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Taiwan suppliers building specialized plants just for Apple - report

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Numerous Apple suppliers in Taiwan are said to be building new, specialized plants just to build components for upcoming Apple products, including a rumored 7.85-inch iPad.

Citing sources in the Taiwanese supply chain, DigiTimes reported on Monday that Catcher Technology, Taiwan Surface Mount Technology, Radiant and Coretronic are all planning to build new Apple-centric plants. In particular, the facilities will be meant for Apple's next iPhone and a smaller 7.85-inch iPad, the report said.

Suppliers are working to keep up with demand as Apple continues to see tremendous year-over-year growth in sales. In the last quarter alone, Apple saw iPhone sales increase 88 percent from 2011, while the iPad grew a whopping 151 percent.

The report was actually the third Apple-centric scoop from DigiTimes on Monday, as the site also reported that suppliers are gearing up for Apple to launch new MacBooks in June, and also claimed that Genesys will supply USB 3.0 card reader controller chips for Apple's next-generation MacBook Airs. The publication is known for having a spotty yet prolific track record with respect to anonymously sourced Apple-related rumors.

The performance of DigiTimes as the source of rumors was analyzed on Monday by Harry McCracken of Time, who fact-checked a total of 25 stories from the Taiwanese industry publication. His sampling found that 16 of the 25 stories were mostly wrong, five were essentially entirely correct, and four are predictions that have yet to come true.

In digging through stories as far back as 2006, McCracken found that the most reliable reports from the publication come from "mundane or logical-sounding" stories, while the more fanciful rumors usually don't pan out, and the timing on hardware-related rumors is usually off.

"Digitimes rarely does anything other than to simply pass along gossip it's heard," he wrote. "It almost always relays rumors without any analysis or context that might help readers gauge them. At least I only found one instance — when it reported on an alleged OLED iPad — when it expressed any skepticism."