The second-generation iPad could feature five new features, including a front-facing camera for video conferencing and a USB port, according to the Chinese-language Economy News Daily citing industry sources.
The rumor, as reported by the DigiTimes (which is known for often reporting false rumors) suggests Apple will continue its FaceTime push onto the iPad 2, a video conferencing feature currently found on the iPhone 4G and most recent iPod touch.
Also on board for the next iPad: a USB port, the Retina Display technology found on the iPhone 4 for a higher resolution and more colorful display, a three-axis gyroscope for gaming, and a thinner glass panel coupled with a smaller size for “better mobility.”
Apple CEO Steve Jobs shot down rumors of a seven-inch iPad last month when he said, “We are not not making a seven-inch tablet because we don’t want to hit a lower price point. We just believe it’s too small to hit the user experience people want.”
The current iPad has a 9.7-inch display. Jobs went on to claim, “It [seven-inch screen] is useless unless you include sandpaper so users can sand their fingers down to a quarter of their size.”
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet and upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook both sport a seven-inch display.
However, the inclusion of FaceTime and Retina Display technology seem like good bets for the next-generation iPad. Retina Display has received rave reviews for its image quality, and Apple is very keen on establishing FaceTime as the industry’s video-conferencing application of choice. It makes sense Apple would want to incorporate it into as many devices as possible.