Apple’s rumoured supplier of printed circuit boards for the MacBook air and some iPod models, Compeq, has confirmed weaker than anticipated demand in the current quarter.

DigiTimes the company has warned investors of declining demand for its products, widely used in small and mobile devices. The company had originally anticipated a 10-15 per cent drop in its business on strength of recession fears, but now expects a 25 per cent dip.

A rebound is expected in late April, but weak demand from key customers, who also include Nokia and Motorola, may delay that.

“Sources also noted there has been a noticeable drop in rigid-flex printed circuit board orders for the first quarter,” the report observes. “Sales for the segment are expected to decline 40-50 per cent on quarter. Compeq currently supplies rigid-flex printed circuit boards for Apple’s iPod.”

The news shows Far East suppliers are beginning to feel the pinch as recession concerns slow consumer electronic spending, while also suggesting iPod demand has begun to flatten off as Apple migrates customers to new wireless devices, such as the iPod touch.