updated 09:40 am EDT, Tue April 5, 2011
iPod touch 5 may use capacitive home button
A purported leak may have given away either Apple's recent or future plans for the iPod touch. An engineering sample with a DVT-1 (Design Verification Test) badge has a design similar to that of the current iPod touch but with what appears to be a capacitive, touch-sensitive home button instead of the usual physical model. The CrunchGear photos also show it with firmware lit carrying 128GB of total storage, which hasn't been seen before in an iPod touch model.
If authentic, it's difficult to determine whether this is a future model or a discarded prototype for the current model. The MC550LL model number refers alternately to a Mac Pro but also a variant on the fourth-generation iPod touch. It's possible the information is either a placeholder or there to deliberately throw off sleuths hoping to confirm Apple's plans.
Apple is very likely to unveil its fifth-generation iPod touch at a special event in September, regardless of whether or not it resembles the prototype. A capacitive button if it reaches the final model could signal design changes coming across the entire iOS line. It may prove controversial since it could lead to accidental button presses that aren't as likely with the current click-in button.
The storage may be the most probable upgrade, since Apple hasn't gone past 64GB on the iPod touch since the capacity was added in late 2009.