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Apple rushing FaceTime-equipped iPad for the holidays?

updated 05:45 pm EDT, Fri September 10, 2010

Apple may have camera-ready iPad early

Apple may be stepping up the release of a camera-equipped iPad to get it out ahead of time, sources claimed on Friday. Although it only just launched in April and supplies have just caught up to demand, AppleInsider understood from a "proven" contact that the tablet was in late testing. If finished on time, it could be ready as soon as the holidays but would arrive no later than the first quarter of 2011, which ends in March.

Why Apple would update early aren't known, but it's speculated that FaceTime itself may play a role. It would give the company a way of spreading FaceTime across all its iOS devices before acting on its promise to open FaceTime as a standard, giving it both a unified platform and a head start over others. A holiday launch would likely be meant to head off the first wave of iPad competitors shipping with a front camera, primarily the Samsung Galaxy Tab but also the Toshiba Folio 100. These are so far depending on third-party apps like Fring that are usually more complex. Pre-release support for FaceTime outside of Apple's built-in apps is small but includes the live streaming service Qik.

What else would arrive in a new iPad isn't as evident. A dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor is possible for early next year, and Apple often upgrades capacities whenever possible, but few other details are available. Many have called for Apple to produce a Retina Display-like screen, but the 2048x1536 resolution needed for that density is potentially too expensive. 512MB of RAM is a strong possibility since the iPhone 4 already ships with as much memory.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. msteffer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010

    +7

    Don't see it happening.

    Apple is pretty consistent with it's annual product updates. A front-facing camera with FaceTime is a given on the next iPad, just not before the holidays.

  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007

    +3

    Maybe an external camera?

    How hard would it be to have a camera that plugs into the dock connector? I'm sure it would't be too hard for Apple to make that. Sell it for $49, and people would eat it up.

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    +3

    Bad idea

    I agree with msteffer -- Apple would have a "early iPhone adopter" scenario all over again if they released any significant mods to the iPad prior to the 1-year anniversary (ie end of April).

    And not that Apple would care about this necessarily, but the third-party part of the eco-system would be pretty PO'd to be surprised by the need for new cases, skins etc. without warning.

    No, I think the iPad that will be the hot hit of the holidays is the iPad that's out right now. FaceTime will only look smarter/better if Apple waits until people find out how awful the Fring/Camera combo will be on the Galaxy/Folio.

    Not to mention there are strong signs in the air that Apple will bring FaceTime (and possibly a revamped iChat) to Windows (and Macs) in the foreseeable future. I don't think Apple is feeling a lot of pressure to get a Facetime-equipped iPad out there right now. IMO.

  1. chotty

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2003

    -1

    Whoa,

    "Why Apple would update early aren't known"
    Seriously? Let's try "Isn't".

  1. JEB

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001

    -1

    Isn't

    All of your iPad are belong to us.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -4

    March 2011

    Apple released the iPad in April, a new version in the first quarter of 2011 is still a normal timeframe for Apple. Facetime is a very important feature so releasing a few months earlier than expected seems like a good decision.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    They better not

    Apple is not generally a company that 'rushes' out an update just to satisfy some silly external time frame, be it Christmas or a trade show. The few times they have, it has usually shown in something that is buggy and not a great user experience.

    Apple should never rush anything out. They rely on the 'full experience' to woo the user in. Rushing something out to meet a deadline is something Microsoft would do. It either has issues that end up causing an uproar (sorry Antennagate haters, we're talking that), or it's delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, because they just 'had' to announce it even though it wasn't ready.

    h***, for how many years did Apple completely ignore the holiday season by announcing products at the January MWSF, thus killing holiday sales if nothing else.

    And, sorry, but Apple can try to force FaceTime down everyone's throats, but they can't make people care about it.

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