Chinese manufacturing industry site the DigiTimes reported a rumour that Foxconn, manufacturers of Apple’s iPad products, have been told they will ship the iPad 2 ‘within the next 100 days’.
The DigiTimes often cites sources within Taiwanese manufacturers and it’s via these sources that the DigiTimes is reporting on the news from mainland Chinese manufacturer Foxconn. Reportedly the initial shipments of iPad 2s are forecast at the 400-600,000 unit mark.
The 100 days statement means that Foxconn has until the end of February to ship the iPad 2. DigiTimes sources claimed that production was planned for January but due to delays in testing of the firmware of the next-generation tablet, Apple had postponed final manufacturing.
Foxconn has since been diversifying manufacturing operations in part to combat the pressure cooker of Shenzhen staffing and the negative publicity surrounding a number of suicides by Shenzhen-based employees. However the new operations in Chengdu are only just gearing up so iPad 2 manufacturing will be mainly based in the Shenzhen factories, said the sources.
Interestingly, the DigiTimes also cited sources that claim that the iPad shipments have outstripped channel sales which they said was a possible indication of over stocking although, the sources said, there were no signs of production order reductions.
Shipments of first generation iPads are expected to scale down in January in order to exhaust inventory prior to the launch of the iPad 2 in April, they said.