A second-generation iPad with video-chat could appear in early 2011, according to a report. Suppliers are preparing to ship “ultra-thin glass-based touch panels” to Apple at the start of the year’s first fiscal quarter.
The updated iPad will remain with a 9.7-inch screen, but include Apple’s FaceTime video-chat feature which uses Wi-Fi connections, according to Taiwan-based industry publication DigiTimes. In addition, Apple is in “advanced testing stages” of an iPad with an front-facing camera used by FaceTime, according to anonymous sources sited by AppleInsider. FaceTime is already available on the iPhone 4 and latest iPod touch.
The news comes as Apple begins selling its first-generation iPad in China. A line had already formed hours ahead of the official 8 a.m. start of the Beijing launch, according to the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper quotes one new iPad owner saying he purchased the tablet at an Apple Store instead of through the lively gray market because “you can’t be sure about the quality of those iPads.”
Although the iPad Apple began selling in China is limited to Wi-Fi, a gray marketeer said he sells 10 iPads a day, however the 3G version is more popular with his customers.
As we reported earlier this week, some viewed Apple decision to offer the iPad quickly after gaining government approval as a way to stem the tide of gray-market knock-offs.