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Claims of camera-equipped Apple tablet disputed

post #1 of 133
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Conflicting reports have emerged this week on whether Apple's forthcoming tablet will include a camera, with one company executive suggesting the device could be used for Web conferencing, while a technology pundit disputes those claims.

In a brief mention Tuesday on his blog, Daring Fireball, John Gruber disputed a claim made earlier in the week by an executive with France Telecom. Stephane Richard had spoke briefly about the prospect of video conferencing with Apple's tablet.

"For what it's worth, I'm hearing there is no camera, webcam or otherwise, on The Tablet," Gruber wrote Tuesday.

France Telecom is the owner of wireless provider Orange, which exists in numerous countries across Europe. Orange on Monday issued a retraction to Richard's statements, and said the executive was "merely confirming that he is aware of the speculation surrounding a launch and that Orange would be delighted to have such a product were it ever available."

Orange is the fifth largest wireless carrier in the world, with more than 189 million customers. With Apple rumored to hold an event Jan. 27 to announce the device, some had speculated that Richard could have possible inside information on the tablet, if it were to be a 3G-connected device that would run on the Orange network.

Last year, AppleInsider first reported that the 10-inch, 3G-enabled table, akin to a jumbo iPod touch, would arrive in early 2010. Recent rumors have suggested the tablet could be compatible with the largest wireless provider in the U.S., Verizon. Access to a CDMA network would be a break from the iPhone, which currently only operates on GSM-based networks like AT&T.

Prior to Richard's comment about video conferencing, little was said about the prospect of a camera on Apple's still-unannounced device. A recent report by The Wall Street Journal said the hardware would ship in March, and would serve as a "multimedia device that will let people watch movies and television shows, play games, surf the Internet and read electronic books and newspapers."

The tablet's potential role as an e-reader began to pick up steam last year when rumors surfaced about Apple contacting print publications about providing their content for the touchscreen device. At the time, it was said that people with The New York Times, McGraw Hill and Oberlin Press were involved in the Cupertino, Calif., company's plans.
post #2 of 133
I haven't mentioned it much since everyone seems to expect a camera (and also since we know relatively nothing about the tablets specs), but it doesn't actually make sense for this thing to have a camera at all, and personally, I hope there isn't one.
post #3 of 133
[QUOTE=AppleInsider;1548294]Conflicting reports have emerged this week on whether Apple's forthcoming tablet will include a camera, with one company executive suggesting the device could be used for Web conferencing, while a technology pundit disputes those claims.

Who cares? Why don't we just wait and see
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post #4 of 133
I would have thought it would absolutely have to have a camera, unless they want to keep it firmly below full computer functionality.
post #5 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I haven't mentioned it much since everyone seems to expect a camera (and also since we know relatively nothing about the tablets specs), but it doesn't actually make sense for this thing to have a camera at all, and personally, I hope there isn't one.

Funny. I think it doesn't make sense for it to NOT have forward facing webcam. A tablet is a fantastic hardware format for videochat.
post #6 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I haven't mentioned it much since everyone seems to expect a camera (and also since we know relatively nothing about the tablets specs), but it doesn't actually make sense for this thing to have a camera at all, and personally, I hope there isn't one.

May be there are two different tablets, one with camera and web and the other without. May be we will find out soon. You need the camera and web for video conferencing and video chat. May be the cheaper one does not have it but used for everything except web and video purposes
post #7 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I haven't mentioned it much since everyone seems to expect a camera (and also since we know relatively nothing about the tablets specs), but it doesn't actually make sense for this thing to have a camera at all, and personally, I hope there isn't one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dak splunder View Post

Funny. I think it doesn't make sense for it to NOT have forward facing webcam. A tablet is a fantastic hardware format for videochat.

I can see reasons to include it and exclude it. Video chat is the major reason to include it but how effective and useful will this be. How many people use their webcam for video chats outside of some initial novelty? Will this perpetually wireless device likely running ARM be a prime candidate for video chatting? I can see video chat being more useable on the iPhone than on a tablet.
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post #8 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I haven't mentioned it much since everyone seems to expect a camera (and also since we know relatively nothing about the tablets specs), but it doesn't actually make sense for this thing to have a camera at all, and personally, I hope there isn't one.

