Points in favor of realness: the photos aren't blurry; we've got multiple shots of the camera hardware; the photos match previous rumors about camera placement. Points against realness: they came from a radio show; and the iPod is totally destroyed.
Click above image for super-huge version
Of all the places you could send a sensitive Apple leak—with photographs—one repair technician, who claims to be showing us the next iPod Touch, complete with camera, chose "MAXIM Radio with Covino and Rich," a media outlet that by definition cannot show people images, and where the term "dudebros" is thrown around with some frequency. But anyway!
Allegedly, allegedly, allegedly. Here's what they say their tipster told them:
-to show it's real. If you look at the board, it states Apple 2009 very clear. The 2nd gen AKA iPod touch out now, has 2008 on it. They haven't revised the 2008 touch. I will compare them in pic in a sec.
-BTW, these phones NEVER leave Apple and this one left but it was a durability test phone, (ed note: ???) so that's why the screen is all gridded off and cracked.
-The side by side picture is the inside of the current gen vs the 3rd gen (one coming out in September).
-I acquired this from a guy that I buy parts phones and iPods from. I believe he's a recycler in ***********, so what most likely happened is that Apple threw this away and he some how got it and sold it for parts."
This is strange for as many reasons as it is fascinating—if this is some radio stunt, it's a pretty thorough one. The lens is convincingly seated and iPhone-like from the outside, and the camera sensor mount—that black box you can see in the disassembled photos—looks just like the casings you see under countless cellphones' battery covers.
But there's plenty to be uneasy about. The iPod is utterly smashed, and the technician's story as to why that is, and how he got the device in the first place, is extremely fishy, to be generous. Also, the fact that it's broken is awfully convenient—that means that the tipster can't be asked to demonstrate the possibly home-installed iPod camera, because the device is clearly smashed. Drilling a convincing lens into a dummy iPod is totally plausible; doing the same on a working unit and snapping photos with it? Not so much. It's all a little tough to swallow, but again, hard to ignore. While we're waiting for Apple not to send a takedown notice, let's speculate! I'm not convinced, just impressed—what do you
UPDATE: FWIW, here's a response to our post from their spokesintern, or someone:
I assure you, this is NOT a radio stunt. Or, at least, not on our end.
And the guy who gave them to us has been reliable with tech in the past. I sent them to you guys (after I watermarked them, of course) only because I didn't know what else to do with them.
To be fair, any fakery probably would've been down to the sender, not our sat-rad middlemen.
UPDATE 2: So, some folks are calling Photoshop on this one, based on an enlarged photo and what looks like some nasty JPEG compression. We have the original in very high resolution, which you can see cropped here, or by clicking our top image, and which shows none of the artifacts. It does, however, show kind of a rough cut on the hole, which is +1 for the homemade prank theory. Carry on.
UPDATE 3: Oh, and this: