Despite Apple and Samsung's intense rivalry and legal spats, the South Korean tech giant is now said to be one of the key suppliers for the next iterations of Apple's iPad and iPad Mini.
That's according to ETNews, which is citing industry sources and saying that Samsung is readying both 7.9- and 9.7-inch displays for the two devices, both with 2,048x1,536 pixel, or "Retina Display," resolution.
The report adds that the displays are headed first to the iPad Mini in the third quarter, followed by the full-size iPad in the fourth quarter of this year.
Apple has relied on Samsung for iPad displays in the past. That includes for the third-generation iPad, which was the first iPad to get a so-called Retina Display. The company has also tapped Sharp and LG for panels. But going back to Samsung for a smaller display would be unusual, says Richard Shim, a senior analyst at NPD Displaysearch.
"Apple made it pretty clear that at least with the lower resolution -- the 1,024x768 displays -- they were sticking to LGD (LG Display) and AUO," Shim told CNET. "AUO has ramped up too. It's not clear why they'd need a third supplier."
Reports on when, exactly, the next iPad will arrive have been mixed. A note to investors from Citi Research last week claimed similar specs for a new display for the Mini, adding that the group believed the product to be delayed until late into the fourth quarter of this year, or early next year. A similarly timed report from Taiwan-based DigiTimes suggested a similarly late November timeline. Meanwhile, a more optimistic report from NPD DisplaySearch in May suggested production on the displays would begin as soon as next month, with production on the tablet to follow soon after.
The display on the iPad Mini has been viewed as one of its shortcomings by reviewers, along with its price tag. Some similarly sized (and lower-priced) rivals have packed in higher-resolution displays that make text, images, and the user interface appear sharper. In the iPad Mini's case, Apple's big benefit was using the same resolution found in the first two generations of iPad, meaning developers didn't need to update their apps to work on it.
Apple and Samsung remain in litigation in numerous international courts. The two are set to go to trial once again over damages for a handful of devices included in the original 2011 lawsuits between the companies. There's also a trial set for early next year over newer devices like Samsung's Galaxy S3 and Apple's iPhone 5.
(Via Apple Insider)