Reuters reports that according to their sources, the production of screens for Apple’s full-sized iPad has fallen to minimum levels at Sharp’s factory in Japan after a gradual slowdown began at the end of 2012.
The report notes that it’s not clear how much of this slowdown is due to seasonal changes or due to a shift in demand for iPad mini.
Sharp’s iPad screen production line at its Kameyama plant in central Japan has fallen to the minimal level to keep the line running this month after a gradual slowdown began at the end of 2012 as Apple manages its inventory, the industry sources with knowledge of Sharp’s production plans told Reuters.
Analyst have forecasted that the iPad mini could cannabalize the bigger iPad sales by 20%. Analysts are also expecting a 40% drop in shipments in this quarter to about 8 million from about 18 million in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that their sources at LG Display and Samsung Display–Apple also buys iPad screens from them, have said it’s business as usual. They haven’t seen any significant change in their panel business with Apple and the fall in iPad screen production from the previous quarter was due to weak seasonal demand, which is quite normal.
Earlier in the week, concerns were raised after reports claimed that Apple had slashed the iPhone 5 components by half due to weakening demand.
Apple’s earning report covering the crucial holiday season has been scheduled for January 23rd, until then we expect such rumors and speculations.