Reports today are suggesting that iPad panel supplier LG saw a 90% drop in shipments in the month of January, shifting 600,000, compared to December’s 6 million, the news is said to be one of the sole factors in LG’s poor performance last month.
According to supply chains, the drop is a result of several factors. The most obvious reason is the end of the holiday season, December’s fantastic figures are almost certainly a result of holiday shopping, with the drop coming in January as consumers reign in spending at the start of the year. Furthermore, it is reported that the popularity of the iPad mini is cannibalizing iPad sales, along with a shift towards lower priced tablets such as the Kindle Fire HD. LG is still shipping 3.5-4 million iPad mini panels every month.
It may also be true that rumors of the iPad 5 are persuading customers not to purchase the current iPad with the prospect of a newer model on the horizon. Most reports suggest that the next iPad will feature the same bezels and finish as the iPad mini. Such a device would probably use the thin film G/F2 technology, which means that LG would need to change its display tech and production methods in order to produce the next iPad. Regardless of the reasons for the drop in shipments, expect to see Apple take a hit on Wall St when trading opens.