OmniVision to Provide Front and Rear Cameras for Second-Generation iPad?

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Barron's reports on a new research note from research firm Detweiler Fenton claiming that OmniVision Technologies has won the contract to supply image sensors for both a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera and front-facing VGA camera for the second-generation iPad. The report claims that the revamped iPad will debut in the first quarter of 2011, likely relatively late in the quarter.

The research firm contends the new iPad will ship with two cameras, a 5 MP camera and a VGA camera, and likely will support Apple's FaceTime video chat software. Detweiler says their early read is that Apple will build 2.5 million units of the next iPad in calendar Q1, providing an incremental 5 million units of demand from Apple for OVTI, which also supplies sensors for the iPhone.

A front-facing camera for the next-generation iPad has been a solid assumption considering the proliferation of Apple's FaceTime video chatting capabilities, but a rear-facing camera has been less of a sure bet.

Rumors dating back a number of months have also pointed to the possibility of a 7-inch iPad to join the existing 9.7-inch form factor, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs' recent criticism of tablets in the smaller size coming from competitors strongly suggests that the company is not pursuing such a release.