Brief thought: Apple introduced the iPod touch name back in 2007 to distinguish the sole touchscreen-based model in its iPod lineup from other devices that were Click Wheel- (iPod classic/nano) and button- (iPod shuffle) based. What happens when there’s a low-end touchscreen iPod in the family—is the iPod touch name really necessary any more? Apple axed “photo” from iPod photo when it “merged” the iPod and iPod photo lines some years ago, and surely wouldn’t hesitate to do the same thing for the iPod touch at some point—particularly when the touchscreen feature has trickled down to another model. A return to the classic iPod name would be easy enough, given that there’s no confusing it at this point with the well-worn “iPod classic” moniker.

Also, even if no one’s quite sure whether to call the shuffle-like iPod nano “the sixth-generation iPod nano,” the “fourth-generation shuffle,” the “third-generation iPod mini,” or the “first-generation iPod micro,” we all know a couple of things. First, Apple’s not going to call a touchscreen iPod nano the “iPod touch nano.” Second, an iPod stops being a “shuffle” if it gets a screen… right?… which means that either “nano” or a new name for the tiny device seems likely.

We think that the iPod name game is going to be an interesting part of the Apple event this week. What do you think?