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Summary:

Despite protestations by Steve Jobs that the evolution of the iPod touch has always been towards gaming, the deconstructionists at iFixit may have found the missing camera link in its latest teardown. Prior to the Apple event last week, rumors of a camera in the iPod […]

Despite protestations by Steve Jobs that the evolution of the iPod touch has always been towards gaming, the deconstructionists at iFixit may have found the missing camera link in its latest teardown.

Prior to the Apple event last week, rumors of a camera in the iPod touch had been circulating for months. Some of the most convincing evidence included video of a case and circuit board with a camera. However, shortly before the third generation device was unveiled, new rumors of technical problems with the camera module suggested delayed availability. The Apple Event and Steve Jobs interview with the New York Times supposedly cleared all that up, except maybe not.

Source: iFixit

Source: iFixit

According to iFixit, there is space for a nano-style video camera in the iPod touch, but not enough for a still camera like the iPhone. This new information, combined with previous rumors and photos, suggests the strong possibility of a future touch with a camera. As to why Apple did not include a camera in the third generation iPod touch, perhaps technical issues were to blame, or perhaps it was a desire to keep a certain amount of feature distance between the iPod touch and iPhone. That would explain the other big find from iFixit.

It appears the Broadcom chip in the iPod touch supports 802.11n, as well as containing Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and an FM radio module. The techs at iFixit speculate that if antennas were built in, and if the iPhone OS were to support it, one could stream music in a car that was appropriately equipped with Bluetooth. Those are some huge advantages over the iPhone, which only supports 802.11 a/b/g and has no FM radio.

Seeing as the iPhone earns more income for Apple than the touch through revenue sharing, it would be no surprise if the touch was crippled to protect iPhone sales. Disappointing, but not surprising. We’ll likely see all these features in both the touch and the iPhone in the future, and pay for them in another upgrade cycle, too. That’s expected, but wouldn’t it be great if just once Apple created a product that was as technologically advanced as it could be, rather than as it should be to protect the company’s sacred margins?

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  1. If the touch was scheduled to get the same toy-like camera as that in the Nano, perhaps we’re better of without it. People use the touch like an iPhone, so they need at least as good a camera, especially one that can take good still photos to remember details hard to capture in words.

    And maybe the problem was not really defective parts but an angry Steve Jobs when he realized what was about to happen.

  2. The techs at iFixit speculate that if antennas were built in, and if the iPhone OS were to support it, one could stream music in a car that was appropriately equipped with Bluetooth.

    Don’t know who wrote this article, but probably someone who does not know anything about this product…. if the fm transmitter of the ipod was activated it would work in a car by switching to the station the ipod is streaming to. having bluetooth is a totally different story.. if the car stereo already equiped with bluetooth, then the ipod can use AD2P to connect to it and transfer the music.. please research your facts before writing an article..

  3. Yes, with Steve Jobs back on the job only since June, it seems quite probable that he looked more closely at the direction the iPod touch was heading, and decided that they shouldn’t include the camera in the iPod touch, even though that was where it was planned to go, to provide product differentiation between the iPhone and the iPod touch, so as to preserve iPhone sales. Then, likely decided to keep it in the nano, as inclusion there doesn’t realistically threaten iPhone sales- and they need some new features to juice up the nano sales, since as a product, it was getting kind of staid, long-in-the tooth, singular-use, and feature-limited compared to a lot of its competition. Even the Zune has had FM radio for almost 3 years.

    The only limitation to the Nano now is that you can only use the FM with headphones (as it uses them for the antenna) despite the speaker and the ability to plug it into a bigger sound system- that is a real shame.

  4. “but wouldn’t it be great if just once Apple created a product that was as technologically advanced as it could be, rather than as it should be to protect the company’s sacred margins?”
    YOU APPARENTLY ARE NOT AN APPLE SHAREHOLDER.

    1. BOB, NO, I AM NOT A SHAREHOLDER.

      However, in the last eight years my wife and I have purchased:

      7 Macs
      6 iPhones
      3 iPods

      I’m the kind of customer Apple shareholders dream of, one who upgrades almost yearly and buys all the new software, too. I say again, just once wouldn’t it be great if an Apple product was everything it could be, from the user interface to the industrial design to the technical specifications, everything except maybe a 30 percent margin? Yeah, that would be something.

  5. I would buy a touch with a camera and the added features mentioned in the article instead of and iphone. Reason? Because of AT&T. I do not want to switch carriers right now, and get locked into a long contract just for the iphone.

    I think Apple might add these features to the touch when and if AT&T is ever dropped. I think iPhone sales would be a lot higher if more carriers had access. I also think touch sales would be higher with the added features.

    One more thing, the reason I switched to a macbook was BECAUSE of the ipod. The ipod has driven sales to other apple products. I really do believe that ipod touch sales would eventually drive iphone sales and not cannibalize them. You buy a touch, love the technology… what’s the next logical step? An iphone!

    1. I meant to say that I would not buy an iphone because of AT&T.

    2. I agree. Until Apple either dumps att or ads verizon I will NOT buy an iPhone

  6. I bought a new iPod today. It is a Shuffle. Would have been a Touch if it had GPS and a camera. Maybe when the 4th gen comes out.

  7. I don’t get what all the hoopla is about. If Apple HAD released the sooper-dooper iPod Touch, iPhone owners would be bitching bitterly.

    I think what we’re seeing here is that Apple, in an attempt to save some money, has decided to go ahead and design next summer’s Touch revisions into the current casing. When the iPhone is updated to include video (which will be on the FRONT of the phone, I believe, for videochatting at last) and 802.11n (expanded bluetooth etc), so will the iPod Touch, without changes to the form factor.

    So instead of whining, why not either a) start saving up for the next rev, or b) enjoy what you DID get and the fact that you now KNOW what’s coming in the future (for a change)?

  8. What is all this talk of Apple doing a “rare” thing and making the product as good as it could be? You’re talking about what one company could figure out through reverse engineering. This doesn’t scratch the surface compared to what Apple has going on in their engineering labs in Cupertino. This isn’t about what Apple “could” make if they put all their ability into it. It’s about making a product that they can support, manufacture through a stable process with little DOA units, and maintain the kind of quality standards that very few other tech manufacturers can boast.

  9. Maybe I’m not awake yet but I really don’t get this bit:

    “It appears the Broadcom chip in the iPod touch supports 802.11n, as well as containing Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and an FM radio module. The techs at iFixit speculate that if antennas were built in, and if the iPhone OS were to support it, one could stream music in a car that was appropriately equipped with Bluetooth. Those are some huge advantages over the iPhone, which only supports 802.11 a/b/g and has no FM radio.”

    I am already streaming music from my iPhone to my car stereo via Bluetooth and it works just fine. I have no need to stream FM radio from an iPhone to my car stereo since my car stereo already has an FM radio and radio mostly sucks anyway. Going to 802.11n might be an advance but I don’t think anyone would reasonably call it a “huge advantage.”

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