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Thursday, June 15, 2006, 09:30 am PT (12:30 pm ET)

Report: Apple prepping next-gen iPod

The head of a Taiwanese manufacturing company responsible for churning out iPods says Apple Computer is getting ready to unveil its next-generation digital music player.

At its annual meeting this week, Hon Hai (Foxconn) Chairman Terry Gou said Apple is about to unveil the next generation of its iPod, which will introduce a "none-touch" concept, according to a report in the China Post.

Gou did not elaborate on the subject and it's unclear specifically which iPod model he could be referring to.

Hon Hai has recently come under scrutiny after a report (1, 2) by the British press exposed sweatshop-like conditions within several of its overseas manufacturing facilities that build iPods for Apple.

On Wednesday, Apple responded to the claims in the report, saying it plans to investigate the matter.

The company just recently released an updated version of its Special Edition U2 player, which is based on its fifth-generation video iPod platform. This would suggest Gou's comments are unlikely related to a complete refresh of Apple's video iPod line.