The next generation iPad , scheduled for launch in Q1 2011, could include not only a front camera to allow the use of FaceTime for video conferencing, but also a second rear camera according to a new rumor from an investor firm.
The note, issued yesterday by Detwiler Fenton & Co., states that OmniVision will supply CMOS sensors for the iPad 2 cameras; specifically, a VGA sensor of up to 30 frames per second for the front camera as already mounted on the iPhone 4 or the recent iPod touch, and another of 5 megapixels presumably to be placed in the back for use in augmented reality applications such as the iPhone or, within its segment, the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
According to the company, Apple could manufacture two and a half million units of this new iPad to cover the demand for its launch at the beginning of the year , a figure that at first sight seems insufficient if we take into account that during the last quarter more than 4 million of the current model have been sold.
It is clear that Apple is maintaining a very aggressive bid to push FaceTime as the new standard for video conferencing and if its integration with iPhone 4 and iPod touch were not enough clues, the launch of the FaceTime for Mac beta clears up any doubts about it. The iPad 2 will have a front camera yes or no, that’s not in dispute, although the second rear camera seems a less likely (though not unreasonable) addition.
Sources close to Apple already leaked in September that the company had a version of the iPad with camera and FaceTime support in the testing phase, a model that could well arrive in stores throughout the month of January and for which I would definitely not recommend anyone to buy the current model in immediate dates. If you can wait, do it.
Along with the camera or cameras, the iPad 2 could have a 3-axis gyroscope and twice as much RAM to match the features of the iPhone 4. Also, as I told you along with my predictions for next year, it may have a Retina screen but with a lower pixel density (remember that the distance the iPad is usually used is greater than with the iPhone) that keeps the resolution within reasonable margins. My personal bet is for the 1280×960 , perfect for playing the videos at 720p offered by the iTunes store while keeping the same proportion as in the current model (exactly the same as two iPhone 4 apps side by side).