AppleInsider reports that someone with knowledge of Apple’s future plans has leaked to them that a version of the iPad with a FaceTime camera is already in “advanced testing stages.” Further, AppleInsider expects that Apple will be releasing the device in time for the holiday season.
While this would represent a considerable shortening of the traditional about-12-month product cycle for Apple devices—the iPad was only released back in April—it would give Apple FaceTime capability across all its mobile product lines, giving it the head start it needs to ward off compatible tablet competitors before opening the FaceTime standard to the rest of the industry.
Devin Coldewey at TechCrunch thinks that a holiday iPad release would make sense, especially if it includes the 7” iPad that has been rumored recently. It would give the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad line the mid-range size that it has been lacking. It’s also worth pointing out that, as far as e-book reading goes, a 7” iPad would compete directly with the similarly-sized Kindle the way that the current 10” iPad compares to the Kindle DX.
And it pretty much goes without saying that the holiday shopping season is the perfect time to introduce a shiny new tech toy. If they can have it in the stores by Black Friday, their fortune is made. (Well, actually their fortune is made already, but the synergy of newness and the holiday season will nonetheless give it a big boost.)