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iPad 2 might just have a camera, better resolution display [Rumors]

More rumors out of the supply chain today suggest that iPad 2 might indeed have a camera -- front and back, actually -- and once again a better resolution display is being mentioned as well. Kelvin Soh and Argin Chang, reporting for Reuters, spoke to four people "familiar with the situation":

Two could only confirm they were ramping up for a new round of production in the first quarter for components previously supplied for the original iPad, while two said the ramp-up was for a new iPad.One of those said the revamped model would feature cameras on the front and rear, while the other said the new model would be slimmer, lighter and have a better resolution display.

I'm sticking by my *Imagining iPad 2" predictions for now. 2 cameras, not as high end as iPhone 4, but giving the ability to FaceTime and switch between self-portrait and world view (hey! Look at those kids!). Still don't see a higher res screen because there's no way a 2048 wide display at iPad size is feasible and anything less than same resolution or pixel-doubled would be a nightmare for developers.

What do you think?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • My guess is that it will have a 3MP front and 5MP rear. The front will be low and as you said, primarily for FT. The rear will have a better camera for recording and photos.
    The resolution will be higher.
    I know someone who was responsible for helping develop the iPhone and iPad. He has not given me any details on the either new device but I'm sure I will get some juicy details from him at Christmas when I see him (as he lives in CA).
  • I expect:
    1) Better processor
    2) More RAM
    3) Front and Back cameras
    4) Thinner...lighter
    5) Better display (not necessarily higher rez, but that would be amazing.
  • we are being told that the new ipad will come pre-jail broken. many developers that are jumping ship are putting a timebomb into ios5 which will be set to activate one day after the launch. they do not have the launch date but they have it setup to change on the fly.
    they have also revised safari and the home page will be full of cookie stuffing. i'm not sure how effective this is as many do not shop from their phone.
    how do we know tipb does not cookie stuff?
  • At least a 1MP camera on the front and prob the same one as the iPod Touch on the back. As for a higher resolution screen, I also don't see it. It would be too high and even full 1080p content would be framed on all sides. Plus big screen TVs don't go higher than that unless you wanna spend big bucks.
  • You know, I've read the "keep the same resolution or double it" as the only options stuff here and elsewhere, and I don't get it. Where's the nightmare. Supporting different display resolutions is something most developers deal with all the time. Apple would have to update the SDK (duh) and developers would have to release an updated version to support the new display. Older versions would look suboptimal, but still work (same as iPhone3gs apps on iPhone4). What's so hard?
  • I think the screen will have similar resolution of the Mac air. That resolution is presented by apple as pixels. So it's going to have as many pixels as the Mac air I think. So prob approximately 1200 by 900 for a 9.7 on screen that would be good enough for most people.
    Cameras are a requirement I think. Front and back. MP won't matter because most people won't use it as a camera. But as a way to do augmented reality. e.g. Point it at a restaurant and get menu.
    Front camera for face time.
  • I wonder if we'll be able to transfer our data plan to a new iPad? I have the grandfathered unlimited plan and don't want to lose it.
  • What are you guys talking about? At least 1 MP front cam? 3 MP front cam? No way. It's going to be VGA. The rear cam will be something like a 3 MP 720p cam. It could even be the same cam as in the iPod touch!
    On the screen, have to agree with Rene. Maybe the next gen Apple ARM SOC will support 2048x1536 resolutions, but that's the easy part. The hard to impossible part is getting good yields on a 266 DPI 9x7" screen. This is where everyone balks at the thought of 2048x1536 res screen for the iPad. Using anything else will be a nightmare for apps and app developers. Apple will choose to wait on upping the res until 266 DPI 9.7" screens are affordable before they mess up backwards compatibility on the apps.
    And yup, the priorities on iPad have to be: maintain margins, maintain battery life, reduce weight, increase performance. That's just the hardware. The software will have a little special sauce too.
  • Drop the word resolution from that rumor. It might be a "better" display, but I can't see them upping the resolution at this point. The devs are still working furiously at producing the first round of iPad apps, and changing the resolution now would really screw things up. Maybe later, but not for the second version. The priorities for now, as mentioned previously, are performance, weight, battery, cameras, and maybe a trimmer case. Also, cost is a huge factor. They are going to start getting a lot of competition and they want to sell a gazillion iPads now.
  • Maybe instead of the retina display where its like 4x's the pixels, they could do 2x's the pixels and call it something like the iris display.
  • @Colton: It is only 2 times the pixels but both horizontally & vertically.
  • Waiting patiently for 1920x1440. In my mind, the perfect resolution for an approximately 10" multi-use tablet with a heavy emphasis on high resolution printed word documents (web and ebook) but also fuly capable of full HD 1920x1080p Video. Will wait for the mobile CPU's, GPU's, RAM, FLASH, and Battery capacities catch up. Maybe iPad 4.
  • ^The above resolution works out to (I think) 247.5 dpi on the same size screen, which compared to the greater viewing distance as compared to the iPhone 4's retina display will definitely qualify for the "Retina" moniker from Apple.
  • @RDT
    You asked "Older versions would look suboptimal, but still work (same as iPhone3gs apps on iPhone4). What’s so hard?"
    But the reason 3GS apps work the same on 4 is because they exactly doubled the pixels but kept the dimensions of the screen the same. This allows apps not retina optimized to look exactly how they did on the 3GS pixel for pixel AND keep the same dimensions of the buttons. It isn't just about the fuzzy graphics you get when you blow up non-retina optimized graphics. Messing with the dimensions can also mess with the layout and design of apps, placement of joysticks, etc. Problems like that render games and apps less enjoyable until they are updated (like a dual stick shooter for iphone that is blown up on the ipad, your thumbs are in the wrong places). A doubling of pixels however allows everyone to enjoy their games just as they did before until the graphics are updated.
    That being said, I have read enough rumors about an increased resolution to start believing. Not liking or agreeing, but believing.
    But what about sound? Speaker tech seems like an avenue that apple could explore in order to keep their edge over other tablets. It would also jibe with the weird hole in those Chinese case pictures that some are calling a sd card slot.
  • You guys have the headline wrong. It should be
    "just might have" not "might just have"
    Example: "do u have the last item in stock?!" "you know what, I just might!!"
    Example: "is it going to come with all ten things?!" "no, it might just have... two"
    That last example is how interpreted it. As in, no sd card slot, no other things people thought. That it would strictly only have camera and display ad upgrades