In an unusual move for Apple, which typically does not respond to speculation, Cook addressed the production cutback rumors at length on the conference call and questioned the accuracy of rumors about its plans.
Media reports earlier this month said the company is slashing orders for iPhone 5 and iPad screens, and other components from its Asian suppliers.
“Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to accurately interpret the data point as to what it meant for our overall business, because the supply chain is very complex,” Cook said, adding that Apple has multiple sources for components.
Apple’s initial iPhone and iPad Mini sales were hurt by supply constraints, but Cook expects supply to balance demand for the iPad Mini this quarter. He also acknowledged that the iPad was cannibalizing its high-margin Macintosh computers, but said it was a huge opportunity for the company.
“On iPad in particular, we have the mother of all opportunities here, because the Windows market is much, much larger than the Mac market is,” he said. “And I think it is clear that it’s already cannibalizing some.”