According to Reuters, the pieces are literally coming together for Apple’s new Tablet.  Kelvin Soh says two ‘sources familiar with the situation’ expect a Q2 launch — which has been reported before.  He does, however, say that the casings will be made of aluminum (or the British: aluminium) which would imply that they might be more ‘Unibody’ looking than current iPhones which have plastic backsides.

Suppliers for Apple Inc’s new tablet computer have begun shipping touchscreen panels and will start delivering aluminium casings for it next month, sources said, implying a second-quarter product launch.

AVY Precision Technology Inc, a Taiwanese manufacturer of covers for electronic products, will begin production of the cases in February, two sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.TPK Solutions, an unlisted touch screen panel maker also based in Taiwan will also supply panels for the product, a third source said, on top of those already being manufactured by another Taiwan company, Wintek Corp.

“Production of the cases will begin in February, so everything points to a second-quarter launch right now,” said one of the sources. “It doesn’t take that long for the company to assemble the PC together, but a second-quarter shipment date is what we’re looking at now.”

We know Apple has patented the Unibody construction for iPods and iPhones.

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