Apple Slows iPad 2 Production, Making Way for iPad 3

According to the report of Digitimes, Apple has asked its manufacturing partners Samsung, LG and Chimei Innolux to reduce the shipping of display panels used in the iPad 2 in this quarter. Market watchers believe that Apple is finally clearing the decks for the production and distribution of the next generation iPad 3. According to the report, Apple stockpiled components for an extra 4-5 million iPad 2 units during the third quarter, allowing it to reduce its orders for the fourth quarter.

Sales of iPads at the end market totaled 11.12 million units in the third quarter of 2011, according to data released by Apple. However, inventories of parts and components prepared by the makers in the supply chain for the production of iPad 2 in the quarter are sufficient for the production of 15-16 million iPads, leaving a stockpile of 4-5 million units of iPad 2 in the supply chain, the sources noted.

Apple should have no problem retailing its iPad 2 stocks in the final quarter of the year though. With the holiday season coming up, the company is sure to see a rise in sales of its hugely successful product line.

Digitimes also notes that suppliers of both display and touch panels for the iPad 3 have either already begun or will soon begin shipments to Apple.

While Apple is adjusting panel inventory for iPad 2, Samsung and Sharp already began shipping panels for the next-generation iPads to Apple in October, and Taiwan-based touch panel makers TPK Holding and Wintek will begin to ship touch panels for the new iPads to the supply chain in November-December, the sources noted.

The next general of iPad – the iPad 3 is believed to be introduced is first quarter of 2012. And the new device is expected to carry a higher-resolution “Retina” display.