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Next-gen, touchscreen iPods coming in August?

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2007
News Categories: iPod

DigiTimes is reporting that Taiwan-based panel manufacturer Wintek will supply Apple with touchscreen panels for a next-generation touchscreen iPod, set to launch in August. According to sources at upstream suppliers, Wintek will begin shipping capacitive touchscreen panels in the second half of 2007 that will be used with customers’ own software and ICs. The report goes on to claim that Apple is also placing touchscreen panel orders with Balda for the iPhone.

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Comments

1

I’ll believe it when I see it…
I have my doubts that they’ll unveil a touchscreen iPod before September (at the earliest)

Posted by MirandaKali in D.C. on July 11, 2007 at 7:49 AM (PDT)

2

Seems like a more likely explanation would be Apple is just preparing to restock their iPhone inventory for the holidays. Possible iPods, but more probable iPhones.

Posted by James on July 11, 2007 at 8:12 AM (PDT)

3

So is this article saying that the new iPod will be available for purchase in August?
This confused me:
“According to sources at upstream suppliers, Wintek will begin shipping capacitive touchscreen panels in the second half of 2007 that will be used with customers’ own software and ICs.”

Posted by blaba on July 11, 2007 at 8:14 AM (PDT)

4

I hope is sooner rather then later.  I’ve been holding off on upgrading my G3 in hopes of a touchscreen Ipod.  But its on its last legs.

Posted by Spinna on July 11, 2007 at 8:28 AM (PDT)

5

Well at least before Christmas would be nice anyway.

Posted by Trace in US on July 11, 2007 at 8:39 AM (PDT)

6

Spinna - I’m right there with you. My 40GB 3rd gen iPod is on its laast legs and I’m dying to buy myself a new iPod. The problems are:
1 - No new design. If i pay premium to upgrade, then I want a darn good reason. A touch screen iPod would fulfill that requirement.
2 - Capacity. The biggest iPod Apple do is 80GB. What I use my iPod for is to house my entire music library, which currently sits at 85GB and is growing every so often. I’d like to have an iPod with enough capacity to fulfill my need to put all my music on it, but also enough space to put futuire purchases of music onto it.
APple, release a 6th Gen touch Screen 100GB iPod and my cash is yours. here’s to hoping!

Posted by Daniel Nicholls on July 11, 2007 at 9:06 AM (PDT)

7

My 4G broke this past November and I’ve been holding out for a new design. At the time, certain sources said March or April. So I thought to myself that I’d be stupid to upgrade now when three months later something new/better/cheaper would come out. That time came and went and then June was the month to hope for. Now June has come and gone and they’re saying August/Sept/Oct. How long can I wait?

Posted by Isral DeBruin on July 11, 2007 at 9:14 AM (PDT)

8

Am I the only person who doesn’t like the idea of a touch-screen iPod?

I like my clickwheel - If the next iPod is a touch-screen only design, then I’ll have to hang onto my 5g iPod until it dies and then find another player.

Posted by B.Mick in Austin, TX on July 11, 2007 at 11:05 AM (PDT)

9

I actually just bought a macbook for school and they’re giving away a free $200 credit towards either a Nano or a full size iPod until September 16th, I believe. Based on previous experiences with promotions like this one, it can be reasonably assumed that we can expect upgrades to both the Nano and the iPod sometime shortly after that date. Sept. 16 falls on a Sunday, so that week will probably be full of new updates. I’m gonna guess bigger capacity Nanos and a 100 GB touch screen iPod sans Wi-Fi. Apple has to keep some sort of distinction between product lines, after all.

Posted by RWike on July 11, 2007 at 11:09 AM (PDT)

10

While I think touchscreen is a cool idea, based on the display iPhones I saw at the Apple Store at the nearest mall, those displays will get filthy. It was, about 3-4 days after the release and the phones were already riddled with grease and fingerprints.

Posted by Nobody on July 11, 2007 at 11:36 AM (PDT)

11

The one thing that makes me cautiously optimistic about this report is that this “rumor” is from a company involved with the iPods, and not by some journalist. I really do hope there’s a new touchscreen iPod coming even though it will ruin my bank account.

Posted by Toby on July 11, 2007 at 1:28 PM (PDT)

12

@ B.Mick: No, you are not alone. I also am opposed to touchscreen iPods, and I guess if Apple comes out with a touchscreen 6G, i’m going to have to take care of my 5.5G very well and hope it lasts a few years, because there is no way that i’ll use a touchscreen ipod. After my 5.5G dies, I guess i’ll browse Ebay and buy some pre-owned 5.5Gs.