Absolutely right. And there will not be a camera. The percentage of people who would (try to) use this device to teleconference (beyond tweens playing with it for the novelty before they get bored with it) would be miniscule.
Can you imagine a multi user business conference, with people all holding these tablets out at arms-length; trying to hold them steady; trying to touch and scroll on things; meanwhile inside each participants video window, each talking-head is bobbing around; zooming in and out of frame.
It would be hilarious. People would get sea-sick.
Thank god Apple is a company that really thinks things through before moving forward. And even then; only one sure footed step at a time.
post #9 of 133
Accessories!
post #10 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by dak splunder View Post

Funny. I think it doesn't make sense for it to NOT have forward facing webcam. A tablet is a fantastic hardware format for videochat.

My actual reason for not wanting it is I personally wouldn't use it.

Truth and honesty aside, ... a good reason that a tablet with a web cam would make a bad video conferencing device is that you'd have to prop it up somehow.

A lot of people seem to think that the tablet will come with a flip-stand on the back or some other means of propping it up so you can use a keyboard with it, but I disagree. If you don't buy into the "it has a built in way to prop it up" part, then it makes an absolutely horrible video conferencing device.

A forward facing camera on the iPhone would make a better video conferencing device in that you hold it in your hand and point it at your face. There would be a lot of sickening motion and flipping around, but nothing compared to the same person trying to hold up a tablet.

Desktop computers make far better video conferencing devices and already exist. I'm not sure what (other than being outside), a tablet could add that would make people start video calling each other when they mostly don't do it now on their computers. Again, putting the same tech on the iPhone makes more sense.
post #11 of 133
On this topic, I'll take clues from the musings of a senior exec from a company that has 189 million telephone subscribers than some tech blogger (I've never heard of this guy -- but that's not saying much).

Note that Orange did not issue a denial, but merely a retraction (a bit scared of Steve, I guess).
post #12 of 133
Next you know it webcams will be used for Skype. Wow, modern technology.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #13 of 133
Not really a big deal. 3rd party accessory if you absolutely need it
post #14 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"For what it's worth, I'm hearing there is no camera, webcam or otherwise, on The Tablet," Gruber wrote Tuesday.

Really, cameras are so cheap to add they'll put one it. I think Gruber is misguided on this one. It's a webcam, nothing new, it'll have one - just like all Macs.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #15 of 133
Personally, I'm getting tired of all he said, she said speculation going around the web. We should be happy knowing that no one got the iPhone right. So Apple is probably feeding the frenzy themselves with false information. And then just like the iPhone, BAM!

I do believe Steve Jobs himself said, none of the rumors come close. Which means one of two things, either there isn't a tablet/slate or that it is actually a completely different kind of device.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #16 of 133
Wouldn't a tablet laying flat on a table have its camera pointing up? What good would that do?Is the tablet going to have a built in stand? That seems very un-Apple. Are you going to hold the tablet in front of you for the duration of your conversation? That also seems very un-Apple. What about a third party camera accesory that plugs into the dock connector and can be adjusted to face you even if the tablet is laying flat? That sounds very Apple like.

Given the limited number of people that would actually make use of a webcam and the lack of an elegant way to present video conferencing, I think this will be left up to third parties to develop. I also hope no one expected a camera like the iPhones... Taking pictures with a tablet would almost be as bad as taking pictures with a laptop... We will see soon enough.
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post #17 of 133
Good. It'd be incredibly awkward. Now the tablet is just starting to sound ordinarily awkward.
post #18 of 133
Well, guessing your conference partner by looking at (double/triple/etc.) chins might be fun...

I still have problems to buy that Verizon story. Apple will not build a CDMA-only device. It will either have one of the new chips supporting both systems, be GSM only, or have no 3G modem at all (or just a slot that telcos can use to provide that functionality).
post #19 of 133
I don't know about a camera, but my bones are telling me this thing will have two processors(an ARM and x86) to cover both camps: the long battery group with Apps store and the full OSX group. Similar to what the HTC Shift did.

I wouldn't mind if it did have a camera though.
post #20 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Really, cameras are so cheap to add they'll put one it. I think Gruber is misguided on this one. It's a webcam, nothing new, it'll have one - just like all Macs.

