iPad in Brazil
Minister AloÃzio Mercadante said that Apple had planned to begin production of the tablet in late July, but had pushed the start date back to late August or early September, Globo (via Google Translate) reports.
According to the minister, construction glitches and a shortage of skilled labor contributed to the delays. Foxconn, which serves as one of Apple's main manufacturing partners, has hired 175 engineers and sent them to China for training, but more than 200 engineers are needed for the plant.
The project is also dependent upon full legal approval from the city of JundiaÃ where the production plant is being built. The city has said it is committed to the project and approval process has been accelerated in order to meet the deadlines.
Mercadante expects a locally produced iPad to be 40 percent cheaper for consumers than the imported version. Brazil has steep import tariffs that can as much as double the cost of consumer electronics.
Another Brazilian official has said that the Foxconn unit there will produce as many as six million iPads and generate four to five thousand new jobs by the time it reaches full capacity in three to four years.
Foxconn is also said to be considering a $12 billion investment toward new facilities in the country. According to one report, the company has sent a list of requirements, which includes requests for financial support from the Brazilian National Development Bank and government help in finding investors, to officials as part of the negotiations.
iPad 2 ad
Apple on Friday posted a new ad for the iPad 2 on its website and YouTube channel. Entitled "Now," the ad highlights new opportunities made possible by the touchscreen tablet.
"Now we can watch a newspaper, listen to a magazine, curl up with a movie and see a phone call," the ad states. "Now we can take a classroom everywhere, hold an entire bookstore and touch the stars, because now, there's this."