Pinch Media, an analytics firm for iPhone OS developers, has found evidence of a third-generation iPod touch. An “iPod3,1” string has been showing up as the version identifier in its online logs, with first- and second-generation identifiers for the touch being “iPod1,1” and “iPod2,1,” respectively.
In a blog posting, Pinch Media reported applications using its analytic tools on “iPod3,1” devices first appeared in April, with usage increasing in May. Besides being popular, the applications being used appear to have no shared traits.
This isn’t the first time the “iPod3,1” identifier has appeared, either. The identifier was found in a beta release of iPhone OS 3 in March, along with “iPhone3,1,” “iFPGA,” “iProd0,1,” and “iPod2,2? identifiers. For that reason, this information should be treated as news, rather than rumor. However, there are rumors of new case designs for iPods, most notably ones with holes on the back for cameras, but it’s the identifier strings that matter.
With high confidence in the evidence of a new iPod touch, it can also be asserted that the new model will be released soon. For the last three years, Apple (s aapl) has introduced new iPods in September, including both generations of the iPod touch. Also, the current iPod promotion is scheduled to end on Sept. 8.
While the release of a new iPod touch in the fall seems to be a certainty, more nebulous is the question of the summer: Should I wait? The iPhone 3GS significantly outperforms the iPhone 3G due to a doubling of RAM, a new GPU, and a CPU running 50 percent faster at 600MHz. While the iPod touch would benefit from more RAM and a new GPU, the CPU is already running at 533MHz, making 600MHz less impressive. However, the CPU in the iPhone 3GS is under-clocked, its maximum being 833MHz. If this is due to power saving, rather than heat issues, it’s possible the next iPod touch could also see a boost of approximately 50 percent, and that would definitely be worth waiting for.