Speculation has been rife over when Apple Inc. will launch the next generation of its tablet device iPad3.
A local Chinese-language newspaper reported Friday that iPad3 might be launched on Feb. 24 to mark the anniversary of the birth of Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs.
Citing sources close to Taiwanese makers in the iPad3 supply chain, the Economic Daily News said the gadget could be launched in mid-first quarter of next year or by the end of next March.
The paper also said local iPad3 component makers need to keep working during the Lunar New Year holiday to meet the delivery deadline.
The following are excerpts from the local media coverage of the iPad and other tablet-related issues:
Economic Daily News:
After the iPhone 4S successfully took the tech market by storm, the iPad3 is widely expected to be Apple's first hit product to be released next year.
Industry sources said the first shipment of the iPad3 could exceed 4 million units.
Because it is a new gadget, it is taking time for makers in the supply chain to raise their yield rates. The sources said all OEM and ODM makers have exercised great caution in ensuring the smooth operations of their production lines.
To meet the iPad3 delivery date, the sources said, main assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry's iPad division will only allow its employees to take five days off during the Lunar New Year holiday, while staff at the company's other divisions will have a longer holiday.
Casing producer Catcher Technology said that at least some of its employees will have to work overtime during the Lunar New Year holiday.
Other high-end component suppliers such as battery maker Simplo Technology, connector maker Amer International Group and optical lens supplier Genius Electronic Optical Co. are all planning to ask at least some of its employees to work during the Lunar New Year holiday, industry sources said.
Institutional investors said the first quarter tends to be a low season, but Apple's busy suppliers reflect Apple's urgent demand for iPad3 delivery and the likelihood that first quarter sales of these OEM and ODM makers are expected to be robust, market analysts said.
Meanwhile, Google Inc., one of Apple's key competitors in the high-tech market, is likely to launch its tablet gadget in six months.
Market sources said Google may pick Taiwan's Compal Electronics as its partner in producing its brand name tablet computer. (Dec. 23, 2011).
(By Sofia Wu)