Next: Cameras for iPods?

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Ready for your close-up, iPod users?

This morning, th

e Web's abuzz with rumors that Apple will soon add a digital camera to its popular iPod Touch and iPod Nano media players.

"Apple has placed an order for a massive number of camera modules of the type that they include in the iPhone. These are inexpensive cameras, in the $10 range. And the size of the order, our source says, means they can only be used for one thing - the iPods."

It's unclear from the story whether or not the expected camera-units are the two-megapixels shooters currently found within the iPhone 3G or the 3-megapixel version in the iPhone 3GS. Yet the $10-reported-price-tag suggests the former choice is the likely option.

And the rumor makes perfect sense when you consider Apple's recent iPhone 3GS announcement and the company's focus on new camera and video features. You can expect to see bundles of new apps and services with camera- or video-oriented features in theiTunes App Store over the coming weeks and months, as well.

The addition of a camera to the iPod touch means new touch owners would also have access to any such camera-specific features and apps, though video capture will likely be restricted to iPhone 3GS users for the time being. And that's just how Cupertino wants it. The iPhone 3G is hardware-capable for video capture--folks with "jailbroken" iPhone 3Gs can record video via unofficial apps--but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for video on that device, either. Apple chose to make the feature available only to iPhone 3GS users, in a bid to influence 3G owners to upgrade to the iPhone 3GS. As such, I don't think you'll see video recording capabilities added to the iPhone 3GS or iPod touch any time soon.

The iPod nano could also get a digital camera, according to the report. Images of protective cases for both the next-generation iPod touch and iPod nano were spotted online, and they seem to suggest the presence of a camera lens; however, the images aren't necessarily legit.

Honestly, it seems odd to me that the iPod touch doesn't have a camera already. It's a perfect addition to a device aimed specifically at the consumer market. And I'd bet MP3s to platinum records that iPod touch will indeed soon get a camera.

I'm a bit less convinced about the iPod nano camera, because potential iPod buyers would then have one less motivating factor to go with the higher-end iPod touch or iPhone. And that might be enough to make Apple hold off--for now at least.

This story, "Next: Cameras for iPods? " was originally published by CIO.

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