iPhone 3GS-Like 3.2-Megapixel Rear Camera Possible for Next-Generation iPod Touch?

There has been considerable discussion over the past couple of days regarding possibilities for front- and rear- facing cameras in the next-generation iPod touch, sparked by claims that the device will carry an iPhone 4-like 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. While the assertions have since been reported to be speculation rather than claimed facts, it hasn't stopped the rumor mill and leaks from winding up.

Yesterday, we noted that the iPhone 4's 5-megapixel camera would not fit within the body of the current iPod touch given the camera's 6.5 mm depth. And while a front-facing camera suitable for FaceTime video calling seems like a reasonable addition to the iPod touch, it remains to be seen whether Apple will be willing and able to squeeze a rear-facing camera into the device.

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Prototype of current-generation iPod touch carrying rear-facing camera

9 to 5 Mac is now reporting that a source has indicated that the next-generation iPod touch could gain a 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera such as that found in the iPhone 3GS.

Well informed sources have notified us that the rumors of a 5 mega-pixel camera coming to this fall's iPod touch line may not have merit. They claim the new iPod touch will have a 3.2 megapixel camera that has similar characteristics to the one found in the iPhone 3GS.

But even that specific camera module would have difficulty fitting into the current iPod touch body, as iFixit's Kyle Wiens tells us that the iPhone 3GS camera's 5 mm depth is still too much for the iPod touch's tapered body. A "squaring off" of the body similar to that seen on the iPhone 4 would seem to leave sufficient room for the 3GS-like camera module if Apple decided to go with a uniform 8.5 mm thickness, the current maximum thickness of the iPod touch.

Another option for Apple, should it be looking to slim down the iPod touch even further, could be a new camera module carrying a thinner form factor, as technology has obviously advanced in year since the iPhone 3GS was released. It is unknown, however, whether Apple has acquired such thinner 3.2-megapixel camera modules. While several prototypes of the current-generation iPod touch surfaced carrying rear-facing cameras, we do not know the physical details and specs of that camera module that enabled it to fit within the existing iPod touch body design.

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