Kindle Fire, Nook Fueling Orders For 7-Inch Displays As iPad 2 Production Slows


The Kindle Fire 2 may not look this small up against the iPad.
Photo by Gadgetmac -

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.

  • Justin Heard

    I think the fact that they are more reasonably priced might also have a majority to do with it.  To the average consumer.. spending $200 is much more reasonable than the price for an iPad.. regardless of functionality.  Look at how everyone went crazy over the HP Touchpads when they were reduced.  Even though the buyers knew support might be limited in the future.. they still ate them up because of the price.  Had Amazon priced the Fire a hundred or two more.. it likely would be dead in the water.

  • cassandralite

    Why is this always news here?  The Fire is $200 and does a lot of things well.  And yesterday’s system update fixes the two biggest complaints.  It’s not an iPad replacement; it’s an alternative.  A good one for certain people–millions of them, apparently.  End of subject.

  • Paulakero

    from the article I’m left with all kinds of questions (no link that I can see to actual Digitimes article) :

    1) they say there’s an increase in 7 inch displays in Nov and decrease in 9 inch. So what is the startng point numbers and the percentages? If they were RAMPING up for NEW Kindle fire obviously 7 inch screens would have gone up. The iPad 2 were already in production, orders in for months already so there won’t be an INCREASE.
    And what are the numbers? For arguments sake if you had one item selling 10 million dropping to 9.9 million and one item selling one thousand and then going up to 2000, the first would have a decrease the second would have a 100% increase but in real terms the second guy still has negligible sales. I’m NOT saying Amazon Kindle Fire is selling low numbers but until we get actual sales numbers the info in the article is not much use.

    2) I don’t see from the article actual quote from Taiwan that it’s iPad’s screens that’s gone down. There were near 100 Android tablets at CES, many of them have cut down production, the Xoom was supposed to sell 12 million, actual sales were a few hundred thousand a quarter. Are those affecting the large panel drops? Again until i see the actual source (no link provided) I can’t tell.

    3) Digitimes has often been wrong with apple. Sometimes I even suspect they leak stuff to help or hinder manufacturers. Most recently they said iPhone 4S production had been cut the SAME amount as iPad production  (but 4S is of course a massive seller, long lines in every place they launch it, millions sold on launch weekend) , they hadn’t mentioned that some production had moved to Brazil. 

    here is the Digitimes report on iPhone 4S cuts “DigiTimes’ Cage Chao and Steve Shen write, “Apple is likely to adjust downward its shipments of iPhones and iPads from related suppliers by 10-15% in the fourth quarter”.… channel checks by many other analysts found no 4S production slowdown at all. 

  • CmdKingcobra

    Price is an important factor but there are other important factors as well. The reason amazon kindle will do well is that it has a connected enzironment or hub if you will that can easily be put on other kindles. This is in stark contrast to other android devices that have the market place but not the ease of use of the kindle and its simple integration of the amazon market. Size is also an important factor. 7 inch is nice & easy to carry around. Personally i wish apple had killed the 9.7 screen and the ipod touch and instead had given the consumer a 7.8 inch model and a 11.6 inch model. Now that is what you call killing the market. Also what will kill the market hydrogen liquid metal (hydro cell tech). Know that is what I call innovation (think different!) Cutting wires and giving freedom one step at a time :)

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  • AvoidDroid

    Cheap sells.

  • Mike Rathjen

    I agree, however Apple seems to be doing just fine without being cheap.