An unnamed official of Samsung, the Korean electronics manufacturer and Apple’s biggest parts supplier, gave an interview in The Koream Times saying “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”
While Apple itself would never mention any information about products that are forthcoming and certainly would not divulge information which competitors could use to take on the behemoth, it seems that Apple’s suppliers are not holding the same “cards close to the chest” type attitude when it comes to Apple’s contracts. Samsung is known primarily to be Apple’s bitterest rival in the global smartphone market, but they are also providing nearly all of the memory and displays found in the devices which Apple sells.
Speculation on the smaller iPad or the iPad Mini has been rife throughout the media for sometime now. The market really has been waiting for an Apple product that would compete directly with the Galaxy Tab and the Amazon produced Kindle Fire. Many people are speculating that the new iPad 7.85 Inch version will come out later this fall, however, the fall time frame has been traditionally the update of the OS and the Mac Mini for Apple. It is quite possible that Apple will use the Mini theme with the iPad and release the iPad Mini with the latest Mac Mini. And like the Mac Mini, the iPad Mini would likely be under powered next to it’s larger cousin as well as have less memory. It is not likely that we will see much cost savings’s though as Apple is known to charge more for their products. Speculation that Apple would sell the iPad Mini for $199 to match the Kindle Fire is a bit farfetched unless Apple intends to give away the farm and make money other ways.
Also revealed in the interview was Apple’s intention to use Samsung’s faster SSD drives in the future MacBook Airs. The article seems to suggest that Apple will continue buying their components from Samsung for the immediate future. And while it is not surprising that an official leaking information would not want to be named, however, it also seems that Apple needs to clamp down even further on what information their partners release when they do decide to actually purchase those parts from them.