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Sharp cuts 9.7in iPad LCD panel production

Move hints at lower demand
Mon Jan 21 2013, 12:12
iPad potty at CES

JAPANESE DISPLAY MAKER Sharp has decreased production of LCD screens used in Apple's 9.7in iPad.

Sharp, which produces displays for a number of Apple products including the iPhone and iPad, has reportedly cut production levels of 9.7in iPad screens. The firm has cut production by such an amount that it is barely producing any 10in panels, according to reports.

Apple often manages inventory ahead of new product launches, thus its decision to tell Sharp to slow down 9.7in iPad screen production could be seen as a prepatory move to clear the channel of existing inventory. Apple could also be shifting production away from Sharp to other manufacturers, and from iPad teardowns it is known that Sharp isn't the only company to supply Apple with screens for the 9.7in iPad.

Analyst outfit Macquerie Research forecast a steep drop in 9.7in iPad sales, citing a 40 percent drop in sales with Apple's iPad Mini increasing in popularity. Sharp's slowdown in 9.7in iPad display production could merely be the firm shifting production to iPad Mini screens.

If Apple is moving business away from Sharp it could be very bad news for the firm as it struggles to compete with South Korean and Chinese display makers. Apple also buys screens for its various products from Samsung and LG, and Reuters reported that Samsung is not easing up on screen production for Apple's devices. µ

 

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