Apple’s (s aapl) vaunted secrecy appears to be falling to pieces all around the Mac maker as yet another early product leak hits the web today. Only yesterday, it was the MacBook update that did end up coming true, and before that it was not one, but two cases of iPhone version 4 pre-release hardware units slipping through Apple’s grasp.
Today, an iPod touch is the leaked product in question. And the key feature of said iPod touch is the 2.0 megapixel camera featured prominently in the middle of the back of the unit, like a glaring cyclops eye. It’s never been a secret that the iPod touch was likely going to get a camera. The question was only when and in what form.
If the demo unit (which was brought to us by the same Vietnamese site that leaked the most recent iPhone 4 prototype) is any indication, then we’ll be seeing a new iPod touch that looks very similar to existing models, with the simple addition of a relatively underpowered mobile camera. 2 megapixels? What is this, the Nintendo DSi? I expected a lot more from Apple.
Of course, it’s always still possible that the model found is actually an older prototype (maybe from when the iPod touch should’ve received its camera upgrade), but the device’s capacity is 64GB, so it can’t be that old, and I’m willing to bet Apple isn’t above kneecapping a camera-capable touch. Look at its track record.
It’s become fairly evident that the iPhone 3G was probably knowingly underpowered for iPhone OS 4.0, and sold at length during a period in which Apple must’ve known it wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the software it was developing. Compare that to Mac sales. Imagine, for instance, Apple was still selling new PowerPC machines last year while developing Snow Leopard.
Personally, I hope Apple skips an actual production release of this iPod touch. A single, rear-facing 2 megapixel camera (which likely won’t shoot great quality video, if at all) has no added selling power in my opinion. It certainly wouldn’t be enough incentive for me to upgrade from my 1st-gen iPod touch. For a camera to be useful on Apple’s marquee media player, I’d need at least a 5 megapixel still camera that also shoots 720p video.
I’m not sure what’s more disappointing at this point: that Apple had an iPod touch with camera ready to go and shelved it, or that it’s just developed the thing and included a laughably low-powered lens in the new hardware. The 4th-gen iPhone better make up for this mess, that’s all I’m saying.