updated 05:50 pm EDT, Wed October 28, 2009
Apple trips may hint major hardware in 2010
Apple engineers are scaling up the number of trips to China to prepare for new products, a rumor indicates this evening. Visits to the Asian manufacturing base are reported by SAI as accelerating and may even include trips during the holidays. The exact nature of the trips isn't mentioned other than that at least one system integration engineer has been one of those making the trips.
Speculation points to the ramp-up possibly linking to the future Apple tablet, which China-based Foxconn could be readying for early 2010. However, Apple often chooses to introduce at least one significant product at the start of a new year and is known to demand unusual schedules to ensure hardware or software is ready on time.
Besides the tablet, Apple is also likely to use the start of the year to launch updated MacBook Pros. Intel is already known to be introducing its first Core i5 and i7 dual-core mobile processors, codenamed Arrandale, in early 2010 and will require that computer makers like Apple redesign their mainboards to accommodate the new CPU and its chipset.