If there was one thing almost everyone was certain about in the run-up to Wednesday's music event, it was that the new iPod Touches would include a camera. This makes sense, as the iPod Touch is a cousin to the iPhone, which already has a built-in camera (video now, even!) so surely it wouldn't be such a difficult thing to do? The iPod Nano went mostly ignored, which is probably because they get mostly ignored in general (though it's worth noting that not everybody forgot about them.)
Usually when a rumor is this widespread it has some basis in reality. AppleInsider reported just before the event that "technical issues" would hold back the camera-enabled phone. Now, it goes without saying that any last-minute technical issues would prevent the rollout of the device entirely -- it's not like Apple could simply redesign a cameraless version in weeks or days. Thus, I sort of expected that, if this report was true, we wouldn't see new iPod Touches at all (something I sort of imagined might be the case in the interminable lead-up to their introduction at the event).
But the next-gen Touches are here, so obviously the tech troubles, if such they were, arose quite a long time ago, as more recent reports suggest. The question is: how did these rumors continue to roll around months after the process of changing the Touch began? It makes you wonder the extent to which these rumor storms begin with a useful nugget from one person with access to information but without updated access to information.
Meanwhile, Steve Jobs cheerfully told the New York Times that there's no camera in an iPod Touch because they had to keep the price low, so that it could serve as a "gateway drug" to the App Store. It's sort of hard to believe that a camera would add more than, say $20 or $30 to the final result, but Phil Schiller did say that $199 was a "magic price point" so who knows.
Oh, and if you're wondering how Apple managed to cram that video camera -- along with everything else -- into the iPod Nano, check out the pics from iFixit!