iPod 3G on the way?

Hmm. This is weird. Amidst all the fevered speculation about new iPhones and iPads this autumn, it's easy to forget there'll also be new iPods, including a new iPod Touch. But according to the latest rumours the new iPod Touch will be a very different beast to the current model.

Obviously, it'll be more powerful, using the A5 processor that's expected to power the iPhone 5 and running the new iOS 5 software. But that might not be all. According to the latest buzz, it'll have 3G.

Now, we know what you're thinking - doesn't that make it a phone? Well, apparently not: it wouldn't be able to make calls or send text messages. The idea would be simply to allow owners to surf the web and download apps wherever they are.

We actually reckon this sounds pretty attractive, letting people get in on all the app action while still having a nice, small, buttony phone to make calls on. A lot of people still want one of those. It'd also appeal to the many people who want an iPhone for browsing but are stuck with a BlackBerry as their main phone by their work.

The downside, of course, is that where there's a 3G radio there's the need for data, which means the iPod Touch 3G could need a pay-as-you-go or even pay-monthly data plan. But Apple could let people download apps for free with a special deal with mobile operators, like Amazon does to let people download books over 'Whispernet'.

Of course, this could also be nonsense. We'll have to see what happens when Apple shows the new iPod Touch off, probably in September.

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