iPhone 5 (black, left angled, display 001)

Last week, a couple of reports surfaced claiming that Apple has been trimming component orders for its iPhone 5. While the exact reasons for the cutbacks are still unknown, many market-watchers are citing weaker-than-expected demand as the main factor.

But no matter what the reasoning is, it seems the cuts are happening. Another report popped up this weekend claiming that the Cupertino company has contacted Sharp Corp. and asked them to cut their iPhone 5 LCD panel orders in half for next quarter…

TechCrunch points to the report from Japanese newspaper Sankei Biz (via rough translation from Google):

“He reported demand last week, Apple launched in September last year of the “iPhone 5″ as being lower than expected, some U.S. media, Apple has reduced the amount of orders for parts than originally planned.

Sharp LCD screen, such as supply, the amount of that order was only about half of the plan in particular.

Apple declined to comment on this.”

Earlier this month, both The Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported similar stories, claiming that Apple has contacted suppliers and asked them to cut component orders for the iPhone 5. Both of them also named Sharp specifically, as well as the 50% figure.

In addition to the iPhone part cuts, we’ve heard that Sharp has nearly halted production of 9.7-inch screens for the iPad, due to a shift in demand to the smaller iPad mini. And LG’s panel output for Apple’s tablet has also fallen since last quarter.

So what does this all mean? Nothing yet. Analysts are still expecting Apple to announce that it sold in upwards of 50 million iPhones, and 20 million iPads during the holiday period, which would both be records for the company. The true test will come next quarter.