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7th-gen iPod nano may regain its camera but keep its tiny size

Apple may be putting a camera back in its next-gen iPod nano, judging by a spy shot of one of its parts published online. It shows a camera hole in a casing the same size as the 6th-gen model.

Last year's 6th-generation iPod nano ditched the previous model's camera in order to shrink down to a wrist-strappable square touchscreen device. Now a spy shot of a part from the 7th-gen model appears to show that the camera is coming back, but without sacrificing the overall size.

The iPod what? Okay, if you're a big-spending ubergeek with an iPhone and an iPad, the nano may have fallen off your tech radar long ago. The nano is still hugely popular though -- there may not be apps for that (yet), but the last model pilfered the slick touchscreen icon-based UI of its bigger brothers for a genuinely wearable gadget.

The new spy shot comes from Taiwanese website -- yep, those component suppliers have clearly been getting leaky again -- with US site 9 to 5 Mac pointing out that has good form when it comes to early info on new Apple gadgets, including the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

But wouldn't it be better to hear what the site has to say itself, in Google Translate form? Be our guest:

"iPod nano only sell you a few children. Immortality is the folder you really think Dr. Palace. Oh and you are Gatchaman XD. As for the talk today is not the children of California Ray Fool's Day gift to me. Yihuo really is this year's Apple's built-in lens will be released iPod nano 7G? Frankly I am better than you want to know..."

We think that says it all, really. There are no details on what kind of camera might sit inside the iPod nano 7G casing. Two years ago, the 5G iPod nano had a video camera that couldn't take still photos, with Apple citing the Flip Video camcorders as inspiration for the device.

If Apple continues in that line of thinking, we reckon it may match the iPad 2's rear camera, with a focus on shooting video rather than stills. If Apple follows its traditional iPod release pattern, we won't know until September-time, and its annual music-themed product launch event.