By Keerthi Chandrashekar / ( | First Posted: Jan 18, 2013 07:53 PM EST

(Photo : Apple)

Could Apple have shot itself in the foot? That's what everyone's asking as a new report speculates that iPad display maker Sharp has drastically cut back production of iPad Retina displays because demand for the iPad mini is higher. 

New outlet Reuters states that Sharp has stopped shipping 9.7-inch iPad Retina displays. Reuters sources the information to "people with knowledge of the near total production shutdown."

Reuters, however, was not able to get the specific amount amount of display panels still being produced. 

"We don't disclose production levels," Sharp spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama said. 

Among the reasons Reuters lists for the cutback are a seasonal drop in demand, and the possibility that the iPad mini is eating into iPad sales. With a cheaper price tag, and the appeal of being more portable, the iPad mini may just be the iPad's biggest rival. Of course, don't forget that new iPads and iPad minis are supposed to launch around March, according to one analyst. 

The report comes just after it was revealed that Apple is ordering less of the iPhone 5 in the coming year. While many believe this is due to iPhone 5 demand slowing, and other handsets becoming "cooler" compared to Apple, others attribute this to the imminent release of the iPhone 5S. 

Still, there are many signs that Apple's reign as king of smartphones and tablets may not last too much longer. Android smartphones and tablets are finally hitting Apple-level build qualities, and the fact remains that Apple offers its tablets and phones in only two colors. Customers want more options, and the fresh iPad mini was a good start, but expect Apple to have to aggressively bolster its lineup to stay on top.  

Which one of the two tablets do you prefer - the iPad or the iPad mini? Or does an Android tablet suit you better?

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