HardMac, the English language version of France's Macbidouille, posted an illustration of the next generation iPod touch in a clear case. The website claims the source of the image is "very reliable." The image appears to show a rounded back with a rear-facing camera and flash.
A rounded back would be a clear departure from the design of the iPhone 4, which has a flat glass back.
According to HardMac, the source has been reliable in the past, correctly confirming the inclusion of a camera on last year's iPod nano. Technical issues have been cited as the reason for the lack of a camera on last year's iPod touch model.
Although rumors of a camera-enabled iPod touch have persisted for several years, the June unveiling of Apple's FaceTime video call feature for the iPhone 4 served to strengthen the rumors. At that time, CEO Steve Jobs expressed plans to make the feature an "open industry standard" that works between different devices. When speculating which devices are likely to adopt the FaceTime standard, many analysts have kept the iPod touch at the top of their lists.
Reports from "supplier" sources corroborate the iPod touch camera rumor, although the details don't always match. In July, U.K. retailer John Lewis claimed the next iPod touch will have a 5 megapixel camera, while the Taiwanese publication Digitimes cited sources predicting a 3 megapixel camera.