As speculation begins to ramp up for what Apple will roll into the next edition of its iPad tablet device, Reuters has been going to companies known to supply components for Apple products. Reuters was able to get off-the-record comments from four suppliers that they were ramping up production of products used in the current iPad, two said they’re ramping up production of components for use in a new iPad, and one—just one—went further, saying the next version of Apple’s iPad will have both front- and rear-facing cameras.
Two of the suppliers were Largan Precision and Genius Electronic Optical, both of which indicated they were starting new component supply agreements with Apple. Genius supplies a camera currently used in the iPhone 4.
Other component suppliers identified as making parts of the next generation iPads include Wintek (a company that makes touchscreen controller chips), Simplo Technology (batteries), and Avy Precision (covers for electronic devices).
The addition of cameras to the iPad doesn’t come as a huge surprise: Apple planned to include a camera in the original iPad but pulled the feature relatively late in the design phase—the current iPad includes empty slots that would fit an iPhone-sized camera module.
Other rumors have pointed to Apple working on enterprise-level and possibly parental-controls support for disabling the camera, enabling corporations to control whether iPad users have access to any built-in camera, or potentially enabling parents to control whether children can access camera functions.
If cameras appear in future iPad models, they will certain support Apple’s FaceTime video chat feature that debuted on the iPhone 4, and which is now available for Mac OS X.