When it comes to the Zune HD and its successor, the rumor has been thus for awhile: there may or may not be one other iteration of the series before it's folded into the Windows Phone eco-system.

And to be honest, the rumor has been tilting towards no Zune HD2 for somewhat obvious reasons listed below.

But now according to Mary Jo Foley (more specifically, her tipster), it looks like Microsoft may attempt a Zune HD2 but not till sometime in 2011, meaning this is all but vaporware at this point, but still interesting vaporware.

After Microsoft had its Windows Phone 7 reset, talk of a new ZuneHD2 tapered off. But lately, I’ve been hearing that, in spite of the Zune HD’s not-so-stellar sales, plus Microsoft’s failure to make the hardware available outside the U.S., the Softies may still have one more digital-media player coming. My rumormonger says it could be a calendar 2011 deliverable and possibly could sport an ARM processor of some kind. The Zune HD2 would incorporate a number of the UI changes from the Windows Phone 7 folks, the tipster claims — which makes sense given the Windows Phone 7 UI borrowed so heavily from the Zune HD UI.

No word from my tipster on dimensions, price, will/won’t there be cameras or any other details users might want to know about a potential new Zune HD. Also no word on how Microsoft might position such a device if it ever comes to market: Would it be more like a “Windows Phone 7 Lite”/iPod Touch? A gaming-focused handheld like the rumored Sony PSP Go successor? Or more like a mini slate/tablet (like one of those new Archos 28s running Froyo)?

Yeah, so this is just an unconfirmed rumor at this point, but one that is quite possible--after all, Apple still has luck in doing the whole iPod/iPhone thing, so if Windows Phone 7 is a hit, why not Microsoft?