Evidence is mounting that Apple could indeed be planning on bringing at least one new hardware feature to the iPod touch. First, it was just general whisperings, involving the addition of a video camera after the appearance of the iPhone 3GS with similar functions. Then, a crop of case designs turned up that boasted a cut-out hole, presumably to allow outside access for a camera lens. Now, Apple is said to be ordering the parts necessary for the change by the boatload.
Cameras for All?
The new report claims that a source is saying Apple has placed a bulk order for inexpensive (around $10 each) camera modules with the intent of including them in an upcoming iPod hardware revision. And apparently not only the iPod is slated for an upgrade. More leaked case designs suggest that at least the iPod Nano may also be able to snap pictures in the near future.
TechCrunch’s source, commenting on the information regarding a possible iPod Nano camera, noted that considering the sheer volume of parts ordered by Apple, he wouldn’t be surprised if camera capabilities came to every iPod in the line, except the Shuffle, which wouldn’t support one for obvious reasons.
Turning the Tide of Mobile Video
If you’ve been keeping up with the success of the video-recording capabilities of the iPhone 3GS, you’ve probably seen the impressive numbers concerning YouTube mobile uploads that seem to indicate 3GS owners are very much enjoying their newfound movie-making features.
It only makes sense, then, that Apple should consider bringing the love to the iPod touch line, too. In doing so, it could compete with both basic point-and-shoot cameras, and with devices like the Flip Mino that do cheap and easy video recording. Many of those devices offer YouTube-compatible recording formats and advertise it as a feature, so there’s clearly a demand. The iPod touch, assuming that it has the same features as the iPhone, would be able to not only record YouTube-compatible video, but also upload it directly from the device as long as it is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
Apple Wunderkind Enters Another Market
We are seeing Apple’s move into portable gaming result in significant gains for the company, and whether or not Nintendo and Sony see it as a rival, stories of high-placed gaming industry executives switching over to play for the iPhone team are not uncommon these days. With the iPhone 3GS, and, hopefully, with an iPod touch Video on the horizon, we could be seeing Cupertino making a play for the mobile photo/video market, too. Built-in editing tools and even more advanced software to come from third-party companies offer something that camera and camcorder competitors can’t, even if quality is somewhat under the usual 10 megapixels.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t feel inclined to carry around my point-and-shoot anymore now that I have the 3GS. Quality is fine for Facebook, TwitPic and YouTube, which is basically all I need most times. Be wary, camera manufacturers, your space could become even more crowded very soon.