Next-Generation iOS Device Rumors: New iPods Soon, Smaller iPad and iPhone 5 in Early 2011?

114122 ipad mini mockup

iLounge has put together a summary of recent information it has received regarding Apple's plans for the next generation of its iOS devices. Among the claims are a set of revised iPod devices possibly including a touch screen iPod shuffle, a new 7" iPad set for launch early next year at the latest, and a fifth-generation iPhone release scheduled for as soon as January.

- iPod: Apple reportedly has three new models of iPods ready for release, with the company presumed to be introducing them at an early September media event as it has for the last several years. The new models include a new iPod touch and iPod nano, while the third model could be a new iPod shuffle, possibly including the diminutive Apple-branded touch screen that appeared in a leak last month.

The report also claims circulating rumors of a three-inch touch screen for an iPod device, which would be a curious shift from the standard 3.5-inch screen of the iPhone and iPod touch if the device were to run iOS, unless the device offered the same number of pixels at slightly higher density. Issues would likely still remain, however, with buttons and other onscreen touch items at the smaller size.

- iPad: A new 7-inch iPad is reportedly scheduled for launch later this year or early next year. Previous reports have similarly indicated that Apple is planning to launch a smaller iPad with a screen sizes in the range of 5-7 inches early next year.

- iPhone: The fifth-generation iPhone may be set to launch as early as January in order to address antenna issues with the iPhone 4. It is unclear whether the new iPhone would be a major redesign or simply a tweak to address the antenna problems. While not mentioned in the report, the redesign could coincide with the much-rumored Verizon iPhone highly anticipated by many potential customers.

The report also addresses the iPhone 4 bumpers, with claims that Apple may be preparing to release a new, all-silicone bumper for the iPhone 4 that would provide the company with a cheaper solution to address the device's antenna issues. The report's source also claims that Apple considered shipping the iPhone 4 with bumpers from the very beginning, implying that the company was aware of a potential antenna issue.

Ordinarily, we would be highly skeptical of several of these claims, but while we are still taking them with a grain of salt, iLounge has had some remarkably accurate information on Apple's iPod pipeline over the last several years. The site accurately revealed the design change of the fourth-generation iPod nano, as well as the larger screen and unique camera placement of the fifth-generation iPod nano months before their respective releases. The site also offered some correct details on the iPad, although not all of its information on that product did turn out to be accurate.

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