From Reuters we learn today that Sharp Corp has started its production of 8.7 inch displays for the iPad, according to two sources. The reason for this halt may be the fact that the display maker is preparing to supply screens for the iPad Mini or iPad Mini 2.
The iPad screen production line of Sharp is found at the Kameyana plant in central Japan, that has reached its minimal level of production, just the one necessary to keep the line running this month. A slowdown began a while ago, at the end of last year and now things are being halted. Sharp stopped shipping iPad panels and the exact level of remaining display output is not clear yet. We have no reason for the halted production and the possibilities include a drop in demand, customary for this beginning of the year time frame or maybe a shift in the sales balance of the iPad Mini.
The last option would be an updated in design of the product, so maybe they’re gearing up for the iPad Mini. Meanwhile Macquarie Research estimates that the iPad shipments will drop 40% in the current quarter, reaching about 8 million, from the 13 million last quarter, but that was the holiday season. You probably know that Apple buys its iPad screens not only from Sharp, but also from LG Display and Samsung Display. So, problems in paradise or a new product, which one is it?