Last we checked, the “new” iPod Touch’s have yet to hit any Apple Stores, and despite Steve Jobs assertions to the contrary, something’s afoot here. The most likely explanation is that cameras were, in fact, poised to be in the new iPod Touch models, but that quality issues forced Apple to readjust midstream and simply offer capacity and processor upgrades.
One obvious clue that flew under our radar, but was picked up upon by Seth Weintraub at ComputerWorld, was that the demo for Assassin’s Creed showcased the ability for users to take a photo of themselves, and attach it to a “Wanted” poster within the game. Clearly, the developers there were banking on new camera equipped iPod Touches. It’s also possible that the developers had this feature in mind only for the iPhone, but we doubt it.
Speculating on what sort of technical glitches might have been plaguing the iPod Touch, Weintraub writes that Apple may have had problems fitting the camera into the device, which measures “just .33 inches thick at its thickets point” without “making it weak or susceptible to damage.” Also, keep in mind that the logical spot to place the camera would be at the top of the device, similar to the iPhone’s camera location, which means that the space Apple had to work with was even smaller.
As for Jobs’ assertion that Apple wanted to make the iPod Touch affordable to the masses, well, Apple already did that in the form of 8GB model which sells for $199. While we opined earlier on Apple trying to differentiate the iPod Touch from the iPhone, it’s also possible that Apple was willing to forgo that differentiation in the interest of taking a giant leap ahead of the upcoming Zune HD, which thus far has been getting pretty strong reviews.
Yesterday we noted that a camera enabled iPod Touch is still very much in the works over at Apple, with the only variable being when that update might be made. Interestingly, Weintraub writes that he’s heard that “Apple wants to have these things in full production by Christmas and that they’ve made only a few months of camera-less models to tide the market over until the new ones are ready.”
While Weintraub doesn’t cite a source for the rumor, we’re inclined to hop on board and agree. There’s no way that Apple would wait an entire production cycle (i.e next September) before introducing an iPod Touch with a camera. And assuming that Apple does announce an updated iPod Touch sometime in late November, you can bet that the pundits will be out in full force decrying Apple for upgrading a product so quickly.
And so the wait continues…