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Last-minute iPod rumors reaffirm cameras for touch, nano

Though Apple is especially tight-lipped for its annual iPod event set for Wednesday, John Gruber has shared what little he has been told will be unveiled by the hardware maker in just hours.

Calling them "sure thing bets," the Daring Fireball blogger said that both the iPod nano and iPod touch will receive cameras. He believes the new iPod touch will have the same RAM and processor speed as the iPhone 3GS, and the new media player will sell in capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB at prices of $199, $299 and $399, respectively. He also said that the hard drive-based iPod classic will remain, likely with a 160GB capacity for $249.

Gruber admitted that he has heard "very little" prior to Wednesday's event in San Francisco, reaffirming reports that a veil of secrecy returned when co-founder Steve Jobs returned to work at Apple. And all of what he's confirmed, including the addition of cameras to the iPod touch and iPod nano, was known months ago.

Beyond the information Gruber is confident with, he also offers a number of unverified rumors and personal speculation. Among them:

  • Rumors that the new iPod nano will have a "top-secret new material/treatment" on its exterior, and will include an FM tuner.
  • A prediction that the iPod shuffle will be redesigned once again, as Gruber believes the no-button model has been a flop.
  • Because iTunes is run on both Windows and Mac, and most iTunes users are on Windows, it would not make much sense for Apple to write iTunes 9 in Cocoa for 64-bit (it is currently a 32-bit Carbon application). Instead, Gruber predicts that iTunes will be rewritten using WebKit, the same browser engine used in Safari, to allow the application to be developed simultaneously for both Windows and Mac.
  • Rumors of Apple's "Cocktail" offering, designed to incentivize sales of full albums, have existed for months. Gruber believes that this, too, will be rendered in WebKit. "My guess is that Cocktail is going to be like a sort of next-generation Dashboard."
  • While analysts have engaged in a will he or won't he debate on whether Jobs will appear Wednesday, Gruber does not believe he'll be on stage.

Apple's keynote is scheduled for 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. AppleInsider will have full coverage and analysis of the event.