Reuters reports that Sharp, one of Apple's primary display panel partners for its mobile devices, has slashed production of iPad displays at one of its plants. Sources did not indicate the reasons for the dramatic cut, but it appears to be a combination of a shift in consumer interest to the smaller iPad mini and a natural seasonal slowdown coming out of the holiday quarter.
Sharp Corp has nearly halted production of 9.7-inch screens for Apple Inc's iPad, two sources said, as demand shifts to its smaller 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.
Apple also obtains iPad display panels from Samsung and LG Display, with a source at Samsung indicating that there has been no production cut there and a source at LG suggesting that any production cuts there were in line with typical seasonality.
Reports of cutbacks in iPad component production come close on the heels of reports that Apple has slashed orders for iPhone 5 parts, although there have been significant questions about the figures cited in those reports and whether the decline actually represents a weakening of demand.