Apple Job Posting Points to Camera in Next Generation iPad

 In Tablets

Think your iPad purchase was regret free? Or at least regret free for this year? Well I’m sad to say you may be about to be highly disappointed. Thanks to some digging by 9to5Mac on the Apple job postings, you may be smacking your head for being an early adopter.

9to5Mac is reporting Apple is looking for a QA Engineer in their “iPad Media” division. The job is described as:

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…Experience with tuning of and image pipeline, including, but not limited to AWB, Color Correction, AutoExposure, FrameRate adjustments is a plus.

That seems like a pretty clear indication to me of Apple’s future intentions. A camera with the ability to shoot still pictures and video in the iPad. Perhaps even forward and rearward facing cameras if the iPhone HD rumors pan out.

Cameras of varying ability and size have been rumored for the non-iPhone members of the family for at least a year. If you remember back to just before the iPhone 3GS keynote last year, the blogosphere was abuzz with the news the third generation iPod Touch was going to receive a camera. The rumor didn’t pan out but not without further rumors suggesting they were excluded at the last minute due to quality concerns. Indeed, many were quite surprised the iPad didn’t come with at least an iPhone-like rearward facing camera. On the other hand, the inclusion of a video-capable camera on the newest iPod Nanos caught everyone by surprise.

Ultimately I believe the next generation iPhone and iPad will come with the rumored two camera set up. The indications in the iPhone 4.0 SDK are just too overwhelming. Of course this might all just be a big case of misdirection on Apple’s part but I don’t think that’s the case this time. I don’t think you’ll see a new, dual camera iPad this year; the iPhone HD will be used to get any kinks out of the video conferencing system the iPad will eventually inherit. This time next year though we’ll probably be waiting with the same anticipation for the second generation iPad and its dual camera system.

Of course the cynic in me says Apple could have put a camera or two in the iPad this year. They probably could have. The fact the software probably wasn’t in place yet though kept it out of the first iteration. And the fact they’ll get to sell a new iPad next year to all of the people that bought a first generation one this year is a nice side effect.

Do you think we’re on the cusp of an explosion of camera and video conferencing capable Apple devices? Will you have buyer’s regret if next year’s model has dual cameras? Do you agree with the cynic in me that this is all just a marketing and resale ploy by Apple? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts.



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