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Apple will reportedly ramp up production on its rumored tablet with an expected launch date in March or April, according to Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner.

Checks into Apple’s supply chain indicate that “the manufacturing cogs for the [device] are creaking into action.”

Reiner says the tablet will have a 10.1-inch multi-touch LCD display and cost around $1,000. He believes Apple will manufacturer up to one million units a month so if the company needs five to six weeks of inventory before launch, it will likely arrive to market some time in March or April of 2010.

“Contacts in the US tell us Apple is approaching book publishers with a very attractive proposal for distributing their content,” said Reiner. “Apple will split revenue 30/70 (Apple/publisher); give the same deal to all comers; and not request exclusivity. We believe the typical Kindle/publisher split is 50/50, rising to 30/70 if Kindle is given ebook exclusivity.”

“As innovative as it is, we believe the Kindle has disgruntled the publishing industry (book, newspaper, and magazine) by demanding exclusivity, disallowing advertising, and demanding a wolfish cut of revenue. The tablet is set to change that. It should also make ebooks more relevant for education by simplifying functions such as scribbling marginalia.”


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