Jun 20, 2010

Apple iPad May Ship With Webcam

Video iPad webcam from Youtube

Close scrutiny of the iPad which Steve Jobs presented at Apple's special event last week shows what may be webcam, tucked away in the black screen bezel just like it is on the Mackbook Pro.

A screen-grap from the official video of the event shows nothing but a small dot above the screen, opposite the home button. Taken alone, this isn't much, but compare this with the picture of the iPad leaked just hours before the event (below). If you remember, these showed an iPad locked down in a security frame, and you could clearly see the camera in the bezel. I even pointed out the cutout in the frame that let us see the webcam.

Still not convinced? What about this screenshot from the iPad emulator in the new SDK (software developed kit)?

That sure looks like the iPad thinks it has a camera. Up until now, this is what any good TV lawyer would call circumstantial evidence. The last, and oddest, piece of the puzzle comes from Mac and iPod repair company Mission Repair. The company has, somewhat strangely, already received replacement parts for fixing iPads. On the company's blog, employee Ryan Arter has posted pictures which show a spot for a camera in the main iPad frame.

This is accompanied by a shot of the frame alongside the camera from a MacBook. It's a perfect fit. The only thing that seems weird on this last point is that Apple is already sending out parts. Why so soon?

So why didn't Steve Jobs announce the camera already? Perhaps the hardware is there, but asl previously wrote, Apple is leaving it out to meet the rather severe price restrictions it has set for the product line. Jobs was most likely using a prototype on stage, just like he did when the iPhone was first releaved. A prototype would be likely to have the camera intact.

Event if these clues all add up, we'd guess that the first-generation iPad will still ship without a camera. After all, did all the reporters who got hands-on time with the iPad after the launch really all miss an iSight camera? We doubt it. And remember the third-gen iPod Touch, which was expected to have a camera and then shipped without it, but with a camera-shaped hole inside.

Perhaps Apple will pull a "one more thing" closer to the launch date, or perhaps not. One thing we do know for sure, though-camera or not, there is one thing that Apple will certainly not be adding to the iPad: Flash.

By Charlie Sorrel, http://m.wired.com

No comments:

Post a Comment