Digitimes is reporting that Taiwan-based Foxconn, a manufacturer that has worked with Apple on a number of projects in the past, has been tapped to build the rumored Apple tablet device for a release in the first quarter of 2010.
The initial production run of the tablet is expected to be 300,000 to 400,000 devices, and no estimated price for the device has been released.
The post notes that the focus of the device is to be an ebook reader with exceptional battery life, fast Internet connectivity, and an easy-to-use interface. This information is in line with recent reports that Apple has been approaching publishers about reproducing their content on the device.
This rumor reflects other recent reports that the tablet will have a 10.6" (some reports say 10.7") display, and there is speculation that the display would come from Foxconn's Innolux Display subsidiary. For the first time, the report notes that other manufacturers are not going to leave Apple any breathing room in this market, as HP and others are planning on releasing their own touchscreen tablets by the second quarter of 2010.