A completely revamped, sixth-generation Apple iPod is to be released in January next year, if analyst predictions are to be believed.

Piper Jaffray analysts said yesterday that they expect the new Apple iPods to run Mac OS X, and have the wide, touchscreen interface of the Apple iPhone, MacNN reports. The device is likely to launch ahead of or at January's MacWorld event.

Steve Jobs recently confirmed that an Apple iPod based on Mac OS X was in the pipeline, pointing out that Apple had plenty of new devices coming out. He also said that Apple engineers were developing a version of Mac OS X for the Apple iPod.

It's likely that the next generation Apple iPod will look and work just like the Apple iPhone , but without its phone and Wi-Fi capabilities. By adding a new touchscreen and operating system, it looks as if Apple is trying to persuade users that there's still life in the standalone Apple iPod device yet.