One of the most asked-for features for the second generation of the iPad is a front-facing camera that can be used with Apple's FaceTime video chat app. After all, with FaceTime available on every iPhone 4 and downloadable in beta form for Mac OS X, the ability to engage in video-enhanced conversations with friends and family on future iPads is a foregone conclusion.
Now, DigiTimes is reporting that a supplier for the lens module (optics and CCD sensor) for the iPad 2 has been selected by Apple. Largan Precision, the Taiwanese supplier for the 5-megapixel lens module used in the iPhone 4, filed documents with the Taiwan Stock Exchange noting that the company has been selected as the sole lens module supplier for the iPad 2 with shipments beginning in the first quarter of 2011.
Not surprisingly, Largan is staying quiet about the deal. The web of secrecy that surrounds announcements of new Apple products extends to suppliers, so we're sure that no confirmation from the company will be forthcoming... not that it's needed.
The front-facing camera for the iPhone 4 is only VGA quality to allow for higher video refresh rates over Wi-Fi for FaceTime, so we could speculate that this VGA webcam module might be used in the iPad 2. By the way, the 5-megapixel lens module that is used in the primary iPhone 4 camera isn't shown on Largan's product page, but an 8-megapixel unit is. Is it too early to start speculating that the next generation iPhone will sport an 8-megapixel camera?