Report: Component Manufacturer Sources Point to Q2 Release Date for Apple Tablet

Apple is likely targeting a release date sometime in the second quarter of 2010 for its as-yet unannounced tablet, according to two sources in Apple's supply chain. In a report published Friday, Reuters cited unnamed sources at casing and cover manufacturer AVY Precision Technology, Inc. and touch screen panel manufacturer TPK Solutions, both based in Taiwan, as saying their production schedules point to Q2 as Apple's target time frame.

"Production of the cases will begin in February, so everything points to a second-quarter launch right now," one of the sources told Reuters. "It doesn't take that long for the company to assemble the PC together, but a second-quarter shipment date is what we're looking at now."

Apple is expected to unveil a tablet device at not-yet announced media event towards the end of January, a device the company would ship later in the year. Reuters' report is the most specific yet in pinpointing that schedule in the second quarter.

That said, if Apple does announce the device in January, a shipping date early in the second quarter would fall within the company's historical patterns. For hardware, Apple has most often made new products available on the same day as their announcement announcement, or within a couple of weeks of that announcement.

The iPhone was an exception, as that device was unveiled at Macworld San Francisco in January of 2007, but not shipped until that Summer.