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Technical issues could delay iPod camera upgrade [u]

Just days before Apple is expected to unveil its new line of iPods, multiple reports are suggesting that some of the widely anticipated camera-equipped media players could be delayed due to technical difficulties. [Updated with info from Hardmac.]

A person with a strong track record in predicting Apple's upcoming product launches recently told AppleInsider that the iPod maker has experienced technical problems (bad parts) with the cameras modules. The person said that it was uncertain whether the new hardware, which has been widely expected to debut at Wednesday's "Only rock and roll" media-centric event, would make the cut for early September retail distribution.

The report echos one published earlier Monday by Hardmac, the English-language version of French Apple news site Macbidouille.

For months, photos of third-party cases for the iPod touch and iPod nano with camera holes have been surfacing online, leading most to believe that the new hardware was essentially a foregone conclusion at the Sept. 9 keynote. Though there have been no such cases to support a similar upgrade for the iPod classic, one rumor has implied Apple's only hard drive-based player could also see a photographic upgrade. At the time, reports suggested that the line would be receiving 3.2 megapixel CMOS image sensors — the same lens currently available in the iPhone 3GS.

Rumors of the camera upgrade cropped up long before the case evidence surfaced, but in recent months the evidence has become more convincing. One person even took photos and video of what was alleged to be a third-generation iPod touch prototype with a camera. That person even provided a teardown of the device, showing its inner workings.

With the latest tip provided to AppleInsider, it is unclear whether the debut of iPods with cameras has been scrapped from the Sept. 9 event entirely, or if the products will simply not be available for sale for some time after an unveiling.

Apple's long-rumored tablet device, with a 10-inch touchscreen and 3G connectivity, is not expected to be at Wednesday's event. That product will likely see its debut in early 2010.