Apple Rumored to be Readying iPad Camera Edition for Thursday Announcement
If you're thinking of getting an iPad but wish it came with a camera, you're not alone. But before you preorder one anyway, you might want to wait until the beginning of the month. It seems that Apple is just about to surprise everyone by announcing the iPad Camera Edition.
Shortly after they put their hard money down to get one, early adopters of the iPhone were surprised and upset when Apple cut the price by $200. Even though Apple's Steve Jobs admitted that this wasn't fair to customers who had jumped at the chance to be one of the first to own an iPhone, and even after Apple attempted to rectify the situation by offering store credits to early buyers, not everyone was satisfied. Apple's reputation is built on the loyalty of their customers, and some felt that their loyalty had been taken advantage of.
Fast forward to this year's pending first shipment of Apple iPads. The rumors are that they're going to surprise people again, but in a somewhat different way. Rather than cut the price of the original version of the iPad that hasn't even yet begun shipping, Apple has been quietly readying the replacement version in order to respond to criticisms leveled against the features many felt should have been included but foolishly weren't. Among photographers, foremost among these missing features is a camera. Well, apparently a camera is indeed coming to the iPad as part of the forthcoming Apple iPad Camera Edition.
Just in time for taking pictures of spring flowers and other traditional April festivities, Apple will be bringing us what we've been waiting for. The camera itself fits into a small opening above the screen. This is precisely the location that some industrious geeks had already located and suspected as being capable of holding a camera. Operation of the camera is done by means of two knobs near the bottom of the iPad, one on either side of the display. It is unclear at this point exactly what the two knobs do, but one probably adjusts the aperture and the other the shutter speed or something similar. In keeping with Apple's reputation for elegance and simplicity of design, the knobs are not labeled. Both knobs are white.
As Apple did with their iPod and iPod Nano (RED), the iPad Camera Edition is being made available in both traditional black and an all red version. Apple will donate a portion of the purchase price from the iPad Camera Edition (RED) to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Activist and rock singer Bono along with help from celebrities including Oprah are rumored to be featured in the announcement expected April 1.
To meet anticipated demands, Apple expects to open a new plant in Bryan, Ohio, but the camera itself is reportedly being outsourced to Shenzhen, China. The Ohio plant currently manufactures custom metal lithograpy art for food container and other specialty markets but had a huge business in children's toys back in the sixties. Although not etched in stone yet, how all this relates to Apple's line of business is a bit sketchy at this point. Many of the details of the launch announcement are still closely guarded secrets.
There are still some asked for features missing even in the Camera Edition it seems. Apparently, there is still no multitasking so you will be able to take only a single picture at a time. And I'm afraid you will probably be limited to taking pictures only in daylight since the iPad Camera Edition still lacks Flash.
Images of the iPad Camera Edition are embargoed until the announcement but since I likely won't be available to update this article then I'm going to post this link here now and trust you not to click on it until Thursday.
Update: April 1, 2010 - It turns out these rumors are false. In fact, apparently Apple has now admitted that the iPad itself is a "massive joke". According to Apple insiders "With only a couple of weeks to go before the multimedia tablet arrives in shops, the head of Apple's design department has exclusively admitted to CNET UK that the iPad began as a silly in-joke — only for Apple chief executive Steve Jobs to think it was real. " More from CNET here.