Apple Job Posting Suggests iPad Camera At Least Being Considered


Evidence continues to mount that early adopters are going to get a bit screwed with the Apple iPad, which has yet to even be officially released for public consumption. As my colleague Liam points out, that shouldn’t really be less than anyone expects, but a new job posting must twist the knife even still for those planning to pick up Apple’s (s aapl) first iteration of the device.

The new listing has Apple looking for “Performance QA Engineers” for the iPad Media department, and judging by the description, the job focuses almost exclusively on video and image capture and playback. It’s not unexpected, since presumably Apple has considered the possibility of putting a camera in the iPad at some point in the future, even if it doesn’t 100 percent intend to do so already, but it still stings.

The job description accompanying the call leaves little room for error about the nature of the position:

The Media Systems team is looking for a software quality engineer with a strong technical background to test still, video and audio capture and playback frameworks. Build on your QA experience and knowledge of digital camera technology (still and video) to develop and maintain testing frameworks for both capture and playback pipelines.

And then later in the description of the ideal candidate for the position, things are again made fairly evident:

Familiarity with and interest in photography, video as well as media file formats is highly desirable. Experience with tuning of and image pipeline, including, but not limited to AWB, Color Correction, AutoExposure, FrameRate adjustments is a plus.

Now I’d say job descriptions rank well above patent applications in terms of predicting what’s coming next from Apple, but that doesn’t mean everything the company advertises for is automatically included in a future iteration of its products. Add the advertisement to what we already know about space supposedly existing in the iPad’s guts for a camera module, photographic evidence taken from the iPad’s unveiling, and good old common sense about how Apple operates, and it’s becoming pretty hard to deny that iPad 2G will sport still/video capabilities.

If I didn’t have a vested professional interest in getting my hands on an iPad as soon as is humanly possible, I would not be buying one this time around. It’s not an experience that I need or miss in terms of my current gadget usage, between my iPhone and my Macs. If part of my job didn’t directly involve Apple hardware, I’d have a heck of a time justifying the investment to myself, and I honestly don’t think I would use it after the novelty wore off. The consumer in me would wait until it gets more features, and maybe gets cheaper, but the professional in me is glad I don’t have to exercise that degree of patience.

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I’ve also seen other blogs that point out the iPad Steve Jobs was holding at the presentation of the device seemed to have a camera built in, so who knows, maybe the initial release will surprise us all. Inevitably, the iPad will have a Web cam, but the sooner the better since that’s one of the things that could really separate it from being know as “a big iPhone.” While it’s now become possible to receive a video call over 3G, it’s not possible to have a two-way video call on the iPhone for obvious reasons. But also, I’ve never tried it, but the idea of watching someone over my iPhone isn’t that appealing since the screen is so small. However, the idea of walking around my dorm, chatting on my iPad, now that’s an interesting thought.


You know, I have to rank the iPad as a miss. It’s taken a bit to reach this conclusion. I think the camera, the lower price, the AT&T proprietary connection all should have been considered prior to launch. Instead we all read in dribs and drabs how the price will change, the camera *may* appear in a future iPad and there isn’t a single customer who is happy with either price or AT&T service quality. This is a launch from Apple? Does anyone there have a marketing brain? We all know Jobs has a great knack for a good appliance, but where is his support? Who has the poor guy’s back??? I pray Steve stays healthy for all the stock owners, because these shenanigans look “Microsoftesque.”

Andrew Bednarz

Early adopters will only ‘get screwed’ if they care about a camera, I for one don’t. As for pricing, first gen new tech is ALWAYS pricey, nothing new there, you pay to get it first. Always have.


Good luck getting a decent video conferencing experience with the iPad. You’re going to have to hold that thing pointing at your face, since a built-in iSight camera isn’t going to do much for you with the iPad held at a comfortable reading angle.

You can use Skype just fine without video.


Strange that the cat is already (mostly) out of the bag re: future camera & demand sensitive pricing. Indeed, gen01 will seem pretty crippled if your friends can sit on the couch and Skype with their gen02 device in a few months.

Probably too late for Apple to graft a camera into the production model, so price discounts ahead? Well, if you can hang a cheap accessory camera off this thing to Skype, and if the price falls in the $300-$350 neighborhood, it starts to be a compelling impulse buy. If you spend spend that kind of money on impulse…


Yup. Between that and the promise to reduce prices if demand isn’t what they hoped, I think I’ll wait this time and by Rev 2.

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