It has been all quiet on the iPod front for a number of months as the iPhone and iPad continue to hog all the headlines. Partly this is Apple's fault in delivering a competent, if underwhelming upgrade with its third generation iPod touch, but that could be all about to change.
Speaking at its Christmas look-ahead event UK mega retailer John Lewis has somewhat surprisingly revealed a detailed breakdown of what it believes will be the new features of the fourth generation iPod touch.
As you might expect, a camera is there and it will allegedly be the same much improved five megapixel shooter as seen on the iPhone 4 along with 720p HD video shooting credentials. It will also adopt the gyroscope of its antenna troubled big brother and introduce FaceTime over WiFi - presumably meaning the iPod touch could feature a native mic.
All these claims make sense - up to a point. Adding the camera and gyroscope (and presumably a switch to the same Apple A4 chipset) would again unify the platform for developers, though the controversial Retina Display may prove a cost too far. As for FaceTime this is a tricky one since Apple obviously wants its overhaul of video calling to take off so needs to show support, but runs the risk of creeping a little too close to the added functionality of the iPhone 4.
On the flip side John Lewis is a hugely respected brand in the UK so it would seem daft for it to be throwing out claims randomly - especially as part of an official presentation for its Christmas sales strategy. In this case then we're prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt, especially considering previous iPod touch camera leaks.
Besides, we shouldn't have to wait beyond Apple's traditional iPod refresh month of September to find out...
In related news Wired reports Steve Jobs has dismissed concerns that iOS 4 is a battery drain on the iPhone 3GS. Complaints have been building around the Web about this, but in an typically curt email response to Norwegian journalist Jarle Aasland who enquired about the issue he simply said "Nope".
Steve, you really need to stop doing this...