Samsung may have accidentally spilled the beans on Apple's plans to sell a smaller iPad.
By the end of the year, Apple will release an iPad with a 7.85-inch screen, according to a report from the Korea Times, which cited an unnamed Samsung official.
The disclosure comes with Apple just days away from releasing the new iPad, which has an enhanced resolution display but remains the same 10-inch size as previous models. Steve Jobs had previously dismissed the size and usability of a 7-inch tablet, saying that it was too small to be used as a touchscreen tablet device.
Still, with the success of the lower-cost Amazon Kindle Fire, which is a 7-inch tablet, Apple may be looking to get into that segment of the market as well.
A rumoured "iPad Mini", which is what it is referred to in tech circles, was among the announcements that people had hoped for during Apple's iPad event last week.
Samsung's comments, meanwhile, illustrate the strong ties between it and Apple, despite their ongoing legal dispute. The executive said that Apple's contract would rise to US$11 billion by the end of the year, based on demand for the various components that Samsung supplies. Samsung supplies the processor (which Apple designs), LTE chips and solid-state storage drives to various Apple products.
Apple bought US$7.8 billion worth of parts from Samsung in 2011, the report said.
The bipolar relationship underscores the size of Samsung — its various units are like separate multinational corporations in their own right.
Samsung will also supply new LCD screen technology for the smaller iPads, the report said, and is currently in talks to have its LCDs go into the next iPhone.