Next iPod Touch May Feature 3G Connectivity

Most of the rumors surrounding the next iOS product have centered around the upcoming iPhone 5. But what of its close cousin, the iPod Touch? What will we see in the fifth generation? According to a report by Dutch blog AppleSpot.nl, the "iPhone without a Phone" will contain new antennas and circuitry for supporting 3G data connectivity while retaining its original Wi-Fi capability.

For iPod Touch owners, this is a good thing if the pricepoint remains within reason. Rather than relying on a local network or a Wi-Fi hotspot, users will have the ability to download music, movies, TV episodes and games anywhere there's access to a 3G connection. But the actual 3G connectivity won't come pre-installed: users will be required to get a 3G-capable SIM card from their wireless carriers to insert into the device.

But as the blog points out, the use of Skype will likely skyrocket. For AT&T and Verizon, this could possibly mean that potential subscribers would simply purchase the cheaper iPod Touch out-of-contract but sign up for 3G coverage and use Skype as the main telephony service. Thanks to the built-in microphone and speaker, subscribers would thus have a makeshift iPhone that doesn't really have a phone.

The news follows reports that Apple will introduce two "totally distinct" iPhones in September: a low-end model to address the cheap Android Market and a high-end device sporting an all-new design. And as always, the iPod Touch will also be updated. Currently Apple offers two distinct iPhones on the market: the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4.

As it stands now, everything is mere rumor until Apple supposedly reveals all three devices this September, so stay tuned.