By Anu Passary | Oct 02, 2012 12:24 PM EDT
Rumors suggest that production of Apple's alleged new tablet, the iPad Mini, is already underway at Foxconn's factory in Brazil. Reports from a Japanese blog also suggest that the iPad Mini will be shipping before Christmas.
"According to my source, iPad mini was started production in Brazilian factory. I don't have information if it has been produced in Chinese factory, yet," stated the report from Japanese blog Macotakara.
Additionally, an analyst with Barclays Bank Plc., has indicated that the Foxconn plant will produce 7 million units of the tablet and Pegatron, a Taiwanese tech factory, will make and ship 3 million units of the device. Initially, Barclays had forecast that Pegatron would be assembling 70 percent of the total iPad Mini production. However, the estimation was revised to 30 percent owing to Pegatron's "likely yield rate issue."
"Unlike Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Pegatron lacks the experience for tablet assembly, which has a long learning curve," said Kirk Yang ,a Hong Kong-based analyst with Barclays.
The tablets are expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Reports also suggest that Apple wanted to ramp up iPad Mini production in September; however, the company had to tackle component shortage issues which led to delays in large-scale assembly. However, despite the setback, Yang believes that Apple would be able to convince its vendors to increase production, so that the shipment is on schedule.
"As most iPad component vendors ramp up shipments in September that would continue into the fourth quarter of 2012, we do not see any signs of a postponed shipment schedule, suggesting an on-time October product launch," said Yang.
The iPad Mini is expected to sport a 7.85-inch display and is projected to be significantly cheaper than the current iPads. The tablet is also rumored to have a thinner bezel and a smaller dock connector; leaks indicate that the iPad Mini may include the Lightning connector like the iPhone 5.
On Oct. 1, it was reported that Apple would be sending out invites on Oct. 10 for a press event slated for Oct. 17. The Cupertino-based tech company is expected to unveil the iPad Mini at the event, ahead of the holiday season.
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