Samsung spills the beans on Apple's 'mini iPad' plans?

Samsung spills the beans on Apple's 'mini iPad' plans?

Summary: As Samsung and Apple continue its "bipolar" relationship of parts supply amid patent disputes, Apple could encroach Samsung's safe haven by attacking the 7-inch tablet market.

TOPICS: iPad, Apple, Mobility, Samsung

Less than a week since Apple announced its latest iPad, an unnamed Samsung official has told the Korea Times that Apple is "planning to release a smaller iPad", a device that could wipe rival tablets off the face of the market.

It comes following a Bloomberg report that Apple used Samsung's QXGA technology in the latest iPad iteration for its Retina display, ditching LG's technology due to lack of quality.

It seems that while Apple and Samsung squabble over patents and intellectual property, the two companies can still work together on a component supplying level. As sister site CNET puts it so bluntly: "Go figure."

The unnamed source --- who asked not to be identified --- said that the current contract between Apple and Samsung stands at "above $9.7 billion", but could "go up to $11 billion" depending on the demand for the new iPad.

The source went on to say that Apple's products "lines the pockets of Samsung". It's certainly a strange state of affairs when a technology super-giant sues a rival firm, yet in doing so effectively pays the company through other means to defend itself.

But Samsung is keen to separate legal tussles with its component supplying business. Jun Dong-soo, Samsung's memory unit chief, recently said: "We don’t see any negative impact on the partnership with Apple because of the legal issues."

Apple bought parts and components worth $7.8 billion from Samsung in 2011, the report said.

The death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who famously rejected the idea of 7-inch tablets, allowed for the Cupertino-based giant to pursue a competitive edge in the smaller-sized tablet space.

It's not the first we have heard on rumblings of rumours that Apple could be developing a 'mini iPad' to compete with the likes of Amazon and Barnes & Noble in the tablet space. In the past year, the two companies sidelined its e-reader venture to build Android-running tablets for the consumer market.

The iPad is indeed in a league of its own in the tablet market. While Amazon dominates the e-reader space with the Kindle range of devices, and Samsung retains the 7-inch tablet space, the iPad reigns as the 'ultimate' post-PC device. If Apple cracks the 7-inch tablet space, we can safely say that Samsung will longer keeps its crown within the sub-category of post-PC devices.

Apple's new iPad features a 10-inch Retina display with over 350 260 pixels per inch, a high-resolution camera, and 4G LTE capabilities. Priced at $499, it is available for pre-order and shipping begins this week.


More from the new iPad launch:

Topics: iPad, Apple, Mobility, Samsung

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Doesn't seem likely

    There always have been a string of rumors of mini-iPhone too. They never worked out - instead Apple uses iphone 3GS and 4 to compete on price.
    Rahul Mulchandani
    • Agree; "iPad mini" is just fantasy unless Apple will implement its patent

      ... that would allow to detect approaching finger before it touches the screen, and thus scale-up the needed part of the UI to make it as big as on full-size iPad.

      This technology is very difficult, so it is doubtful that it will be ready this year.
  • You sued me! I hate you!

    [ul][i]It seems that while Apple and Samsung squabble over patents and intellectual property, the two companies can still work together on a component supplying level.[/i][/ul]Why does this surprise anyone? These are not sentient creatures with a single consciousness driven by emotions and spite. They are collections of business units, most of which exist to make money. If two of their units can get together in such a way that both make money, they will do so with the blessings of all involved. Meanwhile the legal departments are off doing their own thing, making money for no one but using the force of government to throw monkey wrenches into The Other Guys' gears where they can.
    Robert Hahn
  • "wipe rival tablets off the face of the market "

    "Apple is ???planning to release a smaller iPad???, a device that could wipe rival tablets off the face of the market." Sounds too good to be true... Wait for Microsoft to enter the tablet market, 2013 will see fierce competition, and iPad will ultimately loose, because its just a blown up iphone...
    • Blown up iPhone??

