RUMOR: Apple’s next-gen iPod touch to get 3G data connectivity

“Apple advertises its iPod touch as an iPhone without a phone,” Christian Zibreg reports for 9to5Mac. “It works only with wireless hotspots and does not connect to cellular networks.”

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“Now, a Dutch blog called AppleSpot.nl is running a report this morning which asserts that a fifth-generation iPod touch will contain new antennas and circuitry for 3G data connectivity,” Zibreg reports. “[The] 3G in the next iPod touch will be for data-only traffic, like on iPad, rather than voice calls over a cellular network (excluding VoIP apps, of course).”

Zibreg reports, “With 3G, iPod touch [users] will be upgraded to the always-on computing. They will be able to use VoIP apps like Skype anywhere there’s WiFi or 3G coverage and carriers would surely welcome a new revenue stream by selling prepaid data packages and microSIMs…”

Read more in the full article here.

26 Comments

    1. Or you could say that this is Apple’s iPad mini with optional 3G. This would be Apple’s answer to the dopey 5 inch Android slates. Now that the telcos are offering pay as you go tablet data options, this is very credible.

      iPad wifi — $499 and iPad 3G — $629
      iPod wifi –$199 and iPod 3G – $329

      However……

      Why not just have a single, no contract, 3G iPhone for $299, and simply ditch the 16 GB and 32 GB iPod touches altogether. Sure, it’s gonna have lower screen tech (like the current iPod touch) and maybe same single cpu instead of the newer dual core cpu.

      Apple could still sell an 8GB iPod touch with no 3G option for $199.

  1. sold.

    i have a pay as you go phone for occasional texting and emergency calls, but since most of my life is on Wifi I use my touch for just about everything. Adding 3G would allow to just use the touch.

    1. But what if you could have a 3G pay-as-you-go option like the iPad? Not to mention the GPS.
      Just pay for a month when you’re on the road for vacation or things like that.

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  3. A brillant idea for killing Android and keeping the iPod relevant. The carriers will love this as it will bring in more people to using online data without tying up their voice networks.
    Android has absolutely no track record of producing music player like Apple’s iPod.

    As a matter of fact this may grab some of those dildos that would buy a tiny 7″ cheap Android tablet which doesn’t fit in the pocket all that well.

    Also the really cheap ones that got Android phone simply because it was free but you had to sign up for an overpriced phone plan. This way they do not need to buy the phone part and can get buy for a lot less.

    A lot of people do not know it but if they are over 55 they may qualify for a free cell phone and free monthly minutes, not much just a 100 to 150 or so, but enough to be a life line.

    They would go hog wild over a 3G iPod Touch as it would make them assessable as if they had a smart phone.

    Apple pulls this one off – Android is all but dead in the USA.

    BTW, I thought Ice Cream Sandwich was a code word for a Nigerian Navy Seal Team.

  4. This is a very rational response to (or perhaps explanatory portent for) the adoption of metered service by the US cellphone companies. The carriers cannot prevent this and at the same time provide tethering and hotspot service for laptops; they will face an antitrust/regulatory backlash out the wazoo from the FCC. And for those who think this will kill Android — how hard is it to take the voice circuitry out of an HTC or Samsung device and sell a 3G/4G MP3 player? The key for Android makers is to come up with an adequate substitute for iTunes, and there are plenty of companies who are working on that as we speak. This would be a defensive, not an offensive, move by Apple in a bad economy.

    1. Paul Johnson, Android is not even close in the iPod cat. There are MP3 players out the Wahzoo but Apple is the one with legal iTunes and the share of all the rest is insignificant.

      Apple has legal contracts with everyone just about in the Music business. Google and Amazon do not. That doesn’t matter to the type who may buy Android but the final pieces of that puzzle have fallen into place with government pressure on ISP providers. As ‘illegal’ copyrighted material flows and is identified the ISP must begin warning the player that there will be consequences if they do not get legal (ie Apple). The consequences are total blocking of all Internet access after interim measures such as cutting their access speed and such.

      Even that pressure can be applied to Amazon to sign costly agreements or their entire operation could be shut down.

      No more going to court and costly lawsuits to terrorize illegal music traders and businesses with out agreements in place to pay royalties, just cut them off from using the Internet on their smart phones and broadband accounts.

      Sit back and watch seemingly unrelated events come together, it is quite exciting. Apple is clearly in the catbird seat with this new iPod as the Internet in the free world moves into uncharted waters.

      1. Tablet Guy, you are chattering and obfuscating the substance for some business purpose of your own (such as pump and dump?). Amazon doesn’t have agreements with music companies? Please!!! How fortunate for them that they can sell a vast library of MP3s without any legal agreements. If you are referring to iCloud-related agreements, surely those will follow along soon for Amazon. This “ISP warning” program is another figleaf over the inability of RIAA to stop peer networking. And, anyway, what relevance does that have to Android’s competitive progress, since they would be using the same ISPs as Apple and have cloud sharing on similar terms?

