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Rumor: Apple to cut iPad mini shipments by up to 20% in Q2, may signal next-gen model

A new rumor out of the Far East on Wednesday claims Apple has cut shipments of the iPad mini by between 10 to 12 million units going into the second quarter, suggesting the company could already ramping down for a next-generation version.

According to multiple DigiTimes sources, who provide the publication with supply chain information related to various components of Apple's 7.9-inch tablet, the shipment cut could peak at 20 percent in April and continue throughout the second quarter.

If the numbers are correct, the decrease may bring total iPad mini shipments to as low as 10 million units for the three month period ending in June.

No specifics were given as to the reasoning behind the drawdown, but the publication claims Apple is adjusting channel reserves for a next-generation model expected to be unveiled in the third quarter. The sources speculate the cut is due to heightened competition from rival 7-inch form factor tablets running Google's Android operating system.

Market research firm NPD noted in February that Apple is likely to ship 55 million iPad minis and 33 million iPads in 2013, a significant change from Cupertino's December expectations of 40 million and 60 million units, respectively.

It was reported earlier in March that Apple was making preparations for a third-quarter launch of the second-generation iPad mini, which will supposedly boast an upgraded Retina display.