Apple Orders Tablet Components for 2010

Apple's legendary tablet device took a step closer to reality this week. Chinese component manufacturers have reported large orders from Apple for key parts of a touch-screen tablet computer.

According to DigiTimes, Innolux (a subsidiary of Foxconn) and Wintek will be producing 10-inch screens for Apple and could deliver them as early as March 2010. Wintek is currently Apple's main iPhone display manufacturer.

Apple has reportedly asked Foxconn to strengthen the glass that complements the 10-inch display panels. It's possible the Apple tablet will be designed for more durability than a typical iPhone, or that the larger LCD display is more fragile and requires stronger glass.

Cheng Uei Precision has received large orders for tablet flat-panel connectors, however they are not expected to ship the parts to Apple before the third quarter of 2010. Orders from Apple make up 25% of Cheng Uei Precision's business.

The Apple Tablet is expected to run a variation of the iPhone operating system. Some analysts have estimated that a $600 Apple tablet could sell 1.4 million units in 2010.