Q: I really want to get an iPod touch due to the applications, the look, the touchscreen, the video, the power and so on. However, there are two things I’m wondering about: Firstly, what things does the iPhone have that the iPod touch does not, and when is the next iPhone and iPod touch going to appear for sale?
A: For the most part, the major difference between the iPod touch and the iPhone are the phone features themselves. The iPhone itself obviously has the ability to make and receive phone calls and SMS text messages. Further, with a data plan the iPhone can be used over the 3G or EDGE network in addition to a Wi-Fi network, whereas the iPod touch is confined to Internet access only on a Wi-Fi network.
The iPhone also includes a camera and built-in microphone that the iPod touch does not, and also includes actual GPS support whereas the iPod touch is limited to trying to determine your location based on nearby Wi-Fi access points.
However, the second-generation iPod touch released last fall is not without its own benefits over the iPhone. Firstly, it is available in a 32GB model, whereas the highest capacity iPhone is only 16GB. Current trends thus far would seem to indicate that the iPod touch will continue to be available in higher capacities than the iPhone in future models as well.
The iPod touch is also a much slimmer device, and includes built-in support for the Nike+ Sport Kit, a feature that does not work at all on the iPhone, even with the dock connecting sensor. The second-generation iPod touch also offers a few benefits that were previously exclusive to the iPhone, such as a built-in speaker and voice recording capabilities through a microphone attached to the headphone port.
More importantly, the iPod touch is available for a reasonable price without having to sign a contract for cellular service; While the iPhone may seem cheaper on the front, the longer-term commitment with most cellular carriers will make the longer-term cost much higher than the outright purchase price of an iPod touch.
In terms of release dates, there is no way of knowing for certain when new models are going to be released.