John Lewis outs iPod touch next gen specs

Retail giant John Lewis has leaked details of the next generation iPod touch during a staff event which looks forward to the Christmas sales period.

Apple is well known for its almost Stalinist approach to secrecy, but the High Street and online retailer is such an important partner to the Cupertino company that the speculation is lent a higher level of credence than most.

The presentation given by JL gadget buyer Rob Hennessy outlined major features that the device is 'likely' to include based on information gleaned from suppliers.

And if Hennessy's sources are to believed, the next generation iPod Touch will to all intents and purposes be an iPhone 4 without the phone functionality.

According to Pocket Lint, the presentation suggested that the next iPod will have a five megapixel camera complete with flash, which will also be capable of shooting 720p HD video - although later reports have suggested that the current iPhone 4 sensor hardware won't physically fit into the current iPod case.

The updated device will be centred on social networking and will be closely tied to the likes of Facebook and YouTube.

The presentation also suggested that the update will also include the accelerometer and giro device fitted to the iPhone 4, which would make sense for a company which is trying desperately to meld all its iDevices into a single giant handheld gaming platform to take on the likes of the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.

As far as we can tell, there was no mention of a second camera in the presentation, but it did suggest that Face Time video calling over Wi-Fi would be included. Whether that means a second camera is actually in the offing remains to be seen.

Apple has a track record of updating the iPod line to better reflect the capabilities if the iPhone soon after the launch of a new handset, so we'll be expecting to see a new range of iPods some time in September, just in time for the pre-Yule festival of consumerism.