Apple introduced the iPad nearly a week ago, yet that has done little to temper speculation on future versions of the tablet computer.
The latest bit of speculation to surface is whether Apple plans to add a built-in camera to the iPad. Chief executive Steve Jobs did not mention a camera in the iPad's unveiling at a Jan. 27 San Francisco news conference. If a camera existed in the current model, which is scheduled to be available in late March, then it's hard to believe Jobs would have skipped the feature.
Nevertheless, the most credible evidence to date that a camera is in the works came from Mission:Repair, an Olathe, Kan., service company that repairs Apple products. The company wrote in its blog that its first shipment of iPad parts included metal internal frames with an embedded spot for a camera.
The company found that a camera taken from an Apple MacBook fits perfectly in the iPad frame.
"The camera slips in the frame, the lens fits in the hole, the LED (light) that indicates that the camera is on, fits, and the ambient light sensor hole is also correct," the company said Monday. "It appears that the plans to have camera in the iPad is a reality."
Mission:Repair speculates that the camera will likely appear in the next version of the iPad. Apple does not comment on future product plans, so fans will have to wait until the company is ready to make an announcement.
In the meantime, despite being described as "magical" by pitchman Jobs, the iPad has its critics. Reviewers working off the specifications released by Apple have complained about the lack of a camera, the device's inability to run multiple applications at the same time, and the lack of Adobe Flash support and a high-definition video port.
The next gauntlet Apple will have to run will occur when it releases the device to reviewers. With so much attention on the iPad, critics are sure to dissect each feature.