iPad Display Production ‘Nearly Halted’ As Demand Shifts To iPad Mini [Report]

iPad Mini iPad 4

Sharp has “nearly halted” its production of 9.7-inch iPad displays as consumers shift their demand towards the smaller iPad mini, Reuters reports. Sources familiar with Sharp’s plans have claimed that production of the larger panels at Sharp’s Kameyama plant in central Japan has fallen to the “minimal level” this month following a gradual slowdown that began at the end of 2012.

The news follows speculation that the iPad mini has been “cannibalizing” sales of the larger model since its debut last November.

Sources were unable to disclose exactly how much of the production cut was due to seasonal demand, or how much was caused by consumers opting for the smaller, cheaper iPad mini. But Macquarie Research has estimated that 9.7-inch iPad shipments will drop nearly 40% in the current quarter to 8 million, from 13 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Apple’s total iPad sales are unlikely to show that decrease, however, because of the demand for the iPad mini. It’s also worth noting that Sharp isn’t the only manufacturer of iPad displays; Apple also has them produced by Samsung and LG Display. A source at Samsung said there have been no significant changes in iPad display production there.

Reuters notes that any indication that iPad sales are struggling could “add to concern that the appeal of Apple products is waning after earlier media reports said it is slashing orders for iPhone 5 screens and other components.”

As we’ve learned since that particular report from The Wall Street Journal, however, iPhone 5 demand continues to be strong, and Apple only cut component supplies because the device was too popular when it first launched last September. Apple ramped up orders back then to prevent delays, but now that supplies are stable, it’s been able to reduce them.

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  • FriarNurgle

    Love our mini. Can see the reason people are opting for it over the standard iPads… price.

  • Kylerjai

    Love our mini. Can see the reason people are opting for it over the standard iPads… price.

    Display

  • technochick

    So much BS. All those reports are just rumors themselves. And so many factors at play that they mean nothing. IF there is a lessening of orders it could be simply the standard post holiday because at that time demand goes down since outside of holiday the only major reason for a swing up is a launch or back to school. It is also possible that Apple has more than one supplier and they cut orders at all of them due to demand. Or even they added more suppliers to diversify and thus orders to Sharp are less now than before when Sharp was one of only a couple of companies.

    Who knows what if anything is going on. It is possible that all these claims are 100% bunk and supply orders are actually going up. But someone wants to short the stock for some financial gain and these rumors of issues, lowering demand etc is how they are doing it.

  • technochick
    Love our mini. Can see the reason people are opting for it over the standard iPads… price.

    Display

    For many folks the display is the reason they are NOT getting a Mini. Because it isn’t retina. It’s bogus in a way because the smaller size means that the PPI went up so it’s likely some 70-80% there but many snobs want a ‘real’ retina screen or they aren’t getting a Mini because until then it is garbage in their eyes.

    Friar is more likely correct that price or a combo of price and size is more the game at the moment. the Mini is great for kids with smaller hands or those that are mainly using it as a reader (be it ebooks, email or even text focused web browsing). My little brothers were picked to be part of a pilot program at their middle school for ipad based textbooks etc and parents were given a choice between a Mini or a full sized iPad to provide for the kids. My parents picked the Mini to save a little money (always important with twins) and the size is easier for them to carry and hopefully not drop it because their hands cover more of the underside. I think a lot of parents are thinking the same way

  • Steven Quan

    Makes sense. The Mini has a smaller screen which fits more naturally in the hands compared with the 10″ model. It also has a smaller price than all the 10″ models currently available. A tablet that fits better in the hands and is cheaper to boot=WIN! Many people predicted, including myself, the Mini would eventually be Apple’s best selling tablet. I still think this way. The 10″ is way too big and clunky in my opinion. The Mini is so thin, so svelte, so light in weight (it’s well under half the weight of the retina iPad) it’s really a very compelling tablet.

  • dcdevito

    …and Android

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About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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