As more and more details come out for the 6th Gen iPod, whether it will get a UI makeover, a minor design change, or the iPod will become the iPhone – “Phone” + Pod is up in the air at the moment. Here’s my commentary.

The iPod is one of the biggest successes in Apple’s history. They aren’t going to let their biggest babies go the way of the dodo just because the new fangled iPhone came out. They are going to expand their iPod lineup to get more sales. One of the biggest things people on various message boards are wanting is, as a I mentioned, an iPhone without the phone. They, including myself, want WiFi to browse the web and bluetooth so we could tether our phone to the iPod and browse wherever we get a cell signal. We also want to get our email to go wherever we want. So, now that we got that established, here’s where I think the iPod is going.

The current lineup will stay the same for the most part. There will be your current shuffle for your lost cost, anywhere-you-go iPod along with the iPod nano for those who want something small and light, but something with a screen that you can also use while taking out on a jog using the Nike+ kit. The hard-drive based iPods is where things change up. The iPod will still have the click wheel and will have an interface similar to those videos leaked, but another model is going to be added to the lineup: the iPod Touch.

The iPod Touch will have the same style of touch screen that the iPhone has, except maybe a little bigger. It will have WiFi and Bluetooth in it. The WiFi will be used for Safari, Mail, Google Maps, basically everything that the iPhone uses the cell phone data connection for, but the Bluetooth will add two features to the iPod and one to the iPhone. For the iPod, this will include a DUN (dial-up networking) profile which will allow you to tether your phone over Bluetooth to get the internet wherever you are. The other profile that would be included for both the iPod and the iPhone will be A2DP. One of the biggest letdowns for the iPhone was the fact that A2DP wasn’t included. If you aren’t familiar, A2DP lets you stream music/audio over Bluetooth to either a Bluetooth audio adapter or Bluetooth headphones.

For the finer specifications, here’s my thoughts. The click-wheel iPod will be bumped up to 40GB and 80GB of storage, not that different than it is now. The iPod Touch on the other hand will have a 60GB and 100GB storage option. It will have a 3.5″ screen, like the iPhone, but will take out the unnecessary bulkiness needed for the earpiece at the top. The “Home” button is not out of the picture completely, but may be moved to the side of the device, most likely near the headphone port.

In January or whenever the iPhone 2 is announced, the Shuffle and Nano lineup will also be changed around. The Shuffle will be bumped up to 2GB and the Nano will have capacities of 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB. This of course means that the iPhone 2 will have an 8GB option as well as the 16GB option. Whether the nano will change into a video player is not known, but highly doubted.

So, there’s my thoughts on the roadmap for the iPod. What do you think? Feel free to post your comments on here and tell us what you think will happen to the iPod.

Zach also blogs at his own site,

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