Sharp iPad Screen Production Virtually Grinds To A Halt – Report


Demand for the iPad is sliding according to a report

Sharp has reportedly halted production of 9.7-inch screens for the iPad to minimal levels, as demand for the larger Apple tablet slides.

Reuters says that the screen production line at Sharp’s Kameyama plant in central Japan is producing the bare minimum required to prevent it from being shut down.

It is unclear whether this is due to seasonal changes in demand or consumers shifting to the smaller iPad Mini, but is worrying news for Apple, which has apparently also reduced its order for iPhone screens due to less than anticipated demand.

Sharp iPad screen production

The iPad has dominated the tablet market since it was launched in 2010, but it is expected that its grip will loosen in 2013. It is believed that shipments will drop 40 percent in the next quarter from 13 million to 8 million.

Earlier this week it was reported that Apple had slashed its order of iPhone 5 screens to around half of what it originally planned, while orders for other components were also reduced. Sharp was one of the suppliers affected and it had been suggested that it would struggle to find alternative buyers for its screens due to the fact that iPhone materials are often heavily customised.

It had been feared that suppliers would struggle to meet demand for the iPhone 5, but the news was interpreted as a sign that appetite for the smartphone was slowing and that Apple was struggling to compete with intense competition from Android manufacturers who sell smartphones at a number of different price points.

Apple has denied reports that it was looking to combat this threat by releasing a cheaper version of the iPhone, just as it has done in the tablet market.

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