Japanese newspaper Sankei Biz (link via Google Translate) is reporting that Apple has halved LCD panel orders from Sharp due to lower-than-expected sales of the iPhone 5.
This is the latest indication apparently pointing to the device’s sluggish performance since its launch in September, and comes just three days after Reuters reported that Sharp has slowed production of the 9.7 inch panels used for full-sized iPads.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple cut component orders for the iPhone 5 due to weaker-than-expected demand, with orders for iPhone 5 screens for the January-to-March quarter dropping to about half of what the company had previously planned to order. Orders of other components were also reduced.
It is important to note, however, that there might be other reasons for a reduction in component orders. Many analysts believe that reduced component orders are not due to weak demand, but rather to improved manufacturing yields after earlier production issues. Consumers may be waiting for the launch of the next iPhone, which has been rumored to be slated for a June or July release.
Apple is due to report its Q1 2013 fiscal results on January 23.
Sharp said it does not comment on business transactions with clients. Apple has been emailed for comment.