South Korean tech giant Samsung has secured a contract with rival Apple to supply the firm with screens for the next generation of mobile gadgets.
Samsung will provide the iPad and iPhone maker with both 7.9- and 9.7-inch displays for the new incarnations of the iPad and iPad Mini, equipping both with 2,048x1,536 pixel "Retina Display" resolution, according to ET News. The report says that screens for the iPad Mini with Retina display will be supplied in the third quarter, whereas screens for the next generation iPad will be ready for the following quarter.
LG Display is expected to remain one of Apple's top component suppliers, although the tech giant has also tapped Sharp and Samsung in the past to produce the variety of screens required for various iPad and iPhone models. However, the development of new products may have left Samsung sidelined until now — some analysts believe this alleged change in the supply chain is due to the ongoing legal fracas between the two electronics makers.
Samsung and Apple are still continuing a legal battle which has spread into courtrooms worldwide. The two companies are embroiled within an argument over patent use, where both firms have accused the other of using intellectual property without permission in their mobile gadgets. Two fresh trials have been set to examine products filed in the original 2011 lawsuit as well as new models including the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Apple iPhone 5.
Last month, the International Trade Commission (ITC) announced it was reviewing a split decision made by a judge in one of the patent disputes between Apple and Samsung. A judge previously found that the translucent buttons present in Android galleries infringed upon a text-selection patent. In addition, the ITC will be reviewing whether a second patent relating to the detection of microphones or other peripheries within the microphone jack infringes upon Apple-owned patents, and a decision is expected in August.
Market research firm NPD Display Search estimates that iPad Mini 2 demand will reach 15 million units if released this year, and out of this figure, LG Display, Samsung and Sharp will supply 7, 5 and 3 million units respectively. Although the research firm believes that the new iPad will be hitting our stores this year, others — including Citi Research — suggest that the product's release will not take place until early next year.
Recent reports suggest Apple is considering launching a large iPhone model as well as cheaper iPhone variations.