The New iPad Buyers’ Guide published by iLounge this week included a piece that speculated Apple might be working on a standalone camera product. While the story discussed the possibility of Apple working on a point-and-shoot iSight camera, iLounge clearly labeled it as speculation and simultaneously noted it received a tip claiming Apple is working on the project.
Take special note of pages 152 and 153—“Making the case for a standalone iSight Camera.” I’ll share more on this topic shortly, but for now, I’ll say that this two-page spread very nearly had a different title. We were tipped that this project is actually happening at Apple right now, but we didn’t feel confident enough in our source to call it a certainty; it’s therefore billed as speculation. Still, there’s enough smoke to make us think there’s a fire.
It did not feel strongly enough in the source to run the story, but Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge sent out a tweet today noting once again that Apple is working on a standalone camera:
So, as briefly noted on Backstage, Apple appears to be working on a standalone camera - the third of three industries Jobs wanted to change.—
Jeremy Horwitz (@horwitz) May 31, 2012
Steve Jobs’ intention to reinvent the camera/photography business circulated in reports on several occassions after the release of Walter Isaacson’s official “Steve Jobs” biography. In an interview, Isaacson said Jobs had “three things that he wanted to reinvent: the television, textbooks and photography.” In January, we reported Jobs apparently met with the CEO of photography company Lytro, Ren Ng, to discuss the business in his final months. According to Adam Lashinsky’s “Inside Apple“:
The company’s CEO, Ren Ng, a brilliant computer scientist with a PhD from Stanford, immediately called Jobs, who picked up the phone and quickly said, “if you’re free this afternoon maybe we would could get together.” Ng, who is thirty-two, hurried to Palo Alto, showed Jobs a demo of Lytro’s technology, discussed cameras and product design with him, and, at Jobs’s request, agreed to send him an email outlining three things he’d like Lytro to do with Apple.
There is no solid evidence that Apple is working on a standalone camera project, but Horwitz is the source of accurate reports from the past.