updated 09:30 am EST, Thu December 2, 2010
Company likely gearing up for second-gen iPad
One of Apple's key suppliers, Wintek, is planning to expand its capacity for producing 10-inch touchpanels. Chairman Hyley Huang says the company is adding the capacity to produce an extra 2.2 million panels a month at its Taichung plant in Taiwan. By the time the upgrade is complete in June 2011, the plant should be able to manufacture a total of 5.2 million panels a month.
Shipments are forcast to exceed 2 million in December, and reach 3 million in January. While not explicitly stated, the size of the touchpanels and the number Wintek hopes to produce suggest that most or all of them are intended for Apple's iPad. If so, the figures also hint that Apple and Wintek are ramping up to meet predicted demand for a second-generation iPad. The device is expected to launch in March or April of next year, and retain a 10-inch format while gaining speed and one or more cameras.