Reports from several suppliers in Asia said that Apple has reduced its orders by 25% in the last quarter for this year, according to JP Morgan Chase.
Apple has enjoyed global success and market domination with its pioneering tablet computer, iPad.
Shares in Apple Inc fells as much as 3% in early trading today after an analyst claimed Apple was cutting orders from suppliers of parts for its iPad tablet.
The development could indicate a potential slow-down in sales of the successful iPad.
Gokul Hariharan, JP Morgan’s Asia Pacific electronic manufacturing services analyst, said:
“Our understanding is that this is not in preparation for a new model launch.”
Gokul Hariharan also said the move could result in slower sales for suppliers such as Hon Hai Precision Co.
Fear of a slowdown in iPad sales come as rival Amazon is expected to unveil its own tablet device on Wednesday, to rival Apple.
Amazon’s tablet, which is expected to go on sale on Wednesday, has already been described as a “game changer” by one analyst which could challenge the iPad.
Shares in Apple recovered slightly from earlier losses and were down by $4 (1%) at $400.28 in mid-morning trading on Nasdaq.
JP Morgan’s Asia Pacific electronic manufacturing services analyst also said that Mark Moskowitz – JP Morgan’s U.S.-based Apple analyst – does not expect the supply chain adjustments to result in a downside to his estimates for iPad shipments.
Other analysts also said they would not change their iPad shipment estimates and that it would be difficult to accurately estimate shipment orders.
Colin Gillis, analyst for BGC Partners, said:
“The iPhone 5 launch is much more important than the iPad right now.
“Could the tablet market slow down? Yes absolutely, but data from factories is notoriously unreliable especially since Apple started diversifying their supplier base.”
Walter Piecyk, an analyst from BTIG, said he would be maintaining his forecasts of Apple selling 13 million iPads in the fourth quarter.
“I don’t see any reason to change our estimates. We expect that iPad and iPhone production is shifting to Brazil and Apple remains the market leader that it created with the iPad.”
Apple did not make any comment until now.