Rumormill: iPods to get cameras

Chicago (IL) – Let’s be realistic: If we leave the form factor and the splashes of color of the iPods for a moment aside, the iPods aren’t exactly a showcase of innovation these days. Apple is way too comfortable with its market share to introduce dramatically different features – such as the standard wireless Bluetooth headphones we have been waiting for. But, if we believe a new set of rumors, then at least a digital camera is on the way. But remember, it is a slow news day.

The latest information is provided courtesy of TechCrunch and MacRumors, both of which indicate that you will be able to justify the purchase a new iPod since there will be integrated digital cameras in the iPod touch and the iPod nano. TechCrunch points to one of those secretive industry sources in Asia, which told the publication that Apple has placed a “massive” order for camera module. Apple’s motivation? Simple: To crush the entry-level video cam market.

MacRumors adds pictures of next-gen iPhone cases, revealing strange holes on the back, which apparently could be there to surround a camera lens.
A couple years ago, I wrote a feature story about the iPod as one of the most disappointing tech products of 2006, simply because of its lack of innovation. Flash forward, little has changed, a more than 10 years after the commercial release of the first camera in a mobile device (Kyocera’s Visual Phone VP-210 camera phone), it seems that Apple may be listening to its users and build cameras into its portable media players. Conceivably, a digital camera will be a nice addition to the nano, but should be considered a long overdue feature for the iPod touch.

Besides the TechCrunch story and pictures of possible next-gen iPod cases, there is little to support this latest set of iPod camera rumors. My take? Yes, the iPods will get cameras, when Apple thinks you are ready to handle them, when they don’t cannibalize the feature set of the iPhone and when they don’t destroy the 40%+ profit margin of the portable media player, which will almost certainly be sometime before 2015. Take these stories with a grain of salt, since those iPod camera rumors have been around for several years now.