New iPod touch Details Surface

Jeremy Horwitz has heard from a “reliable source” that Apple will be ready to announce three new iPods as early as this month. The possible announcements include a new iPod nano, iPod touch, and a replacement for the iPod shuffle that uses the 1.7-inch touchscreen that has been floating around the internet as of late.

The other rumor of interest in Jeremy Horowitz’s rundown is that Apple is pushing up the release of a new iPhone to early 2011. He is unsure as to whether it will be a slight hardware revision to the iPhone 4 that will fix the antenna issue or if this will be more substantial, but this is what he’s hearing.

Some of these rumors are a little hard to believe, especially the ones I decided not to write about (like the seven-inch iPad or the three-inch touchscreen iPod), but the early 2011 iPhone hardware revision doesn’t seem too far-fetched. It’s not unheard of for Apple to make slight changes to their hardware mid-product cycle and it would give them an opportunity to minimize the impact of the iPhone 4’s antenna problem.

But, iLounge isn’t the only place publishing rumors about upcoming Apple products, Hardmac has received a mockup of the next-generation iPod touch which depicts a rear-facing camera and flash. Unfortunately this mockup doesn’t include a front-facing camera which does put a dent in its credibility. A front-facing camera with FaceTime has been rumored to be coming to the iPod touch for months and MacRumors has received images from an iPhone parts supplier of the iPod touch’s front LCD and bezel which does have a hole for a front-facing camera.

Coming hot on the heels of all these iPod touch rumors is word that Apple has added email-based FaceTime support in iOS 4.1 beta 3, which was seeded to developers earlier this week. MacRumors’ Eric Slivka reports that iOS 4’s Contacts application gives users the option to make FaceTime calls using either a phone number or an email address. There is no word on how FaceTime calls would be made using email addresses however this would presumably allow iOS devices without a cellular connection to perform FaceTime calls.

There’s a whole slew of Apple-related rumors flying around right now. And these rumors will only heat up as we move closer to September, when Apple will announce new iPods (as they have for the past several years). I’m excited about the announcements, I have a feeling that expanding FaceTime to the iPod touch will add a tremendous amount of momentum behind it — I wouldn’t be surprised if FaceTime becomes the de facto standard for video calling by this time next year.