New iPod touch to get GPS, FaceTime HD camera, new colors: analyst

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Oft-quoted market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities released early this morning a list of “expectations” for Apple’s rumored iPod touch update. Some of Kuo’s predictions are thing’s we’ve heard before — but he has a couple of new ideas that, if real, would easily make this the best iPod touch yet.

First up, Kuo believes the new iPod touch will come in a rainbow of new colors, much like the iPod nano and iPod shuffle do now. He also expects the screen to grow to 4 inches, while its thickness will shrink to between 6 and 6.5 mm, and the weight will drop to below 100 grams. The iPod touch will also come with the A5 system-on-chip, says Kuo, and will (of course) have the smaller dock connector we’ve all been hearing so much about.

That’s all stuff that, more or less, has been tossed around before. It’s the next bits that are new.

According to Kuo the new iPod touch will have built-in GPS. His thinking is that having additional devices able to connect and integrate with the new Apple Maps app, which will debut in iOS 6, will add support to Maps. The odd part about all this is that the iPod touch does not have a 3G/4G baseband processor, which his where the GPS is located in iPhones and 3G/4G iPads. But it’s possible that Apple will allow the iPod touch to cache Maps data whenever it connects to Wi-Fi. It could work — but we’re going to keep our skeptical hat on for this one.

Another Kuo prediction is the addition of a 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera on the front of the new iPod touch. This would be a major upgrade, and one that seems to us quite likely.

Finally, Kuo believes the new iPod touch will work like a handheld game controller that can connect to a Mac or iPad. As with the FaceTime HD camera update, this rumor isn’t a hard one to swallow.

Kuo also says that the 4th generation iPod touch will be discontinued. But according to 9to5Mac, this estimate is “wrong,” and the device will actually be upgraded to include 16GB of storage.

So there you have it — add new, thinner, faster iPod touch with GPS, better front camera, and gamer controller-like functionality to your list of rumors to look for when Apple takes the stage in just a couple hours.

Check back with Digital Trends at 10a.m. PT/1p.m. ET for the latest from Apple’s big announcement.

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