It’s September already, which to all iPod enthusiasts across the world means new and refreshed iPod hardware. While not much is known about a possible updated iPod nano, shuffle or classic, new sources are pointing towards a brand-new iPod touch with 3G connectivity, as it had been reported a few months ago.
This new report cites an "anonymous source", therefore it should be taken with a grain of salt. Yet, full 3G connectivity sounds like the next obvious step for a popular device that has already matured. The current-generation hardware includes a powerful Wi-Fi chip, yet it’s useless when a working Wi-Fi connection is not available, which will become more of a problem as more and more services require a permanent Internet connection.
The recently-announced iCloud, for example, includes features that require devices to be permanently connected to the Internet/Apple’s servers, which sports the ability to store documents and data on the fly using supported apps.
Ever since its 2007 introduction, the iPod touch has been seen by many as an "iPhone without the phone". Despite the addition of a 3G chip, this will likely never change, given that 3G will be used exclusively for data transfers, not SMS or calls, much like what happens with the 3G-capable iPad. Apple is said to be already negotiating monthly data plans with American carriers, without a binding contract, making it easy to cancel the service at any time with no termination fees, if the user is so inclined.
It’s also possible that a 3G iPod touch might adopt SMS and calling functionality using third-party jailbreak tweaks. A few months ago, we reported on PhoneIt-iPad, an jailbreak tweak that enabled both of these features on any jailbroken 3G iPad. The same tool could easily be ported to a 3G-capable iPod touch, essentially turning it into a super cheap iPhone.
As with the iPad 2, it’s likely that there will still be a Wi-Fi-only iPod touch for those who might not be willing to sign up for a plan with a carrier. Nonetheless, a 3G-capable iPod touch will allegedly look identical to the current fourth-generation device, so don’t expect major design changes. Recently leaked parts, however, point to a white design, while maintaining the form factor that the iPod touch is known for.
More likely than not, the new device will be shown off at Apple’s annual music event later this month at which the iPhone 5 is also expected to make its debut. To wrap it all up, what do you guys think, should Apple axe the iPod touch for a cheaper iPhone 4 instead or go ahead and surprise everyone with a 3G iPod touch? Be sure to leave your opinions over at this post.