JPMorgan Chase said in the research note that several suppliers indicated in the past two weeks that Apple lowered fourth-quarter iPad orders by 25 percent.
"Our understanding is that this is not in preparation for a new model launch," said Gokul Hariharan, JP Morgan's Asia Pacific electronic manufacturing services analyst.
The move could result in slower sales for suppliers like Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, the analyst added.
Apple shares were down $12 at $392.30 on Nasdaq.
Hariharan noted that Mark Moskowitz, JP Morgan's U.S.-based Apple analyst, does not expect the supply chain adjustments to result in downside to his estimates for iPad shipments.
Another analyst report out of Asia over the weekend indicated that the retail outlook was that Apple remained positive on the continent with packed Apple stores in several Chinese cities..
"We anticipate continued strong earnings growth for Apple due to our checks indicating strong global demand for the iPhone and iPad," said analysts at Canaccord Genuity.
Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Derek Caney, Dave Zimmerman)