Reuters and iPad display production

“Polly want a post!”

Much of the tech web is parroting a report from Reuters that claims Sharp has “nearly halted” production of 9.7-inch screens intended for Apple’s iPad. Unfortunately, the story is full of bunk.

The first paragraph notes that production has “nearly halted.” That’s dramatic:

“Sharp Corp has nearly halted production of 9.7-inch screens for Apple Inc’s iPad, two sources said, possibly as demand shifts to its smaller iPad mini.”

That contradicts a statement in the very next paragraph:

“Sharp’s iPad screen production line at its Kameyama plant in central Japan has fallen to the minimal level to keep the line running this month …”

“Minimal level” sounds like it’s within normal operational boundaries. That’s a big difference from “nearly halted.”

What would cause an adjustment in production? Reuters suggests it’s consumer demand shifting to the iPad mini, though really, they have no idea at all:

“The sources didn’t say exactly why production had nearly halted. Among the possibilities are a seasonal drop in demand, a switch to another supplier, a shift in the balance of sales to the mini iPad, or an update in the design of the product.”

Also among the possibilities are plate tectonics, string theory or Godzilla and Mothra fighting it out in the parking lot. Or even Apple CEO Tim Cook, who brilliantly managed Apple’s supply chain before assuming his new role, is doing more of the same now. For all we know, Apple has amassed a stockpile of these things and doesn’t need a pre-holiday production schedule anymore.

So let’s all just relax and stop repeating whatever people familiar with the matter have to say.