Anonymous Samsung Executive Claims Apple Planning to Launch Smaller iPad by End of 2012
In a report from The Korea Times (via SlashGear), an anonymous Samsung executive reveals that Apple has committed to purchase at least $9.7 billion worth of components from the company this year, with Apple's expenditures potentially reaching $11 billion depending on demand. According to the executive, growth will be driven in part by the new iPad, as well as more MacBook Air units utilizing Samsung solid-state drives and a smaller iPad.
''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,'' the official said.
Apple CEO Tim Cook agreed with Samsung Electronics Chief Operating Officer (COO) Lee Jay-yong to use the Korean firm's components until the end of 2014 during Lee's visit to his office in Cupertino, Calif., late last year.
Apple reportedly contracted for $7.8 billion in components from Samsung in 2011, with the numbers for this year revealing yet another substantial increase as Apple's device shipments continue to rise.
The report also quotes a source who claims that Samsung will be providing new PLS-based LCDs for the smaller iPad, while Apple has also expressed interest in OLED technology. The source claims that Apple would like to use OLED and that Samsung is committed to bringing the technology to iOS devices, but that Apple does not currently see a way for Samsung to produce the required screens at necessary levels.
Reports of a 7.85-inch "iPad mini" have been circulating for some time, and it seems reasonable to conclude that Apple has at least been toying with the concept. There has yet to be any firm evidence, however, that the company is seeking to move forward toward a public release.