        1. Paul, Paul

          Google doesn’t have any significant agreements with the music industry. It seems no one in that industry wants to have anything to do with Google on Google’s terms.

          Too bad, so sad!

  5. The killer App here is texting through iMessenger or perhaps a texting plan. Kids seldom talk, they text. VoIP for the occasional call combined with texting is not a home run, it is a grandslam home run.

  6. IMagine the options. FaceTime, Skype, Google Voice for voice and video comm, everything text with iMessages. Let’s hope the telcos are too stupid to realize this.

  7. So, maybe this fits with the rumor of two iPhones, with one being sold without contract to the prepaid market. If you made the iPod touch into a VOIP data device for $299, I think that might do it. Now, bundle a free lifetime subscription to data thru Sprint, the way the Kindle did, and you’d be all set. Other countries, will require different deals, but in the US, I think all the pieces are in place for something like this.

  8. Good idea, I think.

    But what it really needs is a bigger screen. Make gaming & video watching better, differentiate it more from the iPhone.

    somwhere around 6″ would be perfect.

  9. Tablet Guy, Tablet Guy. I said Amazon, and Amazon is already providing cloud service. Similar Amazon services could work with Android devices. It doesn’t have to come from Google, although Google would like to do it if it helps their advertising business.

    1. I think the problem with Amazon is, they never negotiated with the record labels about cloud-related services. What Apple did with the labels is secured a deal with the labels for licensing of uploaded no-questions-asked user files (the annual subscription), which Amazon does NOT have. In other words, Apple’s when users begin to upload their MP3s (whether ripped, borrowed or “borrowed”), they’ll be paying Apple for the privilege, and Apple will be compensating labels according to their agreement.

      When Amazon’s users begin uploading their ripped, borrowed or “borrowed” MP3s, Amazon won’t be paying anyone anything, and the labels may start asking questions about those user MP3s.

      1. There is nothing to stop Amazon from making similar cloud-related agreements with the record labels. Surely the labels did not give Apple an exclusive agreement. This seems especially unlikely when it was THE LABELS who encouraged Amazon to provide a competitive alternative to iTunes by allowing them to be the first provider to waive DRM on MP3 sales!

  10. Don’t miss the forest for the trees here guys.

    Pure speculation
    Lets take an iTouch as is, but add 3G, microphone, and speaker you now have a smartphone. Now what is the next hurdle to accomplish here to make this phone cheap, as it is the cost on this device should be around the $200 mark. The real cost comes from the carrier; you have a minimum of $90 per month which is not priced for people with less income.

    Lets think outside of the box here. ATT sells data only contract free service for something like $30 per and gives you 2GB (to lazy to look it up). What is missing from this deal? Voice and SMS, but what is voice and SMS? For something like and iPhone you don’t need voice since you can push the voice over the data plan and SMS can be replaced with apples iMessage.

    Now lets look at other rumors going around; we have Sprint. Sprint is the 4th place carrier in the US and has a stock price of $5.50. Sure, Apple can just add the iPhone to the line up, but what would that really do for them? Some will come over from Ver and ATT, but if people wanted and iPhone they really have no excuse to just switch over to one of the two better carriers and be done with it.

    This is the big plan and it is going to be BIG. Again remember, pure speculation, just me looking at the chess pieces moving around the field. Apple is going to invest big and own a large chunk of Sprint and China Mobile. The data network is going to be built up, carrier debts paid off and company improved (see 20Bill deal that Sprint is dumping into its network, where did this money come from??). Apple is going to now have these carriers sell $35 – $40 per month data plans at around 2GB contract fee and have customers buy this new cheap iPhone that only runs off of the data network.

    Apple is going to keep plans open with the other carriers on the higher end phones, but is going to start bleeding people over to this new Sprint service that no longer screws the client. Now everyone can own an iPhone and the end user is not being screwed. Sure, ATT/VZW is not going to like this, but what can they do, they can decide to not sell the iPhone, but it is going to just hurt them. Sprint, now the worst carrier slowly gets upgraded due to investments from Apple, while ATT and VZW’s business model slowly rots them like a cancer.

    Apples goal is not to keep adding cores, processing power, better screens and keep the arms race going with the other phones on the market, that can keep being matched HTC. Apple’s goal is to get an iPhone into everyone’s hand that wants one, regardless if they can pay for it or not. Apple is out to kill the reason that stops people from upgrading their flip phones to smart phones, they are going to buy their own carrier and change the pricing model from the inside; flip the pricing model from inside out. Other carriers are not going to know what to do, how could they compete, sure they can give you 3 free Droids, but they are going to spend 2 years being blind to the fact that their pricing model is over, while this shitty third rate carrier east them alive with the “poor man’s iPhone”. All the while, we are still going to see ATT iPhone adds one television, but the real carrier might be Apples new baby Sprint.

    Think about it, if you said to Verizon’s CEO, lets sell the iPhone contract from $35 per month with a 2GB cap, they would laugh in your face, they are already selling tons of iPhones. Now lets imagine Jobs walking into Sprints CEO’s office and making the same offer?

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