Q: Are both the iPod touch and iPod classic considered to be the 6G iPod or is this strictly for the classic? I watched Steve’s speech at the event and he didn’t say.
A: This is largely a semantic discussion, as the generational identifiers within each iPod model have only traditionally been used for support purposes to differentiate between different product releases.
Until this week’s announcement, Apple has never had more than one main “iPod” model on the market at a time, and has therefore merely referred to this main model as “iPod” with no other designations being required. On Apple’s support site and in their documentation, it was often necessary to make the distinction between model numbers for support purposes (so you could identify your specific model when referring to support articles or documentation), but as far as Apple is concerned, the devices are simply the “iPod classic” and “iPod touch”
The new iPod classic seems the logical evolution in terms of the traditional iPod lineup, and therefore most people will consider it the sixth-generation iPod in principle, however this may be a popular unofficial designation rather than what Apple will actually refer to it as.
For example, keep in mind that at no point did Apple ever refer to the September 2006 iPod release as a “5.5G” iPod—this was a terminology bestowed on it by the media and iPod user community at large to provide a simple distinction between the original fifth-generation iPod and the newer enhanced model. Despite this, as far as Apple was concerned, it was still just the “iPod” for marketing purposes, or “Late 2006 fifth-generation iPod” in their support documentation.