Apple sneaks out a new 16GB iPod touch without a rear camera

A new mobile device popped up for sale on Apple’s website over night. But don’t get too excited, it’s not a smartphone or a tablet: it’s a new, oddly basic version of the fifth-generation iPod touch.

The 16GB iPod differs from its fifth-generation touchscreen iPod brethren in that it only comes in two basic colors (black and white), has a front-facing camera (for FaceTime) but lacks a rear camera for photos and a lanyard loop. Other than that, it appears to be the same as the 32GB and 64GB versions of the iPod touch released in October: it has a 4-inch Retina display and a dual-core A5 chip inside. It is selling for $229 and available now.

The timing seems a bit random, and it didn’t even merit a press release, simply a “new” tag on Apple’s website.

Apple tends to introduce new hardware lineups simultaneously. But this is the second time this year that a single model from a lineup has popped up alone: in January, three months after debuting a new line of iPads, Apple suddenly released a 128GB iPad with Retina display.