Those of us put off by the prohibitive price of the iPhone 3GS, or who just want the games it offers without the monthly phone contract, have been eagerly watching for signs of the next iPod touch.

Well, it seems that the device is out there right now being tested for compatibility with existing apps.

Analytics firm Pinch Media, who first discovered the iPhone 3GS operating online last year, has detected a number of “iPod 3,1” devices running dozens of major apps. The pattern of these tests matches those of the 3GS when it was being put through its paces leading up to release.

The first and second generation of iPod touch were released in September of 2007 and 2008 respectively, so we can reasonably expect to see the new device in the next couple of months.

Apple Insider