iPad 2 to include two cameras, FaceTime [rumor]

Barron's is reporting that OmniVision will supply the CMOS sensors for two cameras in the next generation iPad 2 -- a 5MP camera on the back and a VGA quality camera on the front.

OmniVision (OVTI) will supply CMOS image sensors for a second-generation Apple (AAPL) iPad that will launch in the calendar first quarter of 2011

A second generation iPad 2 would most likely be introduced early 2011, perhaps in April like the original. WIth cameras would come FaceTime support. Now that Apple has opened up FaceTime to the iPod touch and Mac, we could be looking at a huge surge related to mobile video calling.

In addition, Barron's went on to suggest that the iPhone could sell up to 23 million units within Q1 2011 based on build orders, and pointed to the increasingly likely Verizon iPhone selling over 6m units alone. This could make the 14.1 million iPhone units last quarter seems rather puny by comparison.

So what about you, do you see yourself using FaceTime on the iPad once the next revision hits the streets? Let us know what you think in the comments!


by Andrew Wray


Your source for everything iPhone and iPad. More news, more how-tos, more app and accessory reviews. iMore.

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There are 68 comments. Add yours.

Chris says:

Magnus, no one gives a damn if your first.
On topic: I dont really see the need for two cameras. The ipad is a bit large for that.
And before you say, it's for face time. Look at face time for the mac. It doesn't have two cameras.

Brad says:

It's the biggest reason I didn't get the first one. Knew something better would be just around the corner.

Josh says:

I really hope there won't be 2 cameras.... a front one for face time is enough... imagine people taking pictures on their iPad.... people would look like fools seriously....

InfinityX says:

Sun to rise tomorrow sometime in the morning [rumor]

Chris says:

@Josh. Exactly!
Facetime doesn't need two cameras as face time for the Mac only uses one.
Plus, it's canned face time, not back time.

Jordan says:

yeah only one camera is needed for sure...a camera on the back of the iPad would be pointless.

Geo Coldz says:

100% FaceTime for iPad. If the iPod Touch has it (which it does). Then iPad will

Webvex says:

I have no use for WasteTime on any of my devices.

ww2_honor says:

I doubt it will be 5MP. They said the same thing about the iPod Touch 4G and mine has less then a cruddy 1MP camera.

AZMerf says:

@Brad, you'll be saying that every six months when it comes to Apple and/or technology. :)

Shrike says:

Um, no on the 23m iPhone unit sales number. The only way that's happening is if Apple gets on every carrier around the world and reduces the price of contracts.
The most important numbers for me would be a 1.5 GHz single core Cortex A9, >512 MB RAM, and 4x the GPU. ;)

Rickg13 says:

A camera on the front makes a lot of sense for facetime. A camera on the back really doesnt, unless they're doing something really interesting with it. I can't imagine taking shots with a 7 inch tab much less. 9.7 inch one.

Adrian Balston says:

I'm not one who holds out for next generation hardware: if I want it I get it. I must admit, though, that the only thing that has made me hesitate to get an iPad is the lack of a camera. If iPad 2 comes out with a camera (or even two) I will certainly be convinced to buy one. Facetime? Yeah, I'll use it.

Ronald says:

I don't think Facetime will take off until Windows is supported.

Elisha B.Yo says:

That's all I'm waiting for. FaceTime on the iPad-2 Don't even care about a back camera. Just have a FaceTime camera and I'm sold! Same reason I waited for iPhone 4.

FutureDHughes says:

I been holding out for an iPad till the 2nd generation was released. Regardless of the pixel count, all that matters is FaceTime which would be amazing on an iPad! Also who would really walk around with an 10inch tablet taking pictures? Seriously folks, use a camera. Lol.

Doug says:

How would I have to hold my iPad to use a camera for FaceTime? I think it would make more sense to have a camera port for an external camera or a "rotating" camera built-in (not like the fixed camera on the iPhone 4) so it could be positioned properly.

Chris says:

If Facetime does come to the iPad, I do wonder if apple will keep the existing UI for it, or come up with a unique UI. (Full screen mode does not cut it)

Robes says:

This is the one and only reason that I'm still waiting to buy an iPad.

Danny2582 says:

I will buy, ive been holding out untill ipad2

Michael says:

Honestly, a rear camera makes no sense. It's not really the right device for picture taking. However, a front camera and FaceTime would be a really nice addition. I find I use FaceTime on my MacBook Pro now more than my iPhone because it's bigger. If I could do that on my iPad, I'd be set!

Stephxieh says:

I can't see taking photos with an iPad, it would just be too annoying. So while I do see the iPad having a front facing facetime camera I don't see the point in it having a 5MP on the back.

sherwin says:

Yeah..will have to see. I also would like to see that battery life would still be excellent on the ipad 2.

