iPad 2G With FaceTime For the Holidays?
According to "person with proven knowledge of Apple's future product plans," Apple may be hard at work on a second-generation iPad with a front-facing camera that will support FaceTime, and may possibly be preparing it for release in time for the holiday buying season. AppleInsider is reporting
that Apple plans to make its whole range of iOS devices FaceTime-compatible before making the video conferencing API accessible by other platforms, in hopes of getting ahead of the market opportunity for competitors like Skype and Qik.
When Apple announced FaceTime with the iPhone 4 in June, Steve Jobs made a commitment to push the video conferencing protocol as an open standard that could be used on non-Apple devices. AppleInsider's
sources indicate that the company is on an "ambitious push" to get a front-camera equipped iPad on the market no later than the first quarter of next year, ahead of any release of the API. With FaceTime support in the iPod touch as well as the iPhone, Apple clearly hopes to lead competitors by having millions of compatible devices out there. Rumors of desktop support by Apple programs like iChat on Mac OS X
and Windows persist, and if they come to fruition would put Apple in pole position as the market opens up.
Video-chat makers like as Qik and Skype have flagged their interest in building FaceTime support into their software, which would open up access to a range of desktop and mobile clients. Qik is preloaded on a number of popular smartphones like the Evo 4G and Epic 4G, and have said they expect
to have clients running on 75 million devices by the end of 2011.