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iOS 5 code bits hint at minor iPod Touch upgrades

Will the next iPod Touch be a minor update? Code snippets from the yet-to-be-released iOS 5 suggest that could be the case.

Apple's latest iPod Touch.
Apple's latest iPod Touch. Josh P. Miller/CNET

If references to unreleased iPads in the code of Apple's first iOS 5 developer beta weren't enough to whet your appetite for new devices, signs of a new iPod Touch have now been found as well.

A forum goer over at iFans has unearthed a reference to an "iPod4,2" in a property list file from the iOS 5 code. Such a model identifier does not exist in Apple's current lineup of devices, suggesting this has been included to support an unreleased iPod Touch.

What's interesting here is that these model identifiers, which tend to pop up on developer builds of pre-release iOS software, often sport an incremental update in the main number to signify that a future model will be a more substantial upgrade. As iFans notes, the only thing that's changing from the current iPod Touch moniker is that second number, suggesting a smaller revision.

The question of where Apple intends to take the iPod Touch this year is of special interest given what's happening with the iPhone, the device from which it is derived. This time last year (to the day actually) the iPhone 4 hit store shelves after making an official debut at Apple's annual developers conference. That same timeline has not matched up with whatever Apple plans to deliver as a follow-up.

Recent reports have pegged a new iPhone arriving later this year to coincide with the public availability of iOS 5. That timing makes things even more interesting, since it could end up bumping into when Apple usually releases new iPods. Up until now, Apple's had a break in between the release of both devices, a tradition that could be coming to an end.

Related: How a 3G iPod Touch could change the game