A source often familiar with the Cupertino, Calif.-based company's music plans says a copy of its current roadmap calls for three distinct models to make their debut at various intervals throughout the new year.
First and foremost is said to be a video-centric model that will either replace or supplement the aging fifth-generation iPod, though details of the two other models are unclear at this point.
Still, it could be some time before this much rumored "true video iPod" makes its debut, if at all.
People familiar with the matter tell AppleInsider that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has so far been unwilling to commit the marketing and other resources necessary to bring the device to market.
That is, they say, until he can more adequately assess real-world reaction to the company's new iTunes movie service and iTV set-top box, following the release of the device early next year.
In a much overlooked statement issued by Apple vice president of Worldwide iPod Product Marketing Greg Joswiak in October, the exec did his part in attempting to reset expectations of further iPod announcements in the near term.
"The new iPod shuffle completes our all-new lineup of iPods for this holiday season and beyond," he said in a statement to members of the media when announcing availability of the company's most affordable iPod to date.
Over the next several weeks, Apple will become an increasing focus of the mainstream media as it attempts to get a lead on the company's plans for the annual Macworld gathering during the second week of January.