A report from Digitimes claims that, although touch panel orders from the iPhone and iPad 2 have increased significantly for the third quarter, Apple is allegedly placing orders at nearly half the cost of previous shipments. This leads us to believe they are either trying to reduce BOM (and increase margins) at the expense of suppliers, or they’re prepping for the usual price cuts in the wake of new product releases (iPhone 5, we’re looking at you).

The report notes:

Wintek has received touch sensor orders from Apple at prices nearly 50% lower than the ones previously offered by the client. The impact of Wintek’s low-margins is expected to ripple out to other downstream players

The move is expected to result in lower than usual profit-margins for the supplier and also affect other suppliers down the chain. The report is also quick to point out that “Wintek has previously rejected low-margin orders from Apple”.  We’ll keep you posted as more becomes available.

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