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Tablets With Cameras To Be The Norm

Taiwan-based Largan Precision Co, one of the world's largest manufacturers of camera lenses, revealed that its first-quarter revenues rose by 52 per cent compared to last year, a surge caused by manufacturers ordering camera electronics for their tablet orders.

PC World (opens in new tab) reports that Largan's March income was a third higher than on February as many tablet makers snatch lenses for cameras with a resolution of up to five megapixels. Only one tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes with a higher resolution camera, an eight-megapixel model.

Only the Apple iPad amongst first generation tablets did not come with any camera. In addition, most, if not all mainstream tablets, currently come with a front facing camera with a lower pixel count (usually less than two megapixel) as well.

A teardown carried last year by iSuppli put the price of a five-megapixel autofocus camera like the one on the iPhone 4 at just under $10 while the front facing VGA one cost $1.

A similar teardown carried down a month later on the Samsung Galaxy Tab showed that the combined cost of the camera modules (a one-megapixel one and a three-megapixel one) had fallen to under $8.

As for the iPad 2, which comes with a HD-ready and a VGA camera, both with fixed lenses, the total estimated cost was only $4.30. Most of the newer Honeycomb & Gingerbread tablets (Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9, Acer Iconia, Asus EEEpad Transformer, HTC Flyer, LG Optimus Pad etc) come with 5-megapixel cameras.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.