image imageI’ve  talked up the iPhone/Touch as an e-book platform.

So now, in the interest of balance, I’ll point you to a Silicon Alley Insider post with a not-so-upbeat headline.

Apple slashes iPhone production, says chip analyst (AAPL), Insider reports.

Many complexities exist here—such as the difference between production and demand. But an excerpt is hardly encouraging:

Apple has cut its calendar Q4 iPhone production plans significantly more than originally estimated, according to a report by Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst Craig Berger. Instead of a 10% sequential production drop in Q4, Berger’s “recent checks” suggest Apple’s iPhone production could fall “more than 40%” from its Q3 levels. Berger thinks a similar cut was made for Q1, but notes that there’s still plenty of time to change that.

Yes, the iPhone will remain a major e-book platform. It’s just that if demand falls during the current global recession, the e-book potential might not be quite as big as we were hoping.

Could hurt other e-book platforms as well

Keep in mind that we’re talking short-term, and that the recession could hurt other e-book platforms, too.

Furthermore, some recession-battered users may actually see the iPhone as a thrifty investment because of its new  up-front price—lower than earlier—and multi-use capabilities.

Update, 10:41 a.m., Nov. 4: Fortune is skeptical about Berger’s accuracy as an iPhone analyst.

Related: Techmeme roundup on the production cutback.


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