Sharp has reportedly curbed the production of 9.7in screens used in the Apple iPad, apparently due to shift in demand from the full-size iPad to the iPad mini, according to Reuters.
The production line at Sharp’s Kameyama manufacturing plant is currently being operated at the ‘minimal’ level necessary, in a bid to keep it moving, following a steady slowdown that started at the end of 2012.
The Japanese firm has also halted shipments of iPad panels, though the source could not reveal why the production was halted.
Reuters cited Sharp spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama as saying: "We don’t disclose production levels."
The iPhone maker reportedly asked Japan Display, Sharp and LG Display to reduce their supplies of iPhone panels to half from the earlier plan for about 65 million screens during the January-March 2013.
In addition to Sharp, iPad screens for Apple are also supplied by LG Display and Samsung Display, which is a flat-panel unit of Samsung.
Apple has launched iPad mini to take on rivals including Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Google’s Nexus 7, as well as Microsoft’s new Surface tablet.
According to a research by Macquarie Research, shipments of iPad are expected to drop 40% in the current quarter to about 8 million units over about 13 million in the fourth quarter.
Currently, Apple is losing ground to Samsung, as well as emerging rivals that include China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE.