New iPod
A user-designed fake iPod (Credit:

With all the hype that led up to the release of the iPhone, paired with all the coverage once it was actually launched, one could almost believe we had seen the end of the wild Apple speculation for a while. I'm here to tell you--and if you're a longtime Apple fan you know this already--when it comes to Apple, the rumor mill never stops. You may have already heard the rumor about the iPhone Nano--a smaller, less expensive version of the iPhone. Though it sounded like an interesting concept and got plenty of coverage, it did indeed turn out to be only a rumor. Personally, I wouldn't want a smaller, cut-rate iPhone--I say let's keep it the way it is and bring the price down. I'm sure I'm not alone on that idea.

Though the iPhone Nano rumor was mostly discredited, there are a few insiders who say there's something else on the horizon for Apple. It's the item people were speculating about a couple of years ago when news of Apple-patented touch screens first hit the Web: the touch-screen iPod. It seemed to be the next logical step at the time, when iPods began supporting video. There hasn't been any major changes to the iPod since that same video iPod was released a couple of years ago, but Steve Jobs hinted at the next version recently.

If you believe the rumors, the new iPod will take some of its technology from the iPhone, with the aforementioned touch screen, a slimmed-down OS X system, and much the same type of interface. Some speculate that there will be a major increase in storage capacity too, but no one is willing to guess (except me--200 gigs or more?) how much. With OS X running the iPod, it's pretty easy to speculate that you'll be able to use iPod apps while you listen to music. Possibly the most exciting part of this rumor, however, is that these new iPods could be here as soon as August. Others say Steve Jobs will wait until Macworld in January, but as with everything in the land of Apple speculation, anything is possible.

What do you think? Do you think a smaller iPhone with less features is worth it? Knowing that there won't be phone capabilities and probably no Internet access, what should the touch-screen iPod offer? Are you tired of all the Apple rumors? Let me know in the comments!

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.