Apple has cut component orders for the iPad 2 by up to 25%, fuelling speculation that the vendor is reacting to growing economic pessimism in the European theatre.
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A report by Hong Kong-based JPMorgan analysts, first picked up by Bloomberg, claims that this is the first time the vendor has cut its supply chain in this way.
As a result, up to five million fewer units could be built in the crucial Christmas quarter.
It is currently unclear as to what is motivating Apple to make such a potentially disruptive move.
Analysts have suggested it is reacting to concerns over the economy, but it has also been suggested that it either feels it has sufficient stocks to cover sales to next year's launch of the iPad 3, or wants to concentrate on shifting the imminent iPhone 5.
The vendor may also simply be emboldened following recent IDC figures, which revealed it snapped up 66.6% of the addressable market for tablets in calendar Q2.
At the end of Apple's 2011 Q3, it said it had 1.05 million iPads in channel inventory, up 200,000 on Q2.