Reuters is reporting that Apple is working on a smaller iPad tablet with built-in cameras that could ship early next year, according to manufacturers in Asia.
Touchscreen chip designer Wintek Corp, battery maker Simplo Technology Co Ltd and AVY Precision, a privately held maker of covers for electronic products, are among suppliers for the next batch of iPads, four people familiar with the situation said.
According to a sources the “revamped model would feature cameras on the front and and back of the device, enabling Apple’s Facetime video conferencing service”. Another added it “would be slimmer, lighter and have a better resolution display than the first iPad. The device will also have a better screen, similar to the “Retina display” available on the iPhone”.
A separate supply chain source said Apple was preparing a significantly smaller iPad that is almost half the size of the current model. The current iPad has a 9.7-inch screen.
In October, Jobs dismissed the idea of a 7-inch iPad, saying the screen would be “too small to express the software.”
Apple is expected to ship 12.9 million iPads this year, with shipments rising to 36.5 million in 2011, research firm iSuppli said in July, reflecting an 84% share of the tablet PC market.