Reuters is reporting that Sharp has "nearly halted" production of its 9.7-inch iPad screens, as demand for Apple's large tablet drops.

According to "sources familiar with the matter", screen production at Sharp's Kameyama plant in central Japan has "fallen to the minimal level to keep the line running" following a gradual slow down since the end of 2012. However, it's worth pointing out that the sources don't make any direct reference to the cause of the slowdown—is it cannibalisation by the iPad mini? Seasonal variation? Imminent product changes?—so really Reuters is speculating wildly.

This morning also brought news that Google's Nexus 7 is outstripping the iPad in terms of market share in Japan. While the news about Sharp's display production could, possibly, signify a weakening of Apple's position, it's worth bearing in mind that currently the company still dominates the tablet market. It's gonna take more than a slight lull in sales for that to change. [Reuters]