Preview at WWDC likely in June, followed by September launch.
These rumors come in addition to others about a possible new 60 GB color-screened iPod capable of showing a photo slideshow of synced or downloaded photos. Pricing for the color 60 GB model is expected to be set at the previous-generation high point of $499.
Also in the rumor mill are rumblings of a black special-edition U2 iPod, to be pre-loaded with at least the next U2 major album release, if not more of their catalog of songs (possibly all of their previous releases). This rumor has been picked up not only in the Mac community, but in mainstream news as well, lending a little credence to the story. The limited edition model is expected to be released October 26th at a media event put on by Apple & U2.
One interesting submission today made reference to another audio-related debut on October 26th - to be made by XM Satellite Radio. Expected from them is a 'walkman-like' wearable portable system for XM receiving and playback. Said to be hard-drive based for recording and later retrieval, it may not be out of the bounds of possibility that the new iPod may be a factor in its development, if not being the XM device itself.