Normally i'd agree with you where Mac's are concerned but this isn't going to be a Mac.
If it exists and it's going to be something new, then a webcam isn't a cert.
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post #21 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Really, cameras are so cheap to add they'll put one it. I think Gruber is misguided on this one. It's a webcam, nothing new, it'll have one - just like all Macs.

+1

I really don't think they'll release this thing without a camera.. seems silly to even suggest that they would omit such a useful, familiar feature at this point especially given the landscape, ie; Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc.
post #22 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


I do believe Steve Jobs himself said, none of the rumors come close. Which means one of two things, either there isn't a tablet/slate or that it is actually a completely different kind of device.

You know i tend to agree with this. I have this gut feeling no such device exists. Something is going to be announced, that i am sure, but i'm not sure it's going to be what people expect.

That in itself is exciting.

And it's 2 weeks tomorrow before the rumoured event. Getting awfully close without an official announcement don't you think?
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post #23 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogerman2000 View Post

+1

I really don't think they'll release this thing without a camera.. seems silly to even suggest that they would omit such a useful, familiar feature at this point especially given the landscape, ie; Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc.

In his defense he isnt speculating that there will no webcam he merely made an appended comment regarding a rumour he heard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGruber

And, for what its worth, Im hearing there is no camera, webcam or otherwise, on The Tablet.
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post #24 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Well, guessing your conference partner by looking at (double/triple/etc.) chins might be fun...

Nostril hairs are very photogenic.

I don't have a strong opinion about the camera in or out, but I think those arguing that a camera is fundamentally a bad idea are overlooking something pretty basic. With the camera mounted above the screen, if you are looking at the tablet, then you are also looking into the camera. So unless you can use the tablet without looking at it, then it's not a problem.
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post #25 of 133
If no Apple Tablet is announced, we may get a really good buying opportunity. Stock could drop big even though iPhone and Mac sales are booming.
post #26 of 133
I agree with Ireland, why wouldn't you just stick the camera in there?? Only reason I see to leave it out is for the same security reasons that cameras are left out of certain phones.

But then why would Gruber say something so far against common expectations if he didn't know something?

What would be really cool: A facial tracking camera with software to make the motion highly intelligent and SMOOTH. I don't video conference, but I'm not everyone. I'm sure plenty of college students would love a front facing camera for Skype and whatever else...

There are other uses for a camera too: scanning business cards. qm codes. Evernote. It's not just for snapping photos of your dog.
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post #27 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

But then why would Gruber say something so far against common expectations if he didn't know something?

We need to stop reading so much into his comment. He never said he believes that is going to happen and his comment could be taken to mean he doesnt actually believe it to be true but this is what he heard.
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post #28 of 133
My guess: It will have a camera, but not for video chat. Too much bandwidth required. Video chat is nothing but a gimmick.

We already have iPhone apps that use the camera to read bar codes. Such a function would be very useful for said tablet.
post #29 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

We need to stop reading so much into his comment. He never said he believes that is going to happen and his comment could be taken to mean he doesnt actually believe it to be true but this is what he heard.

If he has been accurate with past prediction, and he has, then I think it's at least reasonable to weigh in, knowing everything at this point is still speculation regardless of the source.
post #30 of 133
2 cameras. Front and back.
post #31 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

I agree with Ireland, why wouldn't you just stick the camera in there?? ... why would Gruber say something so far against common expectations if he didn't know something? ...

I'm not bothered either way really, I'm just arguing that it doesn't make sense design-wise for it to have a camera, but it could easily have one just based on how easy it is to drop one in there.

To argue against your point above though ...

Webcams are ubiquitous on Macs, and there is a rear-facing camera on the iPhone, but it shouldn't be a "common expectation" for such a camera to be on the tablet as it's a new device. The only devices in the same category from Apple, (the iPhone, iPod touch), don't have one (even though they have the rear-facing ones).

It may have one, it may not. But there should be no "expectation" that it "should" have one or anything like that, and (as I argued previously), I don't think it's a good "fit" for the video conferencing use that most people seem to assume it would have.

