The big Apple Event was this week, and the largest shock of the whole day was the fact that the iPod touch will be coming to stores without a camera. Steve Jobs stated that the camera was absent because the touch was built to be a game console. An iPhone-like camcorder would have been unnecessary for Apple's purposes.
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However, not everyone is buying this line. There have been some rumors that the camera on the iPod touch was removed at the last minute due to space or hardware issues. Today, we finally have some proof that this may, in fact, be the case. Ifixit took apart an iPod touch and looked inside. In step 15 of the teardown, you can see a spot left at the top of the device (where the camera was shown in the cases) where a camera would have fit.
"it appears that Apple left in room for a camera in the top of the device. There is a 6mm x 6mm x 3mm space between the Broadcom chip and the wireless antenna. There isn't enough depth for an iPhone-style autofocus still camera, but just enough room for the camera that Apple used in the 5th generation iPod nano."
If iFixit is correct in their conclusions, it would justify the plethora of camera-packing iPod cases we saw prior to the launch this week. I can't imagine so many companies rolling out products early without any word from Apple. They'd at least want some guarantee they were placing their cameras correctly. All the nano cases had the camera slots in the correct place, after all.
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This isn't a smoking gun, but it's at least worth a couple of empty shell casings. The more we learn, the more likely it seems that Apple's plans for a camera-equipped touch were stymied at the last minute.