As if the Wall Street Journal's insider info weren't enough, an executive from one of Apple's European partners has now confirmed the upcoming tablet device—and revealed it will have a built-in camera. As SlashGear reports, Orange Vice President Stéphane Richard spilled the beans during an interview with French radio host Jean-Pierre Elkabbach.
SlashGear provides a video and a partial Google translation of the (brief) exchange. Since French happens to be my mother tongue, I've attempted to translate said exchange a little more thoroughly:
Elkabbach: According to weekly magazine Le Point, in a few days your partner Apple will launch a tablet—
Elkabbach: —outfitted with a webcam.
Elkabbach: Will Orange users benefit from it also?
Richard: Of course. They will benefit from it all the more easily because, with the webcam, one will be able to transmit video in real time. We will modernize, in a way, the videophone we knew a few years ago. There, too, the size of the network and the quality of the network we have put in place for the French will allow these new usage models to grow everywhere.
So, not only do rumors suggest Apple is setting up e-book distribution for the tablet, but the device will apparently support video calls over 3G, as well—assuming this executive knows what he's talking about.
Orange, a France Telecom subsidiary and major wireless carrier in several European countries, initially had an exclusive distribution contract for the iPhone in France. If Apple ties the tablet to a wireless subscription like the iPhone, then Orange certainly seems like a logical choice for a partner in the French market. (Thanks to CrunchGear for the link.)