We'll all find out soon enough anyway.
post #32 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajack7 View Post

2 cameras. Front and back.

One camera on the front, end of discussion.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #33 of 133
i would love to see apple tablet with web cam behind the screen which filed sometime last year, 5+ megapix out side; first gen iphone like case to solve heat issue. plus removable batt like early unibody mac book with cover.

others? you all know what's in there already... can't wait to have it...
post #34 of 133
Actually, and I hate to be the source of a leak... it's a 3D camera. (2 cameras next to each other)

Carry around those stupid glasses and you can chat with the other person in 3D. WOW.

Apple's using it's technology for Photo Booth to actually make it appear to the other person on the call as if you aren't even wearing your stupic glasses. I can't wait.
post #35 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by nDeng View Post

i would love to see apple tablet with web cam behind the screen which filed sometime last year, 5+ megapix out side; first gen iphone like case to solve heat issue. plus removable batt like early unibody mac book with cover.

others? you all know what's in there already... can't wait to have it...

Why a 5MP camera on the outside? Is taking pictures with a 10" tablet a good idea?
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post #36 of 133
This is going to be fun to read in a couple of weeks.
post #37 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

One camera on the front, end of discussion.

So if a person is wearing a skirt while video conferencing, one has to be careful not to drop the tablet on the floor?

Seriously though, I set up a lot of video conferences and it's almost always a task of getting two people on the globe in a place with the correct bandwidth and equipment at roughly the same time. Casual "video-calls" are rare and usually only take place between serious Skype heads and companies that have all Apple equipment. Even then the video size is small, (or blurry and jaggy if it's blown up), audio sucks etc.

If Apple wanted to make a device for video-conferencing or to make the masses all of a sudden discover video calling, the tablet would not be it. It may have a camera just because almost everything does nowadays, but the leak by the French guy that implies we are all going to be using these as video-phones seems really unlikely to me.

PS - Do you realise that you've "ended discussion" on almost every aspect of the tablet at this point? You're so inflexible, that you are bound to be wrong about some of your predictions.
post #38 of 133
This thing is supposed to be a grand, right? So build costs will run around $500 or less. Cameras are ultra cheap to do, adding no significant cost. Heck, I can buy one in a case for $10; mounted in a tablet where the case is there already... even cheaper.

There are many things that can be done with cameras. Reading bar codes, identifying products, social things, business things, creative things... cameras have proved their utility over and over. If you add communications (wifi hopefully, not so hot on cell, but as long as it has wifi I'll be happy), then the number of things you can do with your camera multiply enormously.

Consequently, the optimum thing to do here is put both a inward facing and an outward facing camera on the tablet. This would provide maximum convenience, functionality, and usability to the user.

Having said that, after Apple's complete and utter FAIL with the camera on the nano and not on the Touch, this could easily be another case of Jobsian myopia-for-your-own-good.

We'll know when it's released. The Orange guy has discredited himself; mr. tech blogger never had any credit to start with.
post #39 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

So if a person is wearing a skirt while video conferencing, one has to be careful not to drop the tablet on the floor?

Seriously though, I set up a lot of video conferences and it's almost always a task of getting two people on the globe in a place with the correct bandwidth and equipment at roughly the same time. Casual "video-calls" are rare and usually only take place between serious Skype heads and companies that have all Apple equipment. Even then the video size is small, (or blurry and jaggy if it's blown up), audio sucks etc.

If Apple wanted to make a device for video-conferencing or to make the masses all of a sudden discover video calling, the tablet would not be it. It may have a camera just because almost everything does nowadays, but the leak by the French guy that implies we are all going to be using these as video-phones seems really unlikely to me.

PS - Do you realise that you've "ended discussion" on almost every aspect of the tablet at this point? You're so inflexible, that you are bound to be wrong about some of your predictions.

My daughter video conferences using her MacBook Pro when she's in school in the UK, and either, when she's back here in the US.

I'm sure she'd find a way to do this with a tablet as well. She said she would.

You guys are thinking too corporate. It shows that you aren't in touch with the younger generation. They figure out ways to do things we wouldn't want to do.
post #40 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

This is going to be fun to read in a couple of weeks.

This is probably the most certain of anything said in this thread.
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