Rumor Mill: iSight HD, new Intel chips, iPod touch 2G, patents (updated)

Happy Friday! Let's take a look at some of the latest Apple rumors floating around.

iPod touch with GPS?
Happy Friday! Let's take a look at some of the latest Apple rumors floating around.

A MacRumors reader found references to an unreleased High Definition USB iSight in Apple's QuickTime system files. The line says "Next Generation USB iSight" in QuickTime's localizable.strings and also carries a reference of "iSight HD." Apple sold external FireWire iSight cameras from 2003 to 2006, but discountinued them in December 2006 when they bundled the cameras into all MacBooks and iMacs. The "iSight HD" string could be a hint that new iSight HD cameras are planned for the new Cinema Displays.

From the chip department comes word that new quad-core "Nehalem" architecture chips are coming from Intel in Q4 2008 with a top speed of 3.2 GHz. The "Bloomfield" chips could land in Mac Pros starting in early 2009. (AMD v. Intel, TUAW)

Intel has also confirmed that they're fabing a 45-nm Penryn/Montevina version of the custom SP7700 and SP7500 (Merom) processors found in the MacBook Air due later this year. Can you say "speed bump?" Although the new Penryn/Montevina chips run at 2.26GHz and 2.4GHz (albeit with a slightly higher power consumption) MacRumors notes that Apple may underclock them to take advantage of the improved power-efficiency of the Penryn processor.

Lehman Brothers’ Ben Reitzes noted in a recent report to clients that inventory of the iPod touch are low at the Apple store and at Best Buy. As inventory of the iPod touch begins to diminish so come the rumors that a second generation model may be on the horizon. Some attribute the shortage of iPod touches to Apple's recent back-to-school promotion while others think that the shortage presage a possible iPod touch update in September. MacBlogz thinks that the second generation touch could inherit a lot from the iPhone 3G, including: GPS, camera, faster Internet speeds and  improved audio clarity. (Photo courtesy MacBlogz)

From the patent department comes a recent filing with creative uses for the iPhone's numerous sensors, including detecting when it's in your pocket (by temperature, proximity and ambient light) and then switching to vibrate mode. There's also a hint that iPhone could switch an active phone call to VoIP when it detects that you've docked the phone. Patents, naturally, may never see the light of day, but it's fun to dream...

ChinaTechNews is reporting that China Unicom has signed a deal with Apple to carry the iPhone in China. The rumor suggests that the iPhone could arrive in China as early as August. (Tip: Ars Technica)

What have you heard?

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