, stitched into preliminary bills of materials, and presented for approval — sometimes via elaborate Keynote documents — to roughly two dozen members of electronics maker’s top brass.
According to those familiar with situation, management gave the green light to equip the latest-gen touches with cams last year. But problems, as AppleInsider reported earlier in the week, began to crop up with the third party camera sensors Apple took receipt of earlier this year.