      First I agree with you on the smaller iPad.. I doubt very seriously apple will come up with a smaller iPad. It's much more likely that a new iTouch will come out in at 4 to 5 inch size. I think it's far more likely that something will happen to make a larger then 10" tablet feel comfortable to hold. Also we will see more and more devices turn into hybrids of Tablets and laptops(think transformer).

      As far as "Just a blown up iPhone". Have you used one outside of the standard apps?? I do many things on the iPad which are down right difficult(but not impossible) to do on my iPhone. Things like editing documents, note taking, rdp and ssh to servers, switches, etc. Apps like syncspace, remarks(awesome), good reader, docstogo(I know it's all over), etc stretch what the iPad can do. Then you have all of the readers, and streaming which work so great on iPad vs the iPhone.

      However, the true challenge for tablets coming up will be with capabities in the software and not necessarily with the hardware. We already are getting very fast cpu's, and unbelievable screens. Things can only get incremental for that stuff from here on out. The big deal will be, will there be a new shift based off of a "Why didn't I think of that change in the OS or maybe a app".

      I welcome the competition because it should hopefully raise all of the competitors and we get to benefit(again I agree with you about 2013).

      This will also be a 3 horse race where eventually one will drop out, or be force into a niche category. I just wonder which one it will happen to.
    • Hyperbole much?

      I think it comes down to whether the tablet form factor is in fact better served by thinking of it as a "big iPhone" or as a "little Windows machine." So far little Windows machines haven't done very well, while the big iPhone has sold over 50 million units.

      Microsoft apparently thinks that if they can just put the right UI on the Windows Work Computer, and shrink it down to the size of a tablet, they can sell 50 million units too. Maybe they can.

      I doubt that one or the other will loose[sic]. The Softies don't want to admit this, but it's apparent in the sales numbers that a whole bunch of people don't want their tablet to be a big, complicated, work-related device. That said, some people will want that, and I won't be surprised if they gravitate toward Windows. What will surprise me is if they gravitate toward Windows [i]tablets[/i]. My hunch is that those who want a "little computer" on which to do RealWork(tm) will ultimately decide to go with a laptop or Ultrabook. I think the whole idea of pitching a keyboardless device -- "docking station" or not -- as a tool for office workers is, erm, stupid.
      Robert Hahn
    • Fuzzy memory

      [i]"Wait for Microsoft to enter the tablet market"[/i]

      But I thought Microsoft was already in the tablet market? For 10+ years as a matter of fact. Are we supposed to forget the awesome "Windows XP Tablet PC Edition" and the Slates/Tablet PCs/UMPCs/and Swivel-Screen PCs that followed, and failed in the market?

      What will be significantly different this time around? Metro-style lipstick? Cause as I recall, metro did nothing to help Microsoft in the mp3 player market, and is doing nothing to help sales in the phone market. How will things be different with the tablet market?
      • You'd think they have work to do

        Just you wait! It'll be great! Nokia Nokia Windows 8! Yaaaay!
        Robert Hahn
      • To be fair to them...

        I think they've been working very hard in these these forums (very Apple story). My only hope is they get paid well. ;-)
      • Metro has never existed in the MP3 player market

        The vaguely similar Zune (and by vaguely similar I am being charitable) was not Metro. Even the XBox (which is wildly popular) is closer to looking like Metro than the Zune ever was.
  • Okay, this is wrong...

    "Apple???s new iPad features a 10-inch Retina display with over 350 pixels per inch"

    It is 264 Pixels per inch and not the same as the phone so again, I maintain this is not a retina display.
    • What are you, the walking dictionary?

      The term "retina display" is undefined. In particular there is no international standards body setting forth specifications of what can and cannot be called a "retina display." The term is more akin to Budweiser's slogan, "The King of Beers." There is also no international standards body or world government that names a King for beers.
      Robert Hahn
    • 'Retina' is by angular resolution, not linear

      The iPhone is 'Retina' at 12", and the new iPad is 'Retina' at 18".

      Move the iPad closer than that, and it is no longer 'Retina'.

      It is a bit fuzzy and 'mileage will vary'!