iLounge editor-in-chief Jeremy Horwitz revealed new details from several sources about the iPad 3 today, suggesting that the next-gen iPad will feature a FaceTime HD camera on the front and an iPhone 4S-like camera on the back.
This reaffirms Horwitz’ prior claims that the next-gen iPad will be slightly thicker than the iPad 2 in order to make room for better parts. He also made some claims about the next-gen iPad’s design and its curvature:
Curve radiuses on the body will change only a little to accommodate the added thickness, not dramatically. Think iPad 2 Pro, not a redesign.
Horwitz also claims that Apple will continue offering the iPad 2 for $399, while the next-gen iPad 3 will be offered with a high-resolution screen and improved cameras, and will be offered alongside the cheaper iPad 2.
As far as a release date, Horwitz suggests that the launch date will be similar to that of the iPad 2, which began shipping in March of last year.
I’m not exactly sure what to think of this – it seems unlikely that Apple would release an iPad 3 that’s actually thicker than the iPad 2 – Apple’s M.O. is to make things thinner and lighter.
As far as the cameras go, while an improved front camera would be nice for Skype and Facetime, I question the need to include an 8MP camera on the back. iPads aren’t meant to be used as cameras. They don’t work well for taking pictures, although mounting them on a tripod might make them a reasonable video recording device.
Finally, keeping the iPad 2 around makes a great deal of sense, and could help Apple to address the mid-range tablet market. Previous rumors have suggested a $299 price for the iPad 2 as opposed to the $399 price suggested by Horzitz.
In the end, nobody knows anything for sure until Apple makes an announcement. Until then, it’s nothing more than speculation.