A Samsung official may have just let the cat out of the bag about Apple's plans for a smaller iPad. Apple is planning to launch a smaller iPad with a 7.85-inch screen by the end of the year. Current iPads have 9.7-inch screens.
The Samsung official, who asked not to be identified, told The Korea Times that despite aheated patent battle between the companies, Apple will likely spend $11 billion on parts from Samsung this year.
The amount of the current contract is around $9.7 billion," the source said. "The contract is expected to rise to $11 billion by the end of this year as Apple is planning to release a smaller iPad, probably with a 7.85-inch screen, and to sell more of its MacBook Air PCs using Samsung's faster solid state drive (SSD) storage.
DigiTimes reported that protoypes of a new iPad with a 7.85-inch display , and volume production of the devices could begin as early as the third quarter of this year. DigiTimes, citing unnamed industry sources, said the tablet is currently being assembled by Apple's manufacturing partners.
Some rumors about a smaller iPad first surfaced months ago. Back in December, there were reports that Apple had purchased 7.85-inch panels from LG Display and AU Optronics. Then last month, the Wall Street Journal claimed to have a source who confirmed that Apple was testing the new, smaller screen line of tablets.
Meanwhile, Samsung, recently admitted at Mobile World Congress that it was not doing very well in the tablet space, thanks in large part to the success of the iPad. For now, Apple is prepping to launch its new iPad on Friday.