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Apple lines up new sweatshops for iPad 2

Taiwanese media reports say Apple is lining up a second manufacturer to pump out second-generation iPads ahead of the device's release in 2011.

Up until now, the mighty Foxconn has been the sole supplier of the flat-packed PC. The outfit is well known for having a suicidal workforce. Now the Economic Daily News reports that Quanta Computer will soon be building iPad 2s too. Quanta already makes MacBooks, amongst a mountain of other gear.

Quanta hasn't confirmed the report, Foxconn is keeping schtumm and Apple always plays its cards close to its chest, refusing to discuss upcoming products or occasionally planting red herrings in the press.

One such fishy ejaculation may be Steve Jobs' assertion that a seven-inch iPad is a daft idea. The latest far-eastern leaks have put that concept back on the table of possibilities. It seems pretty certain iPad 2 will have front and rear-facing cameras, one to catch the operator, the other to let him see what he's shooting.

The revisted iPad is expected to hit the US market in April, according to the latest Chinese whispers.