Quanta Computer, an Apple supplier mainly responsible for assembly work concerning computers like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, may have been tasked with building Apple’s two next big things, a rumored health/fitness wearable device and an assumed big screen iPad.
The company and its Fremont, California plant are listed on Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Page as a final assembler for Macs and now the notoriously hit-and-miss DigiTimes is reporting that Quanta has inked a deal to product the so-called iPad Maxi for the late-2014, in addition to iWatch production for the second half of next year…
Apple is rumored be planning to release a 12.9-inch iPad in 2014 with Quanta in charge of manufacturing the device, the sources noted.
Quanta is expected to encounter several challenges in terms of industrial design and assembly when making the large-size iPad. And since the size is not the mainstream specification, order volumes are expected to be limited, the sources said.
Aside from Compal, other companies are competing over iWatch orders such as Inventec, Quanta and Foxconn Electronics, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, the trade publication asserted. The article goes on to note that a large-size iPad will mainly target the education and enterprise markets.
As for the iWatch, DigiTimes claims that component makers have already started the pilot production. However, due to low yields, mass production of the Apple smartwatch is rumored to have been postponed from the first quarter of 2014 to the second.
Needless to say, take DigiTimes with a grain of salt.
DigiTimes back in August said Quanta lost out on an unspecified portion of iMac orders to rival Pegatron, another Apple contract manufacturer which assembles iPhones and iPads along with Foxconn.
The move apparently came as Apple had decided to reshuffle its supply chain and shift some of assembly work to other companies in order to keep risk at a minimum and better manage the production lines.
ETNews first mentioned in May 2013 that a 12.9-inch iPad Maxi was in the pipleine.
The Wall Street Journal corroborated the rumor this summer, with The Korea Times reporting just a few days ago that the iPad Maxi’s 12.9-inch screen is now in production by a “first tier display supplier” (Samsung?).
Apple CEO Tim Cook let slip in a conference call with analysts that his company could enter new product categories next year.
“You will see exciting new products from us in the fall and across 2014,” he teased. “We obviously believe that we can use our skills at building other great products that are in categories that represent areas that we do not participate today”.
Does a nearly 13-inch iPad make any sense at all?