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Pegatron reportedly lining up orders for third-gen iPad ahead of March launch

Apple manufacturer Pegatron is believed to have received a "small volume" of orders for the third-generation iPad, which is rumored to launch in March, according to a new report out of the Far East.

Upstream supply chain sources claim Apple has shifted its outsourcing strategy to have Pegatron focus on production of future generations of the iPad while Foxconn focuses on iPhone manufacturing, DigiTimes reported on Tuesday. Pegatron will serve as an auxiliary for iPhone products in 2013, while Foxconn will continue to make a small amount of iPads, the publication noted.

"Pegatron Technology has reportedly already landed a small volume of orders for the upcoming "iPad 3" (generally called by supply chain players)," the report read, adding that Pegatron declined to comment on the rumor.

The publication also added a less credible detail that Pegatron will see a "significant increase" in orders when Apple readies a so-called "iPad 4" for launch in October with an initial volume of 7-10 million units.

The Taiwanese industry newspaper had originally reported last week that a high-resolution third-generation iPad was coming in March and a fourth-gen iPad with "killer applications" was planned for October. John Gruber of Daring Fireball described the March launch rumor as "completely accurate," but dismissed the "iPad 4" claim as "completely made-up nonsense."

According to the report, insiders went on to allege that the Cupertino, Calif., iPad maker's new strategy is intended to decrease risk while improving the quality of its products. Apple representatives have reportedly visited Pegatron's facilities "several times recently" to check up on the shipment process.

DigiTimes reported last July that Quanta and Pegatron were vying for orders for Apple's next iPad. Apple was believed to have been prompted to engage a second iPad manufacturer after a deadly explosion occurred at a Foxconn iPad plant earlier in the year.

Some reports have suggested that Foxconn will begin producing the next iPad this month, with large-scale production set to ramp up in February.

The third-generation iPad is widely believed to feature a doubled resolution of 2048 x 1536. The device is also expected to sport a faster A6 processor. Recent rumors have suggested that Apple may diversify its iPad lineup by selling high-end and mid-range models.