The iPad appears at home – but why so long?

Finally, some happy iPad news from the island nation that makes the iPad.

It now appears that anxious wanna-be iPadders will be able to get their hands on the real thing here on Isla Formosa on November 30, just in time for a quiet Taiwanese Christmas.

So what if it’s six months after the initial release of the tablet elsewhere in the world? “Better late than never” goes the old Chinese proverb.

According to local news reports, the Taiwan launch of Apple’s iPad is set for the end of this month. The three main telecommunications providers in Taiwan that will be selling the tablets have confirmed that they have received word from Apple representatives the deal is on. Finally.

But why has it taken so long? The iPad comes from Taiwan. For six months, the sleek tablet goes around the world, and never once sets its digital footprint on the island that created it.

Okay, it’s an Apple tablet, and Apple’s not in Taiwan. And iPad assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which goes by the foxy trade name of Foxconn and is run by a man both liked and disliked on both sides of the Taiwan Strait — Terry Gou, 62 — has all of its assembly plants in mainland China. Taiwan is just corporate headquarters.

As readers of this website know, Apple doesn’t actually manufacture most of its products. Instead, it hires manufacturing specialists like Foxconn to assemble things. And Foxconn, in turn, uses parts for the iPad from other firms in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

The iPad’s casing is said to have been made by Taiwan’s AVY Precision Technology Inc., which manufactures aluminium alloy and plastic die casting products. And Hon Hai, known in the industry to be secretive about its customers, doesn’t tell secrets, but everyone knows it’s been a longtime assembler of Apple products and was there for the iPad for sure.

So why does it take so long for a Taiwan-centric device to arrive on the island responsible
for its own creation? Only the gods of Foxconn know for sure, and they aren’t talking.