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Foxconn rumored to manufacture Apple tablet for Q1 2010


Foxconn, the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer who has partnered with Apple on numerous products, is now rumored to have secured the production of Apple's anticipated tablet device.

DigiTimes reported Wednesday morning that Foxconn, the trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, will be the manufacturer for the device, citing "market sources." The device is expected to be for sale in the first quarter of 2010, with an alleged initial shipment of 300,000 to 400,000 devices. No price was given.

"The sources indicated they believe the tablet PC features will focus more on e-book functionality rather than music, and that based on Apple's marketing strategy, long battery life, quick Internet connectivity and an easy-to-use user interface will be key features of the device," the report said.

It also claimed that the device will sport a 10.6-inch display, and offered speculation that Foxconn would obtain panels for the tablet from its subsidiary, Innolux Display.

As Apple reportedly prepares to launch its own tablet, other hardware makers are allegedly doing the same as well. The report said that sources expect HP and other computer manufacturers to debut their own tablet-style touchscreen devices soon after, in the second quarter of 2010.

The report corroborates what sources have told AppleInsider — that the still-unseen device will debut in the first quarter of 2010. The 10-inch, 3G-enabled device is believed to run on a custom chip from P.A. Semi.

The information regarding marketing the tablet as an e-reader would seem to bolster recent reports that Apple has reached out to publishers and gained their interest in reproducing content on the device.

Foxconn and Apple made headlines this summer, after a prototype 4G iPhone went missing from one of the company's factories. After an employee was questioned about the matter, he reportedly committed suicide.