Conventional rumor wisdom strongly suggested a new iPod touch with a camera would be unveiled at the Apple Event tomorrow, but multiple sources are now suggesting unspecified issues with the camera may at least delay availability.
AppleInsider is citing “a person with a strong track record in predicting Apple’s upcoming product launches,” who says Apple has “experienced technical problems (bad parts) with the cameras modules.” This source is now uncertain as to whether the new iPod touch expected tomorrow will be on sale in September.
Hardmac.com seconds that innuendo with its own “reliable source.” That source also suggests production issues associated with the new camera. While there are no specific details, “the problem has been spotted in the first dozen of thousands units produced. Those units have been put aside.”
Bad parts would seem the most likely problem, if there is an issue, at this point. The new iPod touch likely began ramping up production earlier this summer, so design and manufacturing issues would had to have been sorted out. Also, the new iPod touch certainly follows the design of the iPhone, so it’s not as if the camera itself is a new concept for Apple engineers.
Even if production of the iPod touch is delayed, an October release will still be in plenty of time for the Christmas season. However, an October release would give the Zune HD the jump on sales. The media player competitor from Microsoft will go on sale Sept. 15, and — barring price cuts by Apple — will be significantly cheaper than the iPod touch, as little as $71 for the 16GB model. Should there be a delay in iPod touch availability, expect Microsoft to attempt to capitalize on that, not that its efforts will matter. The dominance of the iPod touch as the high-end media player of choice isn’t likely to be challenged by the instant gratification of purchasing a Zune HD next week.