AppleInsider reports that Yair Reiner, an Oppenheimer analyst, stated Apple will begin mass production of their rumored tablet device in February. He was quoted saying the following...
"Our checks into Apple's supply chain indicate the manufacturing cogs for the tablet are creaking into action and should begin to hit a mass market stride in February... At this stage Apple appears to be sizing its supply chain to support production of as many as 1 million units per month."
The device looks like it will have a 10.1 inch multitouch, capacitive, LCD display, as opposed to the previously rumored 9.7 inch OLED. Apple also seems to be aiming the device at Amazon's Kindle, offering publishers a 30/70 split on the profits from eBooks sold. Amazon is assumed to currently offer a 50/50 split with publishers, but will match Apple's offering in exchange for an exclusivity deal. Reiner says that Apple's Tablet will aim to "make eBooks more relevant for education by simplifying functions such as scribbling marginalia," something the Kindle severely lacks.
Reiner says that the tablet could launch in March for a selling price of approximately $1,000. At the rate of 1 million a month, Apple could sell as many as 1.5 million tablets in the first quarter of 2009 alone.