updated 09:40 pm EDT, Sat September 4, 2010
iPad with camera rumored in debugging
An uncertain rumor on Saturday has what's purported to be a future iPad in testing with a front camera. The partial shot allegedly shows the tablet in a debugging mode for video calls. 9 to 5 Mac in obtaining the shots noted that the mode is the same seen on field-tested iPhone 4 units but hidden from everyday users.
The lone photo is difficult to authenticate, although previous firmware leaks have implied that the e-mail-based FaceTime for the new iPod touch would also carry over to the iPad with its next model. A camera has been one of the most routinely requested features for the iPad, but Apple hasn't given any intentional clues. CEO Steve Jobs during his September 1 presentation did mention HDR photography as coming to the iPad in iOS 4.2 despite the absence of a camera in the current model.
Any camera in the iPad would help it close any perceived gaps between Apple's goods and competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Tab that have at least one camera onboard. Besides video chat, a camera can give a tablet a way of reading barcodes or QR codes and performing visual searches.