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Apple Computer may be gearing up to introduce a new generation iPod player with brand-new concept, according to the head of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the contract manufacturer known for its Foxconn Electronics trade-mark.

“Apple is about to unveil the next generation of iPod, the best-selling music player in the U.S., using a ‘none-touch’ concept,” said Terry Guo, chief executive and chairman of Foxconn during a meeting with shareholders, China Post news-paper reports.

The head of Foxconn did not provide any details, still, the fact that Apple is about to release a new generation of the iPod players may be an indicator that the firm is really planning something brand-new, not another restyled version, such as current iPod video. The release of the new iPod would not put additional pressure on Apple’s rivals, primarily companies like Creative Technology, iRiver and Sony Corp., but also boost sales of lucrative high-end players by the company.

While Mr. Guo did not state anything concrete regarding the timeframes or the nature of the new device, it is highly likely, that he mentioned the long-discussed and highly-anticipated “true” video iPod. Originally it was reported that the new “true” video iPod will have 3.5” colour touch screen that will serve for both video and navigation purposes. Those, who have seen the device, reportedly said that it would have 3.5” display that will occupy the entire front face of the gadget. The new iPod features a digital click wheel, one that overlays the touch-sensitive display and appears when a finger touches it and disappears when the finger is removed. It is uncertain how such way of work would fit into "none-touch" concept, which should presume that the device is not touched.

In mid-April it was reported that certain technology-related issues had emerged with the touch-screen display of the new video iPod and the actual manufacturer of appropriate components had to go back to the drawing board and redesign the display. Apple reportedly expects the new iPod to be ready by calendar Q4 2006, in enough time for the holiday buying season. However, Foxconn may be ready with the device earlier, as it may seem from the comment made by Mr. Guo.

Additionally, numerous sources have indicated that Apple will not release the new video iPod without an agreement to sell movies via its online store, but on the other hand, the store will not open without the video iPod, it was reported recently. The impasse in negotiations with Hollywood studios lies in the terms of sale: Apple wants to trade movies affordably a-la-carte as it does with music, but Hollywood reportedly wants a subscription deal.


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