iPad, iTablet, iSlate: whichever it is, expect videoconferencing.

Fresh new rumor about the upcoming Apple tablet,   this one from one of Apple’s telecom partners in France.

Basically, they are saying that the tablet will have a camera on the screen side, so that it can be used for videoconferencing, and that Apple will include a videoconferencing app for live streaming.

This is definitely credible — Apple has supported videoconferencing out of the box for years in Mac OS. Their video chat feature in iChat maintains a relatively high frame rate over AIM, much better frame rates and video quality than the video chat on Yahoo IM, for example. This feature runs very nicely on even the older Power PC laptops, it ran great on my old 1.33 GHz Powerbook G4 over a WiFi connection. The only question is how well it would run on the slower mobile networks, though the current version of iChat does have the ability of adjusting the video for lower bandwidth. A more refined version of this would detect the bandwidth available and throttle back image quality and frame rate as needed.

This does suggest that the tablet will definitely have WiFi connectivity and that it should have a beefier graphics system than the iPhone 3GS, though it wouldn’t need something as powerful as the graphics on current Macbooks.