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Briefly: Foxconn to build 1.5m MBPs; 100GB iPod drive

Apple Computer manufacturing partner Foxconn is reported to have landed a contract to deliver 1.5 million of the Mac maker's MacBook Pro notebooks in calendar year 2007. Meanwhile, Toshiba has introduced a "short" 1.8-inch form factor hard disk drive that may pave the way for a 100GB iPod.

Foxconn to build 1.5m MacBook Pros

Foxconn Electronics, the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, is expected to ship 3.2 million notebooks in 2007 after recently adding Apple Computer and Lenovo to its list of notebook clients.

According to the Taiwan-based Topology Research Institute (TRI), Foxconn will start building notebooks for Apple in 2007, with the total shipments expected to come in at 1.5 million for the calendar year.

Based on a recent series of reports, it's believed the orders to Foxconn are for Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks.

Following the resounding success of its consumer-oriented 13-inch MacBook line, rumors are abound that Apple is looking to push sales of its professional 15.4-inch widescreen models in the new year.

In August, the Mac maker began shopping around for a third notebook manufacturer after facing some supply issues a bit earlier in the year. It was reported that Foxconn answered the company's call, expressing a willingness to help build its 15.4-inch MacBook Pro models.

Toshiba's new 100GB iPod-compatible drive

Meanwhile, Toshiba on Tuesday introduced what it calls "the world's highest-capacity 1.8-inch hard disk drive" — the same make of drives currently employed by Apple in its fifth-generation video iPods.

Toshiba said the new 100GB two-platter HDD is based on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) and was designed in the "short" 1.8-inch form factor.

The drive offers a footprint that is 10 percent smaller than first-generation 1.8-inch drives, making ideal for thin and light mobile computers with an 8MB cache.

"Toshiba's technology innovation is setting the bar for mobile HDDs, and our first-to-market position in PMR is clearly helping us define the possibilities for pushing capacity limits in the mobile sector with more than two million mobile PMR HDDs shipped and over a year in commercialization," said Scott Maccabe, vice president and general manager, Toshiba Storage Device Division.

The new 100GB 1.8-inch HDD also integrates a low insertion force (LIF) connector that will enables mobile PC manufacturers to easily transition to higher capacities in smaller footprint HDDs.