Preview at WWDC likely in June, followed by September launch.
Fresh Claims of 3G-Capable iPod Touch in Development
AppleNApps is now adding its voice to the rumors with its own claims that a 3G-capable iPod touch is indeed in development, and while Apple is reportedly planning for a launch this September, the report does note that there are "no guarantees" and that Apple's plans are of course subject to change.
After talking with multiple people over the past few weeks, we had a lengthy chat with one person who gave us great news about the next iPod Touch. We’ve used this person in the past, but they did qualify their remarks, saying that the iPod Touch changes should make it, but there’s no guarantee the changes will be ready for fall. The 3G iPod Touch idea intrigued us so much back in July, and we’ve been trying to find one of our contacts who can give some credence to the idea. A few have declined to comment, while others honestly have no idea, but the source for this report says that Apple is indeed working on a 3G iPod Touch. Apple is intent on announcing the device during their September event which they usually save for their iPod line, but will include the iPhone as well this year.According to the report, Apple has already worked with wireless carriers to line up data-only service plans similar to those used for the iPad. Voice plans would not be available, although many users would certainly be interested in using any of the numerous VoIP services to add calling functionality to their devices.
Apple's new iCloud service has naturally increased chatter about a possible 3G-capable iPod touch, with speculation suggesting that Apple would like to provide as many of its iOS devices as possible with "always-on" data connectivity while on the go. Concrete evidence for a such a device has yet to appear, however, with many recent rumors for the next-generation iPod touch pegging it as a minor refresh of the existing model, perhaps with the addition of white as a color option.
Potential evidence of Apple considering the forthcoming iPod touch refresh to be a minor one surfaced back in June with the discovery of a new "iPod4,2" model mentioned in property list files in early iOS 5 builds. Its designation as a minor "4,2" evolution of the existing iPod4,1 rather than being a full "iPod5,1" update suggested that the forthcoming iPod touch could be fairly similar to the fourth-generation iPod touch currently available from Apple.
AppleNApps has yet to establish a significant track record of Apple-related rumors, and so we continue to express a fair amount of skepticism about the general claims of a 3G iPod touch until more evidence surfaces.