By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
August 5, 2010

A case maker’s photoillustration shows a rear-facing camera and a flash

Opinions are mixed about the images posted Wednesday by HardMac of what it claims is the next generation iPod touch, presumably set for release in September.

The photoillustration comes from an unnamed case manufacturer whom HardMac (the English edition of the French claims is “very reliable” on the strength of a prediction last year that the iPod nano was getting a camera.

The image looks reasonable to those commentators who predicted that Apple (AAPL) would add a camera to the iPod touch last September. It comes up short to those who expect the company to add not one but two cameras — one on the back and one of the front — as a way of fulfilling Steve Jobs promise to deliver “tens of millions of FaceTime devices” before the end of 2010.

Currently, the only device that supports Apple’s FaceTime video chat format is the iPhone 4.

UPDATE: MacRumors‘ Arnold Kim posted a second purported iPod touch photo Thursday, this one of a bezel from a parts supplier that shows a hole where a front-facing camera might go. “We’ve seen other iPod Touch parts circulating in the past,” Kim notes. “In particular, a back-side camera model reached a late prototype stage last year but was never released.”

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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