Remember the infamous Steve Jobs put-down of 7-inch tablet screens, telling reporters buyers would need to file down their fingertips in order to use the darn thing? Although we don’t see tinier fingers becoming the in-style for Christmas, suppliers are pumping out more 7-inch screens for the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet and fewer 9.7-inch displays for the iPad 2.
In reality, we are seeing a slowdown in Apple orders as the company slows down iPad 2 production in preparation for the iPad 3, expected in early 2012. Because of pause, more smaller screens are being produced, according to industry publication DigiTimes.
Citing “sources from panel players,” the Taiwan-based publication reports shipment of display panels rose 17 percent in November, temporarily overtaking demand for larger displays. This shouldn’t be too surprising, given Amazon was prepping its 7-inch Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble increased production of its Nook Tablet.
But that state of affairs likely won’t last too long. Apple’s iPad 3, which some believe could include a Retina display, could arrive as soon as February. Others have forecast a March or April arrival. Talk of Apple winding down the iPad 2 as its premiere tablet caused some Wall Street analysts to revise their sales expectations for the December quarter. Analysts settled on 13 million iPads sold for the Christmas period.
Although the iPad breather can explain the slowdown in Apple display orders, Amazon hinted at the need for more displays. Last week the online retailer announced it sold “millions of units” of the Kindle Fire, the device spending weeks on Amazon’s best-selling product list. Researcher IDC also provided some explanation for the increased orders for smaller displays, noting the two 7-inch tablets will likely spearhead Android’s charge against the iPad. The two tablets could increase the mobile operating system’s marketshare by 8 percent.