6th Generation iPod Tracking For Late 2007? Early 2008?

Users hoping for a refreshed widescreen iPod (without cellular capabilities as in the iPhone) will get their wish as early as the third calendar quarter of this year if a report from AppleInsider holds true. However, the site does note that the timing is dependent on the iPhone rollout and could be put off until early next year.

Among the potential challenges believed to be facing Apple ahead of its sixth-generation iPod launch is a required margin of differentiation between the player and iPhone, both of which are expected to carry relatively similar price points upon availability.

The site also mentions the possibility that lower NAND flash prices could pave way for Apple to deliver a 32 GB flash-based iPod with increased battery life and even sleeker design. The claim is similar to one in early February by analyst Jesse Tortora, who said that Apple would be moving to a totally flash-based lineup by the end of 2007.

MacRumors Analysis: While the addition of a flash-based iPod is a very real possibility, we think it is very unlikely for Apple to decrease the storage capacity in their high-end iPods and thus cut out users that have larger music/movie libraries. A speculative solution would be to have one model be flash based and a higher-capacity model be HDD based.

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