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Foxconn dials up iPad-making machinery

Apple's manufacturing partner in China, Foxconn Electronics, has cranked up its iPad output to an additional 10 thousand units per day to meet what is expected to be a Yuletide iPad rush.

According to Digitimes, component suppliers have said that Foxconn is opening 50 brand new production lines at Chengdu (where the parts are presumably delivered), which will in turn up its quota to 40 million of Apple's popular tablet devices per year, the ramp coming on time for the upcoming festive season.

The company had previously denied Chengdu was an iPad manufacturing plant, but the shipping manifestos are probably out and about and denial is no longer really an option. Digitimes further suggests that availability of iPads on the market so far has been limited by component suppliers rather than Foxconn's production capability. Foxconn was also fingered as having the honour of building the iPad 2 when it comes along, by Q1 2011.

Despite the fact that this is good news for the gadget addict trying to score a brand spanking-new iPad and, who knows, start putting aside money for the iPad 2 - little is known about what Foxconn is doing to curtail the ongoing worker suicides at its Shenzen factory - the other iPad factory whose suicide toll has now risen to around a dozen workers).

To put it bluntly, while many a gadget addict will deffo hope to find their stockings filled with iPad delight, increased demand for the holidays will mean more cracking of the whip at the factories and will only raise concerns about workers' overall conditions.