According to a report by AppleInsider, sources with direct knowledge of Apple's product plans claim that production of a FaceTime-capable iPad could be available in time for the holiday shopping season.
Although Apple has maintained a fairly predictable 12-month release cycle for its mobile devices, the source claims "that as of last month, there was an ambitious push inside Apple to verify the refresh for a possible launch ahead of this year's holiday shopping season.
Typically Apple will release updates to its iPod lineup in September (as we saw last week) and then update its Mac lineup shortly thereafter. Should this latest claim pan out, recent rumors about Apple wanting to ramp iPad production to around 3 million units a month may have actually been misinterpreted and the production increase may have been due to this rumored version.
In any case, including a front-facing video camera on the iPad is definitely the next move on Apple's mobile list. With the three major mobile devices in Apple's lineup (iPhone 4, iPod touch, and iPad) offering FaceTime and if rumored FaceTime-compatible software for Mac and Windows shows up, Apple will effectively put its name into any conversation regarding major communications companies.
The biggest question at this point is not whether Apple will release an iPad with a FaceTime-capable front-facing video camera, but rather when.
Would you be inclined to purchase the new iPad before Christmas? What if you already have one?