Ted says:

its funny the galaxy tab has the 2 cameras already. Why wait

OrionAntares#CB says:

@Michael and everyone else "confused" about a rear facing camera.
Personally a rear facing camera makes more sense to me than a front facing camera. I don't need nor care about "facetime" what I care about is the ability to take picture "scans" of documents and the ability to stream video of what I'm looking at to people when I need to do so. I don't need the front facing camera, seeing a face while chatting isn't going to provide any extra benefit.
But with the size of the iPad there's no reason they can't include cameras in both places.
I think they are trying to avoid moving parts in their iDevices with the one exception of the Classic.

Julie1468 says:

People that waited 12 months to get the 2nd gen sure are gaming the system. I don't think people think that the 1st gen was the be all/end all, they can just afford to buy the second gen as well. I personally can't wait to "invest" in the second one haha.

Cindere says:

I agree with Shrike bring on a faster processor and 512mb-1gb ram I can care less about a stupid camera

SciTeach3 says:

I would not be taking pictures with my iPad so I would much rather have the 5mp camera on the front for video conferencing

Bob Marley14 says:

If Apple is smart and really want to crush the competition, offer iPad 1 version at firesale prices at the time they launch iPad 2. Those clowns at RIM would not know what hit them. Then, the Playbook would be DOA, as Jobs mentioned a few weeks ago.
I have had iPad 1 since release date. Would I buy version 2 with a camera? In a heartbeat.
One Love!

jpoates says:

I have not bought an iPad because it did not have a camera. I don't think Steve will release an iPad with a rear camera, it doesn't make sense. The high MP rear cameras are for smaller devices like phones, not the iPad.
So, front facing camera for iPad2 in April. I'm in. Can't wait.

tweger01 says:

I would hope they would put in a rotating camera on the top. The 5MP camera from the iPhone 4, then just have it as rotating so you can lay it flat and still use the camera. Even as I'm typing this, my iPad is flat on my lap, you would not be able to see me if it was the installed VGA esque camera on the iphone 4

kyle says:

apple products are horrible. they r so far behind the times. try android, its cheaper and u can do anything u want WITHOUT jailbreaking it. free music downloads, etc. my EVO came out before the iphone4 and the iphone still fell WAY SHORT of the benchmark my phone set

Pat says:

I would love a rear camera. At the moment if I take a picture of a document with iPhone, it's a bit of a kerfuffle to use email or whatever to transfer it to iPad. Also I think "show" with the rear camera is a more important feature of FaceTime than displaying one's ugly mug with the front camera.
Can't wait for iPad 2. And also I can then give iPad 1 to my brother.

marktaylor#AC says:

Like others have said...a single, front facing camera makes sense...a rear camera would be useless. But, if Steve says we need one, then he is right...right? (NOT)

maclovn says:

@ kyle. Ahh....Android cheaper than an iphone?...Think... NOT.
You can't do "anything" on android. you are still locked to what the service providers allow you to do for example tethering. most some android phones have it, but are not allowed by the service providers. To do "anything" you still have to jailbreak android.

Simon says:

poor suckers that bought into the first POS device..Now you can buy another POS device so you can take a picture of yourself realizing you wasted even more money on Apple marketing. My Dad was right, their is a sucker born every minute..

kyle says:

hmmmm, no my evo can tether OUT OF THE BOX!!!!!!!!

cardfan says:

I think you're dad was trying to tell you something else :)

Jcal08 says:

@Kyle, so can my iPhone... What's your point?

dloveprod says:

Lately I've been using it a lot more, since they opened it up to mac and a few more family members got iphone 4, it's now preferred over regular telephone calls. I kind of like it, I get to see my mom more often than just once or twice a month.

kyle says:

does it tether wireless????? no??? kinda thought so. try and do that on at&t crappy network

Tweger01 says:

I can jailbreak and do that. And don't give me that "yeah, but you have to jailbreak" crap, it's neither difficult nor time consuming.
Quit trolling the blog, it's annoying having to skip over your less than contributing comments.

Joe Wheeler says:

I've held off on the iPad so far, and for GOOD reason!!! I'm excited!

kayno says:

Dont need 2 cameras on the iPad, doubt apple would actually put 2.. they might just give a nicer front facing camera.. say with 5MP.. allowing you to video blog or take nice pics of yourself n so on..

Bob Marley14 says:

@Kyle. Are you friends with those douche bags Dorito Chips and Tebow, or did you just simply change your name? Hmm, interesting.......
Regardless, your "commentary" is worthless. Every day a Roid phone is released, five models go on sale as a Buy 1 Get 1.
BTW, how is that great battery life on your EVO device? Yeah, thought so. This article is on a iPad, not a phone, toolbag!

Qwerty says:

Maybe the rear camera could be a video recorder

DeAnna says:

@Kayno You don't know what you 'need' until Steve Jobs tells you...

Bryan says:

This is more of an educated guess than a rumor. Of course the iPad 2 will have cameras. I'm hoping that the dual core chipsets are ready more than anything else.

Mr. Copyright says:

It's not only about picture taking. What about new apps and new dev. Apis? Augmented reality etc

Eddie says:

@Mr. Copyright I think you hit it right on the money. Although cameras are nice in theory, that theory is on based on 2 things: Picture taking and FaceTime. But is that all? Many didn't think the original iPhone 'needed' apps, but look at the App Store nowadays... Ultimately I think there's more you can do with cameras then just snapping a photo or having a video call. It's all up to the devs.

