Manufacturer Quanta Computer has reportedly been tapped by Apple to begin mass production of the highly rumored 12.9-inch iPad, DigiTimes said Monday. Manufacturing of the largest iPad yet is set to begin during the second quarter of next year, which means we could see a spring or summer announcement if those rumors are indeed true.
Apparently Apple isn’t going to try to focus on consumers with the iPad, however, and will instead work to sell it to enterprise and educational institutions, similar to what Amazon did with the Kindle DX. Quanta seems like an odd choice, though, since apparently Foxconn was the manufacturer who had already been testing its machines to build the tablet.
Meanwhile, DigiTimes said other major manufacturers are currently trying to secure a deal with Apple to manufacture the still-rumored iWatch smartwatch. Apple hasn’t confirmed it’s working on the device, though several reports suggest the company is ready to jump into the fray with a device designed to complement iOS devices. Quanta, Foxconn and Inventec were all listed as possible suitors for iWatch manufacturing. Production of that device is also expected in the second quarter of next year.
Apple said it was interested in entering new product categories in 2014. A larger tablet doesn’t necessarily fit that bill, though an iWatch and a possible Apple iTV certainly would. DigiTimes can be hit or miss with rumors, so we’re still not taking this as concrete evidence that either project is definitely underway right now.