Briefly: Apple wants iPhone components from suppliers by April

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Apple Inc. has informed its network of iPhone component suppliers to begin delivery of materials to its Taiwanese manufacturing facilities by next month.

Among those commissioned were the phone's printed circuit board makers, which were told to begin shipping their parts for delivery by "early April," the China Economic News Service reported on Friday.

The move suggests that manufacturing ramp of the highly touted Apple handset will begin — at least in some capacity — shortly thereafter.

Rumors that Apple and wireless partner AT&T could be ready to bring iPhone to market ahead of their June estimate have been making the rounds since February but remain largely unconfirmed.

In an unexpected move, Apple earlier this week turned the south side of 32-foot glass cube in New York City into an enormous billboard for the handset. However, the semitransparent iPhone banner was removed within hours for an unknown reason.