Posted by The Soup Nazi on July 11, 2007 at 2:05 PM (PDT)

13

I was apprehensive about the concept of the touchscreen ipod at first, but then i was apprehensive about the click wheel too (I loved my four button g2 iPod).

But the iPod interface on the iPhone ROCKS.  It’s inconsistent at times—for example, there’s no way to change the volume or advance within a track when you’re in coverflow mode—but overall, it’s intuitive, efficient and it’s fast.  I can find a song, artist or album much faster on the iPhone, without the endless circling I used to do on the click wheel.  Just push the list upward really fast, watch the screen, and press the screen again when you see the song you’re looking for fly by.  This freezes the list immediately, just like flipping through a rolodex and one more click gets it a-playin’.  The sliders for track position and volume are surprisingly accurate.

Yes, the screen gets a little icky sometimes.  But it wipes off easy.  I’ve had it at the gym every day since I got it and it looks awesome (after a quick polish).

Posted by dasmb on July 11, 2007 at 2:11 PM (PDT)

14

I agree with Soup Nazi and B.Mick. My nano fell into a glass of water last week and I want to get a 5G iPod. I don’t want that iPod to become outdated and touchscreen becoming the new thing.

Posted by CMH on July 11, 2007 at 4:51 PM (PDT)

15

That while the iPhone touch screen does get finger prints on it, being a very hard glass surface it takes all of two seconds with a t-shirt to make it perfectly clean and spotless.  No worry of scratches (unless you are rubbing it with diamonds or carbon steel bits), and the interface in iPod music or video mode are just amazing to use.

Posted by I will say on July 11, 2007 at 5:12 PM (PDT)

16

It’s not the fact that it will smudge or possibly scratch that bothers me - it’s a useability thing for me. 

1.  A touch screen is best used with two hands - I can easily do everything with my current 5.5g with one hand.

2.  With no tactile feedback, you will need to be able to see the screen to do anything.  I can easily skip tracks and adjust the volume using my clickwheel without even looking at the iPod.

Posted by B.Mick in Austin, TX on July 12, 2007 at 6:29 AM (PDT)

17

B.Mick’s right. I do currently use one-hand for my 5G iPod. It’s just easy. Plus, if your iPod is in your pocket and you have memorized then interface and all of the features as I have, it is very easy to navigate without even looking at the iPod.
If Apple does release a 6G touch-screen ipod soon, I will be honest, I will purchase it, even if it is less easy to use. Because in some places, such as at home, using the touch screen who’d just be too cool.
So, what I’ll probably do is just keep my library on both iPods. I’ll use my 5G for outdoors and stuff, where I don’t really want to have to pull it out of my pocket, and I’ll use the touch-screen one at home and places like friend’s houses.
I expect Apple to release a 40GB version and a 80GB version. That would seem most likely. Since there have been people wanting Apple to bump up the storage a little on the 30GB version.

Posted by doompod on July 12, 2007 at 7:35 AM (PDT)

18

Um doompod, where have you been? There’s been a 30GB and 80GB version of the iPod for months now. Bumping up the 30GB to 40GB and doing nothing to increase the capacity of the 80GB would barely be an improvement.

Posted by urbanslaughter on July 12, 2007 at 8:58 AM (PDT)

19

People, if you haven’t tried the iPhone’s touchscreen, then dismissing it altogether is completely baseless. Trust me, the thing works like a charm, and like dasmb said, there’s a whole new level of user-friendliness inherent in the interface that makes the click wheel seem pokey by comparison. And I have an 80 GB fifth-gen iPod that I dearly love, so please understand that I have the proper basis for comparison.

The touchscreen flicking in either Cover Flow or list mode is, in a word, awesome. It’s extremely responsive and the finger motion is extremely natural (sometimes I felt like scrolling with the click-wheel was a bit too touchy and tedious). And having a larger screen is worth the sacrifice, believe me.

As for the complaints about the “icky” nature of the screen, the microfiber cloth takes that away quickly. And frankly, the film on the screen isn’t even all that visible when the screen is illuminated unless you are looking at it from certain, awkward angles.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on July 12, 2007 at 10:20 AM (PDT)

20

I’m sure the touchscreen on the iPhone works brilliantly.  I’m not saying it doesn’t.

I’m just saying that as an iPod, it also has disadvantages that I personally would not be willing to concede.

As a phone, a web-browser, video player… I’m sure it’s fantastic, but it is not the most useable iPod in my opinion for the reasons I described earlier.

Posted by B.Mick in Austin, TX on July 12, 2007 at 11:31 AM (PDT)

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