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Apple Rumors: New iPhone, iPods, and a 7-inch iPad on the Way

Another week, another batch of Apple rumors. Despite the hubbub over the iPhone 4’s antenna issues just beginning to simmer down – or perhaps because of it – one source now claims Apple will introduce a new iPhone in January, along with new iPods in the fall and a smaller iPad. Prepare your grain of salt.

Jeremy Horowitz at iLounge reports that a source whose accuracy level is “very high but not perfect” gave the heads up on the new iPhone, which will be redesigned to eliminate the antenna issues of the current version. While an iPhone emerging in January would certainly break Apple’s tradition of June introductions, it could simply be another version of the existing iPhone, reworked for another network, like the perpetually rumored Verizon and T-Mobile iPhones. That would align closely with an earlier Wall Street Journal report that production of a CDMA iPhone would begin in September, and the beginning of a new year might mark the end to contractual obligations.

According to iLounge, the bumper cases currently being distributed for free with the iPhone 4 will also get a redesign to make them cheaper, and become standard issue with new iPhones in September.

Perhaps more dubiously, the same source claims Apple will introduce a new iPad with a 7-inch screen late this year, or early next. While it would certainly be technically feasible, the lack of any apparent need or demand for one makes it seem unlikely.

Perhaps the most likely rumor of the bunch: Three new iPods are slated for late August or early September – a timeframe that lines right up with Apple’s traditional iPod refreshes. Among them will be a new iPod Nano, a new iPod Touch (presumably following the design cues of the iPhone 4) and a new iPod Shuffle, which is rumored to offer a 1.7-inch touch screen.

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