Apple has nearly halted production on their larger 10″ panels from one manufacturer. Many wonder whether or not the reduction means a stronger production focus on the iPad Mini
Apple’s Q4 2012 earning report should come out this week and of course everyone is waiting to hear the official report on just how Apple did over this last tumultuous quarter. A quarter that showed no rest for Apple device sales, against the ever increasing shipments of Android mobile devices, both smartphone and tablet alike..
Although the official numbers aren’t really too needed at this point, as they’ve sort of been followed along day-by-day even as investors have consistently lost confidence in Apple and the stock has taken a nearly 30% tumble since September of 2012. Still, when the official numbers arrive they could actually do Apple a bit of good if they can show strength in certain areas – such as continued tablet growth that still surpasses that of Android’s numbers.
Tablets are still known to be an Apple’s strength and although Apple hasn’t “officially” announced any plans to slow production on any of its tablet devices, some news has popped out that may elude to the notion that Apple is at least switching their focus from the larger iPad and perhaps switching it to their newer, more compact, iPad Mini.
Sharp Corp is one of the manufacturers of Apple’s iPad panel screens. Although a Sharp spokeswoman by the name of Miyuki Nakayama has been quoted as saying “We don’t disclose production levels”, a Reuters industry source with inside knowledge of Sharp’s production plans told them that production of Apple’s 10″ screen (9.7″ exact) screens by Sharp has nearly come to a halt. Although the industry insider didn’t say why the production of the particular screens had drastically slowed, it is known that iPad mini sales have been strong by comparison to the larger tablets recently. Apple also purchases panels from LG and Samsung. LG would not comment on Apple production supply, but Samsung was a bit more lax in their confidentiality, though they simply said that there was no significant change in Apple’s declining panel purchases from them. Of course Apple has been moving away from Samsung for a number of reasons including patent fights and perhaps even Samsung Galaxy competition issues.
Recently, there seems to be shift in which consumers are now preferring the smaller tablet screens, such as those of the iPad Mini. The price point is also preferable for many as well, hovering in the range of about $330. There’s great speculation roaming about that such is the reason for Apple’s reduction in larger screen panels through Sharp.