Consumer electronics sales typically decline following a surge in the December quarter but according to a new report, continued demand for Apple’s (AAPL) new iPad mini will help offset the typical seasonal decline in full-size iPad sales during the first quarter next year. According to Digitimes’ unnamed industry sources, orders to Apple’s iPad panel suppliers are down as much as 20% this quarter as shipments are adjusted to account for the typical slow-down after the holidays. The site’s sources state that iPad mini orders continued to climb in the fourth quarter, however, indicating that Apple anticipates continued heavy demand for the tablet through the first quarter of 2013.
Apple sold 15.4 million iPad tablets during the holiday quarter in 2011 and 11.8 million iPads during the first calendar quarter this year, a 23% drop. While Apple’s average net is lower on the less expensive iPad mini than it is on the 9.7-inch iPad, increasing iPad mini sales and healthy margins will seemingly help offset the seasonal decline in the first quarter next year.
The news comes as a bright spot following Wednesday’s trading session, which saw Apple’s shares lose 6.5% of their value — nearly $35 billion — in a single day.