In what comes as another major morsel of evidence to suggest the looming arrival of the iPad 3, Apple is believed to have begun dramatically slowing iPad 2 production.
According to sources speaking in confidence with DigiTimes on Thursday, Apple's current plans for the iPad 2 supposedly call for the second-generation tablet to be reduced in price (after the iPad 3 arrives) as a means to better compete in the entry-level tablet PC market.
Although speculation lingers with regard to Apple possibly shuttering iPad 2 production altogether, the general consensus among far east parts suppliers and industry analysts is that the iPad 2 will be Apple's weapon of choice to keep the market share of Amazon's Kindle Fire as low as possible.
As for whether the drops in orders could mean that Apple is actually planning to phase out iPad 2, the sources noted it is still too early to tell, and more observations need to be done in 2012 before the picture becomes clearer.
Rumors aside, it doesn't appear likely that Apple would cease production of a product that hasn't lost much steam among consumers.