3gs user says:

We're expecting our first child in Jan and our family live in other states so it will be nice to share our baby's explorations in the world with the rear camera...

Leland says:

If there's a way to prop it up, I'm taking a cam-equipped iPad on all of my trips. Having a webcam was the only real reason I took my MB Pro on a three-week business trip; video chat was how my fiancee and I kept our sanity.

Kenmal says:

Off topic sorry.. Somebody please tell me why these iphone forums we have to have flash to see videos?????? WTF this is a iPhone, iPad site correct? I have never seen somebody ask why the site is this way. Thanks

GStrecker says:

Wish they would come up with something like a camera on a plug in dongle to give current iPad owners webcam, video and photo capability. It could be mounted on a swivel so you wouldn't need two, just one good camera. Whoever comes up with that will sell millions, since it could extend capabilities to the current ipads and maybe the older generation iPod Touches.

Paul says:

As long as face time won't work over 3G it's not in my focus.

LCW says:

facetime does work over 3G if you jailbreak... 3G Unrestrictor allows that to happen...
i don't see facetime as a huge deal personally... but i guess some will dig it... have a came on my MBP.... used it maybe once or twice...

Tim says:

@ Simon. Your dad was P. T. Barnum!?

sacornwell says:

VGA on the front? Would Steve really allow a camera on the front that would be lower resolution then the current 1gen screen? My bet would be on an at least 1 megapixel camera. But that may be asking too much.

Leland says:

Thinking about it again --
There won't be a port for an add-on camera. You'd have to carry it then lose it, or it gets banged around and broken while it's plugged in. As portable as notebooks are, you can't deny that an camera integrated into the display housing is the best option. That's even more important for an iPad.
One camera on the front and one on the back? No problem. It's just portable enough to walk around and show things to the person you're FaceTime-ing with. Certainly a lot easier than carrying around a laptop, too.
The trick, IMO, is how to get a front camera to point in any other direction besides straight forward. It could be put in a manually pivoting housing like some laptops have -- but besides adding a bit of bulk, you wouldn't have the option of setting the iPad in landscape and aiming the camera up & down. To do that, it would need a gimbal or ball mount... but that's even bulkier. My next guess would be a sort of servo-driven pivoting mechanism that uses software (whether via onscreen controls, face tracking, or gyroscope) to aim the camera without requiring it to protrude from the iPad's face so it could be manipulated by hand.

Robert says:

It's marketing. The first iPad intentionally didn't come with a camera, that's why theyre introducing it with the new model. Now a heck of a lot of people will get the iPad, including those who wish to update from the previous model.
This just means more money for Apple. It's so obvious, by?
They did it with the iPod/iPhone range just to increase sales. The technology is already there to put a 12mega pixel camera in the front and back-which is actually extremely cheap. They just want to be able to say this new model is better than the last.

Damitol says:

Have all of the people saying "a rear facing camera is stupid" ever used FaceTime? One of the coolest things about it is the ability to show the person you are calling what you see. "Hi - we just got a new puppy and here it is". While having the ability to take a picture or video in a pinch is a great bonus, the rear facing camera is necessary for the full FaceTime experience. I held off on the iPad assuming iPad2 would include 2 camera FaceTime, so it WILL be my next birthday present to myself.

timbitman says:

$10 says photobooth will be on it...

waidt says:

@Glen Strecker: exactly what I've been predicting since June 8th. It makes much more sense for an iPad to have an accessory dock mounted camera as opposed to a built-in one for several reasons.

  1. A stationary FT camera on the iPad is harder to angle correctly than on a iPhone or iPod Touch
  2. A single higher quality camera than even iP4 can be used for front/rear photos, video, and FT.
  3. Optional dock mounted camera keeps price for iPad lower.
  4. Optional camera would ease privacy/legal concerns in business and educational environments.
  5. FT couldn't be introduced until iOS 4, and thus a FT camera have been useless on current iPad iOS 3.2, and would have spoiled the surprise of FT introduced on iP4.
  6. With public release of iOS 4.2, FT capability would be silly without a camera, especially when Mac has FT.
  7. Dock mounted camera brings FT to the last remaining Apple computing device, and removes a big reason why some people now want to wait for the next iPad, thus ensuring runaway holiday sales.
  8. The same dock mounting camera can be used to improve the quality of photos, video, FT for iPod Touch.
  9. Instantly desirable and popular accessory that will bring yet another revenue stream to Apple.
waidt says:

Another reason we know we're getting a camera accessory for the iPad is that Steve basically said so in his September 1 keynote.
At 15:40ish into the keynote where Steve mentions that iOS 4.2 is all about bringing all the features of iOS 4.1 to the iPad, he specifically includes HDR as one of the features that the iPad will be getting. And since HDR is implemented with 3 photos, of which only one is saved for comparison, then that means the other two MUST be taken with a camera - the predicted dock mounted swiveling camera.