According to sources within Apple's component supply chain the company is gearing up to introduce a new version of the iPad in 2011 that's slimmer profile and front and back camera will make existing units look like last year's tech.
Speculation about a camera-equipped iPad began almost immediately after Apple introduced the popular tablet device back in January. Now the word among the companies that supply parts to Apple indicate the company is ramping up production on new products for 2011, one of which is a new iPad that adds a camera to the front and back of the device, similar to the iPhone 4, making it lighter and thinner in the process.
Speaking to Reuters, sources indicated that touchscreen chip creators Wintek Corp, battery maker Simplo Technology, and electronics cover company AVY products are some of the suppliers involved in the next batch of iPads. Of the four people "familiar with the situation" Reuters spoke to, one claimed the new device would be camera-equipped, while another claimed it was slimmer, lighter, and had a higher resolution screen.
Sources also indicated that camera module makers Genius Electronic Optical Co Ltd and Largan Precision Co Ltd were also joining Apple's supply chain, but could not confirm what product the parts would be used for.
The tablet PC market should grow substantially in 2011, and a camera-equipped model would certainly ensure Apple maintained the lion's share of the market.
As I write this I keep casting spite-filled glances at my camera-less original iPad. How can a company make you love something so much one minute and then despise it the next?
We've reached out to Apple for comment on this rumor, and will update this post should they respond.