Foxconn, Apple's manufacturing partner, is reportedly negotiating with the company to sign a new deal that would make it the sole builder of the new iPad, AppleInsider reported.
Citing industry sources, a DigiTimes report said that Pegatron was the most likely contender to become Apple's second iPad manufacturer. But because of Foxconn's efforts, Pegatron is now considered unlikely to share orders for Apple's next iPad.
However, Foxconn exerted its efforts to protect its orders and apparently has persuaded Apple to not shift some of its iPad orders to other contractors for the moment, the report said.
Wednesday's latest report said that Pegatron is still expected to receive orders for 10 million units of Apple's fifth-generation iPhone, which is expected to launch in the coming months. Pegatron is also said to be eyeing potential orders for an anticipated fourth-generation iPad expected to launch in 2012.
Apple Rumors: A second iPad manufacturer this fall
In addition to Foxconn, Apple is said to be planning to add another manufacturer for its iPad 3 launch this year, reported DigiTimes.
The potential candidates for the job are Taiwan-based Quanta Computer and Petagron Technology, according to industry sources in Taiwan. The sources indicated Petagron as more likely to win the bid because it has already landed iPhone 5 orders from Apple.
After an explosion on May 20 at Foxconn's Chengdu, China factory that left three dead and 15 injured, Apple was forced to minimize production risk by seeking a second contractor.
One report from last week suggested the new iPad might feature a double-resolution screen of 2048*1536 pixels, making the device a so-called iPad HD. A separate report from last week referred to such a device as an iPad 2 Plus. It claimed that overseas component makers have already received requests-for-quotes from Apple for a new high-end iPad model with a greater pixel density display.
The new iPad is also expected to be thinner and lighter.
The new iPads will be launched either at the end of Q3 or early in Q4 this year, said the sources.The sources also estimated that total shipments of iPad tablets are expected to top 13 million units in Q3.