updated 09:45 am EDT, Fri July 22, 2011
Analyst checks point to white iPod touch 5
(Updated with alleged white iPod touch photo) New estimates by Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggest Apple will bring white back to the iPod for the first time in years through the fifth-generation iPod touch. The design is rumored to be much like that of the iPad 2, where only the front gets the new color. Kuo told AppleInsider the design showed few signs of direct changes and would be in volume production in late August.
Most expect the next iPod touch to be a somewhat more conservative counterpart to the fifth-generation iPhone 5 shipping at the same time, adding the same dual-core A5 processor but not undergoing any major external changes. Hopes exist that efficiency and price drops in flash storage will let Apple have a 128GB model that could effectively replace the iPod classic for most listeners.
The iPod is playing less and less of a role in Apple's lineup but, as more than half of all iPods sold, is important enough that Apple considers it important. Many consider it Apple's almost unintentional competitor against the Nintendo 3DS, Sony's PlayStation Vita, and both of their ancestors, since the similar pricing and strong emphasis on gaming have made it ideal for teens or non-smartphone users who can't justify an iPhone but want much of its experience.
Kuo didn't accept, however, claims that Apple might have an iPad 3 in September. Part manufacturers would begin sending their components out in the summer but wouldn't see volume production start until the fall. As Apple normally needs to build up production, it might not be until early 2012 that the next iPad ships, keeping in step with its preference for a once-a-year iOS device update cycle.
The design should be more ambitious and introduce a 2048x1536 display that gives it a much more print-like quality along with a quad-core A6 processor.
Current demand is strong and will see Wintek reportedly shouldering some of TPK's load for making white iPads' touchscreen panels in September. Apple moved 9.25 million iPads in the spring and could ship 4 million this summer, putting extra strain on Apple's production lines.
Update: Photos of an alleged front panel for a white iPod touch have been obtained by repair outfit iFixYouri. Apart from the color, the component is essentially identical to the one used for the current, fourth-generation Touch. Three holes can be be seen: one for the Home button, another for the FaceTime camera, and a third for an ambient light sensor.