Apple suppliers in Asia are working on a next-generation iPad Mini that will have a high-resolution retina display from Samsung, the Wall Street Journal reports, in an interesting collaboration between the two smartphone rivals.
Component manufacturers have reportedly been told that Apple is planning to use screens from Samsung, fellow Korean smartphone manufacturer LG, as well as Japan’s Sharp Corp. Apple is said to be using screens from LG and Taiwan’s AU Optronics for its current iPad Mini.
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The report cites sources as saying that the next-generation iPad Mini will be rolled out in the fourth quarter this year, with the same size as the current 7.9-inch model. Apple is also reportedly considering introducing different colored back covers for the new-generation tablet.
News of this latest Apple-Samsung collaboration comes soon after it was reported that Apple has inked a deal to supply the central chipset for the iPhone from 2015. This was significant as Apple previously turned away from its Korean rival when it recruited TSMC to product its upcoming A7 chips.
However, given that Samsung has an extensive manufacturing business which works with Apple and other tech firms, it is little surprise that the two rivals battling it out for a share of the smartphone market would have to cross paths in terms of manufacturing, though Apple has taken steps to be less reliant on Samsung.
Apple earlier stopped buying iPhone screens from Samsung and switched to LG Display (and hired a former LG Electronics executive for its Korean business), which also supplies some screens used in the iPad. There were reports earlier this year that Apple switched back to Samsung for its super-thin glass, but those are still to be corroborated.
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