Update: The JP Morgan report doesn’t take into account a new plant going up in Brazil, which may off-load Foxconn’s production by around 25%.
Apple is allegedly cutting orders for iPad 2 parts by as much as 25% for the fourth quarter, says one report from JP Morgan, which indicated parts suppliers received fewer orders this quarter than previously. The company shipped 17 million units in the third quarter, and this news means Apple would ship just 13 million in Q4, though vendors have yet to confirm this information. Even if it turns out to be true, that’s still an impressive number for a tablet.
A drop in orders could signal multiple changes. Apple might be pulling a strategic move by ordering less to meet the bare minimum in demand. On the other hand, demand for the iPad 2 could be slowing down as people choose to wait until the holiday season to make their expensive purchases. Plus the iPad 2 is about half-way through its lifecycle, with the iPad 3 due early next year. Earlier rumors of a third-generation iPad this fall have for the most part been squashed.
Analysts aren’t all that worried though. Mark Moskowitz of JP Morgan is standing by his prediction of 10.9 million to 12 million iPad shipments for Q4. Quite frankly, Apple shouldn’t be worried either. Even if it lowered iPad 2 orders down to 10 million for the last quarter 2011, the competition still don’t stand a chance. To pick on RIM as always, only 490,000 PlayBooks were sold in Q3.
Shortly after this news broke this morning, Apple’s stock fell from the $403 area down to today’s current low of $391.30. Now it’s back up and staying around the $398 mark. Not too shabby.