A Foxconn Electronics manufacturing plant in Brazil is ready to begin production on the third-generation Apple iPad with shipments starting in December, according to Digitimes.
Consumer demand worldwide for the iPad is enormous, so it makes sense that Apple would expand its manufacturing to other countries outside China and Taiwan. Forrester Research said recently that the iPad is the clear leader in the tablet space, with 28.7 million units sold worldwide to date. Android tablets have wrested away 20 percent of tablet market share from the iPad, and Amazon’s upcoming tablet could help bump up that percentage even more.
Apple is expected to launch a third-generation iPad in the first quarter of 2012, following the release schedule of the first two models. Because the Brazil plant’s shipments are starting in December, it’s expected the plant will be shipping iPad 3 devices. The iPad 3 is expected to be a minor upgrade to the device, and it’s rumored to have a higher-resolution “Retina Display” screen and better cameras.
The new iPad plant in Brazil is reportedly a joint venture between the Brazilian government and Foxconn, with Foxconn putting up $15 million. Digitimes said Taiwanese analysts originally expected a Brazil plant to being operations in the first quarter of 2012.