Apple is apparently expecting less demand for its iPad 2 tablet in the fourth quarter, since the company has cut orders to its China-based manufacturers by 25 percent, according to a new report from JP Morgan.

The move could signal that Apple is getting ready to ramp up production for its third-generation iPad. At the same time, the cuts to Chinese manufacturers could also mean that Apple is adjusting its production more evenly with its Brazilian iPad plant —  a joint venture between the Brazilian government and Foxconn.

In a research note published Sunday, JP Morgan analysts Mark Moskowitz and Gokul Hariharan said they expect Apple manufacturer Hon Hai’s iPad 2 production to drop from 17 million units to 13 million units in the fourth quarter. The analysts, however, don’t expect the original prediction — that Apple will produce 10.9 million to 12 million units of iPad shipments in the third and fourth quarters  — will decrease, because of the supply chain adjustments.

As we previously reported, Apple is expected to launch a third-generation iPad in the first quarter of 2012, following the release schedule of the first two models. Because the Brazil plant’s shipments are starting in December, it’s expected the plant will be shipping iPad 3 devices. Yet, having the Brazilian plant ramp up production of iPad 2 could also happen.

[via Bloomberg]

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