iPod Touch 5th Generation, An iPhone Mini First Generation?!

It doesn't take a Gus Abelgas to figure out that the next iteration to the ultra-famous Apple iPod Touch could very well end up being a cheaper version of the iPhone.

This post aims to collate all leaks and insider reports suggesting that the world's most famous gaming handheld device is being transformed by Apple into an actual phone.

1. 3G iPod Touch?

Late last month, iDB spotted an image of a 3G iPod Touch on Apple's iTunes page:

ipod touch 5th generation
Apple has since replaced the image with, well, something less revealing.

And we all know; When there's '3G' on screen, there must be a SIM card slot somewhere (unless, of course, it's CDMA).

2. Reuters: "Apple Will Release a Cheaper iPhone Within Weeks"

According to Reuters, a South Korean company is now creating flash drives for a cheaper, 8GB version of an iPhone, which remains to be unnamed. The more affordable iPhone aims to win over "lower-end customers from rivals such as Nokia in China and other emerging markets".

3. Lower Priced iPhone, Necessary Evil?

To quote Channing Smith, Co-Manager at Capital Advisors Growth Fund - a company that owns Apple shares, "A lower-priced version of [the iPhone appears to be] a necessary evil at this point in the iPhone adoption cycle, especially in emerging markets where the average income of individuals is much lower."

4. Rumored Announcement of Cheaper iPhone Coincides with Yearly Announcement of iPod Touch

Rumors have it that the announcement of the cheaper version of the iPhone, which some tech websites are calling iPhone Mini, will be done sometime in September. Meanwhile, all Apple fans know that September is usually the time when Apple announces its next generation music devices, which include iPod Touch. iPod Touch 4G, for example, was announced last September 2, 2010.

5. Similar Price Points

Bonnie Chang of Yuanta Securities shares, "Apple may want to push into the emerging market segment, where customers want to switch to low- to mid-end smartphones from high-end feature phones, which usually cost $150 to $200 [...] But I think for an 8GB iPhone 4, the price is hard to go below $200, so Apple will still need a completely new phone with low specifications for the emerging markets."

If less than $200 is the targeted price point for the cheaper iPhone, then it could very well end up cannibalizing iPod Touch sales; Unless, of course, the cheaper iPhone is the same the iPod Touch.

Note that all of these are but speculations and rumors. At the end of the day, only Apple knows the fate of the iPod Touch.

But what do you think? Will the Fifth Generation iPod Touch be the First Generation iPhone Mini?

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