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Thursday, May 09, 2013, 06:19 am PT (09:19 am ET)

Pegatron CEO refutes report about waning demand for Apple's iPad mini

While a report about Apple supplier Pegatron this week claimed demand for the iPad mini has been softening, the company's CEO has revealed in a follow-up that he said nothing of the sort.

Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Apple 2.0 reached out to Pegatron Chief Executive Jason Cheng via e-mail after Bloomberg ran a report claiming demand for the iPad mini was falling. Cheng said after his company's Institutional Investors conference, one reporter from the publication approached him "trying to dig out detail numbers about some specific product."

iPad mini


"I clearly refused to comment on specific products, nor customers, even though he continued with other questions," Cheng said. "I did say those words that he quotes me in the article… but I did not say anything associated with any specific products."

The Pegatron CEO wrote off the piece by author Tim Culpan as "speculation," rather than based on anything he actually said.

The original Bloomberg story gained attention on Wednesday after it claimed that Pegatron said its revenues were negatively affected by waning demand for Apple's iPad mini. Pegatron's first-quarter profits were up more than 80 percent year over year, but Culpan's report focused on the fact that the supplier expects its second-quarter consumer electronics revenue to be down sequentially as much as 30 percent.

The media has been following Apple's key suppliers very closely in recent months as the company's growth has slowed. Market watchers pointed to weak results at companies like Cirrus Logic as negative signs for Apple.

Last month, Apple reported its first year over year profit decline in a decade, falling roughly 18 percent to $9.5 billion.

The intense focus on bits of information from Apple's supply chain led company CEO Tim Cook to warn investors in January that attempting to interpret such data is not a wise approach. Cook noted that the supply chain is complex, as Apple has multiple sources for various components, and that various factors — such as production yields and supplier performance — can skew the data.

"Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant for our business," he said.