Sharp cuts production of 9.7" iPad screens, demand may be shifting to Apple's iPad mini

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Sharp is said to have "nearly halted" production of 9.7-inch panels for Apple's full-size iPad ??a change made as sales are predicted to shift to the 7.9-inch iPad mini.

Two sources signaled to Reuters that production of 9.7-inch LCD displays has "fallen to a minimal level" at its Kameyama plant in Japan. Friday's report indicated that a slowdown began at the end of 2012.

"The sources didn't say how much of the slowdown was due to seasonal changes in demand or consumers opting for the smaller iPad mini," the report said, "and were unable to characterize Apple's overall tablet sales."

Products


While the sources reportedly characterized the changes as inventory management by Apple, some market watchers believe the new iPad mini may have had a significant effect on sales of the full-size iPad. Data from NPD DisplaySearch published in December indicated the iPad mini is already on pace to outsell the iPad.

A breakdown of iPad versus iPad mini sales for the holiday quarter is not likely forthcoming, however, as Apple does not detail sales of individual products. The company is set to report its quarterly earnings next Wednesday, a call that has been declared the company's most important in a decade.

The report of iPad panel orders being slashed at Sharp comes as Apple has already been hit with rumors that the company has drastically cut iPhone 5 component orders in response to weakening demand. However, many analysts have stood by Apple, dismissing the apparent order reductions as typical supply chain management and not a sign of consumer demand.

A drawdown in component orders for the iPad could also be a sign that Apple is preparing to launch a new model. One report from earlier this month claimed Apple plans to debut a fifth-generation iPad in March.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who has a strong track record in predicting Apple's next moves, said this week that he has been told Apple's next iPad will be "significantly lighter and slimmer." The so-called "iPad 5" is expected to have a narrow border design, similar to the one found on the iPad mini.
«13456

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 111
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    The new ipad should be awesome! I love the big screen. A thinner lighter New iPad will decimate WinPC sales
  • Reply 2 of 111
    kpomkpom Posts: 617member
    There are several possible explanations. First, I do think the iPad mini is very popular. It was priced right to be a holiday gift. It may also be the right size for the long term, being bigger and more readable than the silly "phablets" but smaller and more portable than the 9.7" and even bigger Android tablets, which will probably eventually see more competition from Windows 8.

    Second, it could mean a 5th generation is on its way, with a more substantial redesign to address the size and weight.

    Third, the holiday season has passed.
  • Reply 3 of 111
    I seriously hope that the ones doing this are put in jail. This is criminal.
  • Reply 4 of 111


    Are they winding down production of the old iPad to flush out stock before a new one is unveiled in March?  I mean the screen is one component, which they probably have stock of, which needs to be flushed out into assembled iPads, which they probably also have stock of, which need to be flushed out to stores, which also have their own stock.


     


    On a semi-unrelated note, I hope they come out with a bigger iPad. I only use my first gen iPad for email, web-browsing, music and videos so Retina+faster processor really isn't enough to justify an upgrade, especially since 64 GB capacity is a must.  A 13" screen on the other hand...


     


    I just can't see Apple not addressing the larger touch screen device market now that all these Windows 8 devices are coming out. A frankenstein MacBook hybrid won't happen, so that really only leaves a larger iPad. Timing is perfect for Apple to show the world how to "do it right", plus now as Android tablets gain credibility and market share it gives Apple a new high end.

  • Reply 5 of 111
    Unless iOS 7 really ups the anti, I'll be switching to WP 8 I reckon... I'm not surprised demand has fallen for iPhone 5.
  • Reply 6 of 111
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    bluefish86 wrote: »
    Are they winding down production of the old iPad to flush out stock before a new one is unveiled in March?  I mean the screen is one component, which they probably have stock of, which needs to be flushed out into assembled iPads, which they probably also have stock of, which need to be flushed out to stores, which also have their own stock.

    On a semi-unrelated note, I hope they come out with a bigger iPad. I only use my first gen iPad for email, web-browsing, music and videos so Retina+faster processor really isn't enough to justify an upgrade, especially since 64 GB capacity is a must.  A 13" screen on the other hand...

