The upcoming models of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) flagship tablets, dubbed the iPad 5 and the iPad mini 2, will likely feature eight-megapixel rear cameras, an analyst said, adding that both new tablets are expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2013.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, the lens elements for the enhanced cameras would come from Taiwan’s Genius Electronic Optical (TPE:3406) and Largan Precision (TPE:3008), Apple Insider reported, which also quoted another insider source saying that the sensor modules for the new devices could be provided by Sony (NYSE:SNE).
“We predict Apple (US) will launch new iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 (so called retina iPad mini) in 4Q13. As the tablet market becomes increasingly competitive, Apple could upgrade the camera as a selling point for the new iPad in a bid to increase competitiveness,” Kuo said. “We expect the upgrade will include 8MP rear camera, up from 5MP, and larger aperture. Lens module ASP will rise 10-20% on this optics spec upgrade.”
If Apple indeed improves the resolution of its tablets' cameras to eight megapixels from the five-megapixel feature currently found in the iPad 4 and the iPad mini, it would be the first of its kind for the company, which traditionally reserves high-resolution cameras for its iPhones.
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Although Kuo did not provide details about the type of module to be used in the new iPads, it is speculated that Apple may use a back-illuminated component as seen in the iPhone 5s.
MacRumors reported that if the iPad 5 and the iPad mini 2 feature a camera similar to that found in the iPhone 5s, it will be capable of capturing quality low-light pictures. The company may also include some more iPhone 5s camera traits, such as the one that allows users to capture 120fps slow-motion videos.
The only remaining question is whether the new iPads will sport the dual-LED flash featured in the iPhone 5s. Given that none of the iPads have featured flash capabilities so far, it could be one of the key enhancements to the new Apple tablets and help the company take on its rivals.
On the question of retina display, it might be high time for Apple to incorporate the feature into its iPad mini 2 as many of its rivals have already effectively implemented it in their products. For instance, Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) new 7-inch and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX tablets sport pixel densities of 323 ppi and 339 ppi, respectively, which are higher than the 264 ppi found in the iPad 4 and the 163 ppi on the iPad mini.
According to Kuo, Apple is expected to ship 1.2 million units and 10.5 million units of the iPad 5 in the third quarter and fourth quarter, respectively. On the other hand, shipments of the iPad mini 2 will hit the 2.1 million mark in the fourth quarter.