Rumor Has It: The iPad Camera

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If you are already struggling with the decision of whether or not to go ahead and buy a first generation iPad model, then a new rumor that has sprung up regarding the device might help you make up your mind. The rumor has me leaning strongly towards a “Do Not Buy” state of mind, for the very same reason that I didn’t pick up the last revision of the iPod touch.

That reason being, it seems Apple may be holding back some important features to make the next iteration of the device seem more attractive. And now there’s some evidence to back up that assumption, so I’m not just acting out of early adopter paranoia.

iPad Camera

The lack of a camera was one of the biggest complaints many iPad naysayers had following the reveal of Apple’s exciting new creation. That’s what makes it so painful that Mission Repair, a licensed Apple repair partner, noted when it received a shipment of parts for the upcoming device that the iPad’s frames contain a space seemingly intended to house a camera. Putting a MacBook camera in that space, in fact, resulted in a perfect fit. Photos of the frame with and without the MacBook’s iSight camera inserted are available over at the Mission Repair blog right now, so you can see for yourself how perfectly they work together.

Add to that the fact that 9 to 5 Mac reported earlier in the week that the demo tablet Steve Jobs was using on stage during the announcement last week appeared to have camera holes according to pictures taken by some of those with higher quality cameras sitting closest to the stage. The photos definitely reveal something resembling a camera lens at the top of the iPad bezel.

Innovation vs. Staged Release

Either I’m becoming more savvy, Apple is becoming more transparent, or this business of withholding specific bits and pieces from products in order to increase the consumer appeal of subsequent iterations is the new standard for Cupertino. I suspect the last is true, and it’s spoiling my ordinarily ravenous appetite for conspicuous consumption of Apple products. I remember how right it seemed to buy the iPod touch when it first came out, and I felt at the time I didn’t need a smartphone (I didn’t, and I still probably don’t). It seemed like the natural evolution of the iPod, with nothing left out.

The iPad is more like a movie prequel. With prequels, the destination or endpoint of the film is generally accepted and known by the audience, but we go and see them to see how that thing came to be. The first-generation iPad is a good story about the device it will eventually become, but it doesn’t feel like something terribly worthwhile in and of itself.

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