    Yea, that seems about as likely as that 27" tablet
  • Reply 7 of 111
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    frxntier wrote: »
    Unless iOS 7 really ups the anti, I'll be switching to WP 8 I reckon... I'm not surprised demand has fallen for iPhone 5.

    Dare I ask why?
  • Reply 8 of 111
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,581member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    ... The so-called "iPad 5" is expected to have a narrow border design, similar to the one found on the iPad mini.


     


    I don't see this. The mini has a "narrow border design" to make it possible to hold with one hand. The 9.7" iPad held with one hand is always going to have a thumb planted firmly on the screen, and while they could probably accommodate that in software, it still means a thumb planted on the screen, covering up what's displayed, so you have to either keep moving your thumb, or, if the app allows it, scrolling the screen up and down to see what's there. Sounds like an ergonomic nightmare.


     


    The only reasoning here is that the "narrow border design" is "the new design trend", but I don't see that as a valid conclusion, nor supported by any evidence.

  • Reply 9 of 111
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,222member


    I went several times during the holiday to the Apple store next door and I was able to make one of the guys talks about sales.  They never gave me precise numbers of course, but they did said the mini was outselling the regular ipad, with one giving a hint the ratio was about 2 ipad mini sold for 1 regular ipad.


     


    That being said, because of the growth in that market I think Apple will be able to sell just a little less 9.7" ipads than last year. So they may have sold 13 millions 9.7" ipads and about 8 millions ipad mini for a total of 21 millions, which is still better than last year 15 millions. This is good but expect Apple market share to be in free fall as other tablets are selling a lot more.


     


    Apple is getting squeeze by price in all markets, and with competition catching up on the tech side, they are taking a hit. Hopefully, for shareholders, they will react and come up with something. imo the most urgent matter is multiple iphone models and lower price across all product lines or they must come out with better products to justify the premium. Personnaly I wish they address the broader market and not just the high end to avoid a repeat of the 1980's. I am affraid its already to late and Android as become the "windows" of the mobile world. At some point, critical mass will make everyone go with android and Apple will niche itselft with very low sales.

  • Reply 10 of 111
    Unless Sharp is cutting back on old iPad screen technology but they and others are ramping up a new screen technology, this cut in production is not a good sign for sales. But as Cook and all have said repeatedly, they are not concerned about the iPad-mini, for example, cutting into the sales of the larger iPad -- they move in the direction the public wants.

    One thing is clear for Apple, if recent reports are accurate, is that Apple's mindshare among the younger generation has declined, and moved to Samsung's junkier models. The question for Apple is how to excite the 30-somethings and below again, while maintaining quality.

    I know my daughter, until recently, had thought the iPhone and iPad were expensive toys that I waste money on, and mere status symbols for the upper income crowd. Fresh out of college and moving into the work world, she is finally understanding that her MBP, iPad-mini, and iPhone are not just for fun, but for the business of making a living, for continuing one's education through ebooks and also, for maintaining contacts and support among her friends and colleagues. And, for entertainment, after a hard day's work.
  • Reply 11 of 111


    Could Apple just shift the production of the 9.7" screens to LG and let Sharp make the smaller ones?

     

  • Reply 12 of 111
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    bluefish86 wrote: »
    Are they winding down production of the old iPad to flush out stock before a new one is unveiled in March?  I mean the screen is one component, which they probably have stock of, which needs to be flushed out into assembled iPads, which they probably also have stock of, which need to be flushed out to stores, which also have their own stock.

    On a semi-unrelated note, I hope they come out with a bigger iPad. I only use my first gen iPad for email, web-browsing, music and videos so Retina+faster processor really isn't enough to justify an upgrade, especially since 64 GB capacity is a must.  A 13" screen on the other hand...

