Rumor: iPod touch Camera Axed Last Month, May Make Surprise Return?


Did Apple plan to add a camera to the third generation iPod touch -- just like the iPhone 3GS and iPod nano -- but pull it roughly a month ago due to technical difficulties? We heard that rumor last week, after months of previous rumors and leaks that made the camera seem all but a certainty.

For his part, Steve Jobs said Apple prioritized lowering prices over adding new hardware features.

Now, AppleInsider is merging those two story lines into one consistent, and not incredible report. Sourcing people familiar with the matter (PFWTM), those familiar with the situation (TFWTS), and others familiar with the situation (OFWTS), Apple initially decided to add the cameras to the iPod touch feature set only to discover issues with the camera sensors they received. So, Apple execs made the call to yank the cameras last month. However, Apple still wants to add the cameras back in to the hardware, and could do it at any time, and at the same price point.

Obviously, not announcing new iPod touches before the holidays, or announcing that newer ones might show up at some point (who knows -- maybe not even Apple yet -- when exactly), were not options, so they went with the beefier internals at 32GB and 64GB.

Wether that's the real, or even approaching real, story or not, likely only a few folks high atop Apple know for sure, but it does make a modicum of sense (even if well seasoned with salt grains).

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Rumor: iPod touch Camera Axed Last Month, May Make Surprise Return?


It's sounds plausible. But how much trouble could it be to add the iPhone's camera to the new Touch? Should be the same hardware and the software and drivers are already written (for the most part). I thought the camera in the Touch was a gimme.

They will upset A LOT of people who have purchased them if they introduce a new one with a camera anytime soon.

Eh.. They won't update with a cammy till the following year. They should of put it on the touch so that all of those apps that use the camera be Can be used by touch owners. Smh.
Idk why they put it on the nano. It's not a huge mistake but it's a big one in my opinion.

Am I the only one who sees no need for anything on the iPod lineup to have a camera? It's seriously pointless to have one. Apple should build an actual camera with revolutionary features, than add a camera to an MP3 player. To me, the iPod Touch is useless without wifi. Why carry it around? Listen to 32GB of music and video and now take pictures. Really? I find no need for it. Want the camera? Buy iPhone. Can't afford premium service(pricing wise), don't use premium features(quoted from fellow iPhone owner).

This sounds entirely plausible.
Question is, why didn't they just use the iPhone cams and be done with it, like Dtvim mentioned above.
Were they going for that lame cam they put on the nano trying to keep the price down?
Did they have a better cam just around the corner, perhaps a front facing one as well?
Job's explanation is about as believable as a hormonal imbalance.

Yes you are the only one to see that. Reading the threads here and on other sites there are three people who don't want a camera on the touch, and two of them are both you.
That you find no need for this does not mean that every 14-34 year old wouldn't want it. I see no need for colorized iPods. If I had 3 teenagers living in the house I would probably see it differently.
You have to stop looking at every product positioning thru your own narrow preferences.

Dyvim has a good point, how ******* hard could it possibly be to include a camera on the touch. It makes no sense.

Yes, but they disappointed a lot more who were planning to buy it and now won't by not including it.
Yes you are the only one.
Maybe I don't want to spend $800 a year for an iPhone or $800 one time for an unlocked iPhone. Maybe I like toting my iPod touch around in my pocket and not carrying tons of crap with it(Like a separate camera).
You are not the standard.
Now stop trolling.

And to add to my comment, if they put a video camera and mic on iPod Nanos, a camera is defiantly NOT a "premium feature".

They will add the camera next year. I don't think they can use the same one as the iPhone because the touch is thinner. The solution to that is obviously to make them the same size. But then if they did that the acessories would be standardized betwen them. Can't have that!

@Tim: they most certainly can add the camera! even though the ipod touch is thinner, they could EASILY sqeeze a camera in there. if they can add a decent camera in the nano, AND make the nano thinner, they have no excuse. for some reason they didn't wanna put a camera in. shame on them!

So much noise about the missing camera. I was more disappointed by the lack of gps capability

they cant add all of the iPhones features to the iPod Touch. that would make it "unfair" to iPhone users. Reguardless, you can make wifi phone calls off iPod touches with an app from the App store. so in all aspects i think they are extremely close to being the exact same product.
That camera not being there is a disapointment i was ready to race and go get one since im not payin 2Grand in 2 years for an iPhone plan. and on that topic. before that 2year contract ends, there will be atleast 3 updates to the iPhone and you would have had to opened up a new line per update to keep up adding EVEN more $$$ to the plan haha thats so lame. <3Apple but hate things they do.
Nano cameras are awesome. mostly since they didnt raise price with the newly added feature. and i absolutly love the new ipod shuffles. hate how the special one is 20 dollars more then the reg 8GB one.
reply to my comment by emailing me at
no spam please hahaxx

I for one would have liked the HD radio and the gps more than a useless camera. I think it maybe a way to sell nano's to iPhone and itouch owners or justsell more in general!

I would love to see a decent camera plus flash, gps too etc but not everyone is a techno geek like us viewing this website.
I actually agree that it was better to make the touch cheaper so more people can jump on the bandwagon.
And actually I am pleased there was no camera etc as my iPod Touch 2g is still very current!

What is hilarious is trolls saying "thats it im getting a Zune HD because the iPod Touch doesnt have a camera" like the Zune HD.

Mannn Apple screwed up on the touch this year by not adding the camera...oh well. Oh ya and wtf they should of added FM radio to the touch as well!! not just on the I'm still gettin it though because I never owned one...and was so excited..for the camera. UGH. Anyway these trolls have no life and I agree with zen lol.

It's weird.
the ipod touch is supposed to be the highest end, "Funnest Ipod Ever" and they put the video camera on the Nano?
for one, it doesnt shoot pictures right? thats lame. why not put a camera before a video camera. i would rush to the store and get and ipod touch the minute they added a camera to it. but i guess for now im still stuck with my 1st gen.

OKay... well i dont get how they can shove a fuckin camera in the iphone, and nano, but not a touch?
Dont make sense

HAHA they put one on the nano, but not on the itouch :O wtf, they are crazy, btw (i'm goin to buy a ipod touch, if there is a camera on it, so i think i have to wait then

the second they announce the camera/video is in the touch, I'm going to replace my 16gb 1st gen with a 64gb.
Adding video to the nano is a stupid move -- there's just not the storage on a nano to have all your music AND video! I've run out of space on my 16gb touch with my music, apps and video. Really looking forward to a 64gb, but not without a camera!
the camera's not meant to be an SLR replacement, it's there so you can grab a pic or a video whereever, whenever.

I think they will add a camera before holiday 09. If you look at some other website that takes apart ipods you will see two things important. 1. There is a spot for a camera similar to the nanos but not as big as the iphone's camera. 2.There is a better wif-fi chip that will be able to play FM radio. I predict an update for the touch with FM. and a 3rd generation point 2 model update around early late November.

do you really think the new ipod touch with camera will come out soon. I read an article that it will be released september 2010. Anyone out there know.

My son was home on leave over the holidays. He has an i-touch 32 gb. I am sold on the concept. In my work I use a hand held pc, a camera, and gps. If Apple helps me eliminate some of the gadgets I must carry I would go from "sold on concept", to sell me one now. A camera would make me buy one yesterday.

The iPod Nano has come with a camera already and a FM radio. Anyone know when the iPod touch fitting with a camera will be released?