Far East IT resource DigiTimes this morning reports that Apple has ordered its first 15.4-inch PowerBooks from local manufacturer, Compal.

Compal will begin to ship the 15.4-inch models in the second half of this year, the report claims. Initial monthly shipments are estimated at 30,000-40,000 units. The company also builds Apple's 17-inch PowerBook models.

Apple's mid-range Titanium PowerBook product currently offers a 15.2-inch screen. The other models in the range - the 17- and 12-inch notebooks - are encased in aluminium chassis.

Introducing the smallest and largest PowerBooks during his keynote speech at January's Macworld Expo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: "It's the most incredible product we have ever made. The Titanium PowerBook became the number one lust object in the industry, and no-one's caught up with it in two years. We believe that one day notebooks are even going to outsell desktops. This is the year of the laptop."