    I just can't see Apple not addressing the larger touch screen device market now that all these Windows 8 devices are coming out. A frankenstein MacBook hybrid won't happen, so that really only leaves a larger iPad. Timing is perfect for Apple to show the world how to "do it right", plus now as Android tablets gain credibility and market share it gives Apple a new high end.

    iOS in a 13 inch tablet would be a waste. If such a tablet had desktop style multitasking then it would make sense but until then. No.
  • Reply 13 of 111
    ifij775 wrote: »
    Dare I ask why?

    The interface is cleaner. And it's more productive. Merging text and email into 'People'. Having messaging, Facebook and email all in the one place is easier. It's just a more efficient interface. The live tiles show great info straight on the start screen without needing to go into apps. It's nicer than android. It's simpler than android. It's more efficient than iOS. The only problem is the app ecosystem, which will be hard to give up. WP8 is definitely on the right path to a real smartphone. iOS hasn't changed since the first iPhone. It really hasn't. They need to step up because there are better interfaces out there now.
  • Reply 14 of 111
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
  • Reply 15 of 111
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Another FUD article based on unnamed sources and the doom and gloom ensues. Geez people, buck up already. Wait for Apple's earnings call where we get real information and not rumors from unnamed sources used to bring the stock down. :rolleyes:
  • Reply 16 of 111
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Delete
  • Reply 17 of 111
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Delete
  • Reply 18 of 111
    xgmanxgman Posts: 152member
    How ironic that the mini size is such a big hit.
  • Reply 19 of 111
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Unless Sharp is cutting back on old iPad screen technology but they and others are ramping up a new screen technology, this cut in production is not a good sign for sales. But as Cook and all have said repeatedly, they are not concerned about the iPad-mini, for example, cutting into the sales of the larger iPad -- they move in the direction the public wants.

    One thing is clear for Apple, if recent reports are accurate, is that Apple's mindshare among the younger generation has declined, and moved to Samsung's junkier models. The question for Apple is how to excite the 30-somethings and below again, while maintaining quality.

    I know my daughter, until recently, had thought the iPhone and iPad were expensive toys that I waste money on, and mere status symbols for the upper income crowd. Fresh out of college and moving into the work world, she is finally understanding that her MBP, iPad-mini, and iPhone are not just for fun, but for the business of making a living, for continuing one's education through ebooks and also, for maintaining contacts and support among her friends and colleagues. And, for entertainment, after a hard day's work.

    I agree on your first point about Sharp winding down old tech screen and increasing production on we tech screens.

    As far as mind share? No young people love and aspire to own Apple products. The problem is price and that's why they buy cheaper devices.

    It's not that Apple isn't cool. If they had the choice they would have MacBooks iPads and iPhones. I'm at a college now and everyone I know has MacBooks iPhones and iPads and the people that don't wish they did.

    Only nerds and geeks love their Linux and androids.
  • Reply 20 of 111

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post


    ...imo the most urgent matter is multiple iphone models and lower price across all product lines.



     


    I hope Apple's smarter than to try and race everyone to the bottom. Their market share is shrinking, but their share of the industry's *profits* is still huge. That's where Apple excels. As long as they hold on to the high end, they're fine with a 20-30% market share by device count.  The days of Apple having >50% market share are gone, it was only like that because there was no one who could compete. Now there are other companies flooding the market with low-end devices, but low end = low profit, even if you sell a lot of them. Apple just needs to keep innovating to hold on to the high end, keeping their competitors on their heels.


     


    I know a lot of people would disagree, but I stand by my prediction that it's getting close to time for a larger iPad. More and more consumers are buying tablets instead of laptops/desktops. Most consumers don't actually *need* a laptop or desktop, but the ~10" screen size of iOS/Android tablets is very limiting.  Windows 8 is a frankenstein monster, but it also has no competition in the larger touch screen device market.


     


    So my prediction: either this year or next, Apple will release their take on the larger touch screen device.  Windows 8 has proven that taking a desktop OS and making it more like a tablet is a bad idea.  Apple will go about it the other way - make a larger iOS device with additional capability bringing it closer to a desktop OS (closer to, not on par with). It will be enough to fully replace a laptop for most consumers, and the OS X line will persist for pros and the remainder of consumers.

Sign In or Register to comment.