Apple Looks to Increase iPad Production to Meet Expected Demand

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In an attempt to keep pace with consumers' seemingly insatiable demand for the iPad, Foxconn Electronics, Apple's China-based tablet manufacturer, has added several new assembly lines to crank up production rates, according to a Digitimes report.

The new lines, which have reportedly been added to the company's plants in Chengdu, China, will be capable of churning out approximately 10,000 iPads per day; a number that Apple hopes will satisfy the demand created by the holiday shopping season. Down the road, the company will look to add 50 more production lines to the facility, enabling it to produce as many as 40 million units in a year.

Currently, the majority of work is done at Foxconn's Shenzhen plant, which manufactures between 2 million and 2.5 million iPads per month, depending upon the supply of various components. Although Foxconn declined to comment on the story, sources from local component manufacturers verified the Digitimes report.

"Foxconn had previously refuted claims that the company would establish iPad production lines at the plants in Chengdu," one unnamed source told the Taiwanese industry publication, "but related component players have pointed out that Foxconn already started shipping iPads from the site in November and expected the site to become a major supply base starting the first quarter of 2011."

The source added that iPad shipments in the fourth quarter may reach a whopping 7 million units, which suggests that Apple may not fear the recent influx of competing tablet devices like some analysts had speculated.

Meanwhile, Foxconn Electronics has been under heavy media scrutiny in recent years after suffering through a number of PR nightmares, including reports of employee mistreatment and poor working conditions, according to TechEye.net. In fact, Apple and other Foxconn partners like Dell and HP were all forced to launch investigations into the matter.


Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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