The pattern is now predictable: once or twice each year, an old iPod model becomes passe, the world speculates on what its replacement will be like, then Apple replaces it. But so far, 2006 has been all sizzle and no meat: we’ve seen plenty of speculation over iPod shuffle, iPod nano, and 5G iPod successors, but no major new iPod releases. Rather than speculate ourselves over what’s to come, we wanted to leave it to you.
Keep in mind that analysts are predicting all sorts of things, but their track records are mixed, and guesses often wrong. Many are focused on iPod nanos and their flash-based replacements: we’ve seen estimates of 6 to 8GB iPod nanos, 10 to 12GB new, high-end flash-based iPods, and discussions of both aluminum and magnesium enclosures, both in multiple colors. There have been dozens of guesses that Apple will release new widescreen video iPods with touch or gesture interfaces, but most of the recent reports have focused on wireless sixth-generation iPods. Additionally, Apple-developed iPhones are also supposedly coming soon.
What do you think is going to happen? And when? Will Apple kill the iPod shuffle? The iPod nano? Re-introduce the iPod mini? What will the replacements look like and feature? Pick your favorite iPod model or models, and give us your best guess on its future in the comments thread below. We look forward to hearing your thoughts!