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Analyst: "Manufacturing cogs for tablet are creaking into action"

Apple tablet ‘to launch’ in spring 2010

Apple is preparing to launch its long-awaited tablet in late March or April, with manufacturing partners preparing to produce as many as one million units a month, a research note from a financial advisory firm suggests.

According to Reuters, the note from Yair Reiner, an analyst for Oppenheimer & Co, said: "Our checks into Apple’s supply chain indicate that the manufacturing cogs for the tablet are creaking into action and should begin to hit a mass market stride in February.”

"The February ramp schedule suggests a late March or April commercial release, since Apple will need to build at least 5-6 weeks of inventory before going live."

Reiner added that the tablet will have a 10.1-inch multi-touch LCD screen, similar to the iPhone’s. Apple has apparently approached book publishers to distribute their content for the device, offering them a revenue cut of 70 per cent.

According to Reiner’s calculations, the tablet could boost Apple’s earnings per share by $0.25 to $0.38 per quarter. This figure is based on the assumption of the firm selling between one million and 1.5 million units each quarter at an average price of $1,000 – a corporate average net income margin of 22 per cent.

Apple has not officially announced the tablet.

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