Apple has cut Q4 iPad orders from its Asian supply-chain partners by 25%, JP Morgan analysts say (via Bloomberg).The analysts say “several” of Apple’s supply-chain partners have reported this cut, which has come in the last two weeks. It is the first such cut that JP Morgan analysts have ever seen.
Interestingly, the JP Morgan report also says that the firm’s U.S.-based Apple analyst, Mark Moskowitz, does not plan to cut his forecast of 10.9 million to 12 million iPad shipments in Q3 and Q4.
JP Morgan did not say which companies had reported the cut.
It’s hard to know how worked up to get about a report like this. Even if it’s dead-on accurate, we don’t know what Apple’s internal orders were versus the market’s expectations.
That said, a 25% cut is a big cut. And it’s hard to see how it could possibly be good news.
*UPDATE: Some are speculating that this is the result of a product transition, from the iPad 2 to the iPad 3. Anything’s possible, but this explanation seems unlikely. Apple would not likely be surprised by the timing of the iPad 3 launch—and it would have to have been surprised to cut orders it had already placed.
*UPDATE 2: And here’s an interesting theory, one that could show just how bad-arse a competitor Apple is… One reader speculates that Apple placed orders it knew were too large just to lock up supply of critical parts and box its competitors out. And now that it’s too late for the competitors to ramp up, Apple is releasing the supply, knowing that, even if its suppliers are furious, they won’t dare cut the company off.
*UPDATE 3: And here’s a third theory. Apple’s opening a new Foxconn factory in Brazil. Maybe Apple Cut iPad Orders From Asia Because It’s moving those orders to Brazil? (The same company, Foxconn, is operating the factory, though, so it seems unlikely that the JP Morgan analysts would fail to note this.)
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