Apple is already in full swing manufacturing its tablet device, analyst Matt Thornton at AVI Securities said in a note on Friday. Talking to a component supplier, he says the parts have been in the supply chain for some time but that the finished products are now in "full production" for release soon. The iPhone designer had supposedly planned to start assembly late in 2009 but encountered a delay that impacted some suppliers who had expected the increased business.
No matter the supply, NAND flash memory demands may have increased specifically to accommodate the large touchscreen hardware, Thornton noted. Apple’s design is also suspected of eating into the netbook market and consequently taking supplies away from those producing regular netbooks. One recent rumor had Apple securing many 10-inch displays for itself at the expense of those starting new computer designs.
As many as 10 million tablets could be built in the first year, according to the financial expert.
Manufacturing at this stage would remain in sync with most of the more recent rumors for Apple’s mystery product, which could be unveiled at an event on January 27th but wouldn’t ship until March.