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Apple stalls iWatch, 12.9-inch iPad from Quanta rumored for mid-2014

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Apple has reportedly chosen its manufacturing partner for a 12.9-inch "MaxiPad" that's scheduled for mass production in the second half of next year, and is presiding over a bidding war to determine which companies will get the lion's share of producing Cupertino's long-rumored iWatch.

So say the rumormongers at DigiTimes, the Taiwanese market-watchers who churn out such tidbits at such a rate that their number of correct reports is relatively high, even if their percentage of accuracy is not.

According to the newspaper, the "MaxiPad" tablet computer contract has gone to Taiwan's Quanta, which claims to be "the largest notebook computer ODM company in the world." This specialization is interesting, considering that Apple has been also rumored to be investigating "touch cover" keyboards, à la Microsoft's Surface keyboard.

Seeing as how, according to Intel, numerous OEMs and ODMs are planning to release tablet-notebook "2-in-1" mashups, and that DigiTimes also reports that the MaxiPad, spotted earlier this month, will be aimed at the enterprise and education markets, perhaps the iPad Air's big brother will come equipped, at least optionally, with a keyboard that turns it into a true productivity machine.

Perhaps the MaxiPad may even morph into the long-rumored MacBook powered by an ARM-based chip – that'd be Apple's A7, which is based on the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture. If so, would it run iOS? Would it run OS X? We'd assume the former, especially considering Apple's recent updates to and cloudification of its iWork suite for iOS, but only Cook & Co. would know, and they ain't talking.

Quanta is also said to be in competition with Inventec, also based in Taiwan, and Apple's longtime manufacturing partner Foxconn for contracts to manufacture Apple's impending "wearable", known to world+dog as the iWatch, although of course not even acknowledged by Apple to be in development even though design guru Sir Jony Ive is reported to be heading up a 100-person team tasked with creating Apple's Next Big Thing™.

However, if you're hankerin' to strap Apple's much-anticipated iThing over your radius and ulna, you may need to wait until mid-2014. If DigiTimes' sources are correct, "because of low yields" – of what component was not mentioned – mass production of the iWatch has been pushed back from the first quarter of next year until the second quarter. ®

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