Amid its expanding retail presence ahead of the all-important holiday shopping period, Apple has signed another deal to build nearly 1 million additional iPad touchscreens. The Taiwan-based Cando plant should start shipping the 9.7-inch touch sensors in early September or October.
In August, analysts announced previous shipping delays had shrunk to 24 hours as Apple increased the number of suppliers building parts for the tablet device. After its main touchscreen supplier LG in July admitted problems keeping up with demand, Apple signed a $240 million deal with Samsung, gaining 3 million additional iPad sensors.
The new deal involves production from Cando, a subsidiary of AU Optronics. The overhauled production line was designed “mainly for iPad touch sensors with a monthly capacity of almost one million units,” according to DigiTimes. The plant is capable of producing 70,000 glass substrates per month, each able to create 16 touch sensor units for the iPad’s 9.7-inch display.
Additional supplies will be needed as analysts expect Apple to sell about 13.4 million iPads in 2010, buoyed by end of the year demand. Tuesday, electronics giant Best Buy announced it will begin selling both iPad models in all of its U.S. stores starting next week. Other reports suggest Target may also be picked to bring the tablet to consumers.