Apple is believed to be working on a second-generation iPad Mini and has reportedly asked its biggest rival Samsung to supply the retina display screen technology.
The claims have been made by suppliers in China, according to the Wall Street Journal, and the new smaller version of its iPad tablet could be on sale by the end of the year.
Apple has also said to have geared up its plans for a new iPad Mini following the announcement of Google’s new Nexus 7 which will have the ‘world’s highest resolution tablet’ screen when it goes on sale later this month.
Apple’s current iPad Mini has a 7.9-inch 1024×768 resolution screen – this gives the tablet’s screen 163 pixels per inch (PPI).
It already uses retina displays on its latest 9.7-inch iPad models and is looking to introduce the technology to its smaller version.
By comparison, Google’s new Nexus 7 has a PPI of 216 and Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad with Retina Display has 264 PPI.
The screens on the current iPad Mini are supplied by LG and Taiwan’s Au Optronics.
For its upcoming device, component manufacturers in Asia have reportedly been told Apple is planning to use screens from Samsung, LG and Sharp.
Apple is thought to be particularly interested in Samsung’s super-thin glass technology.
The report also claims that the new iPad Mini could be released in the ‘fourth quarter’ of 2013, at the same time, or following the rumoured iPhone 5S and iPhone C, a cheaper, plastic model.
Apple is believed to be working on adding different coloured back panels to the new iPad Mini, too, similar to the ones planned for the iPhone C.
Samsung recently overtook Apple to become the world’s most profitable mobile phone company.
Apple’s share of the smartphone market dropped to 14 per cent, its lowest for three years, because of ‘lacklustre’ iPhone 5 sales and tougher competition from rivals, according to industry analysts.
Driven by demand for cheaper Android devices in Asia and Latin America, Samsung’s handset division made an estimated £3.4billion operating profit in the second quarter of this year.
However, Samsung already works with Apple and other tech firms in various manufacturing deals so the news about a tie-up concerning a new iPad Mini isn’t surprising.
That said, the Wall Street Journal does claim Apple has taken steps to be less reliant on Samsung.
Samsung previously supplied the screens for earlier models of the iPhone and iPad but Apple switched to LG for its iPad Mini.
Elsewhere, Apple’s next software update for its iPhones and iPads will fix a security flaw that makes it possible for criminals to hack the devices when they are plugged into fake mobile charging stations.
The devices will be left vulnerable to attack, however, until the company releases its iOS 7 software in October.
Samsung recently reported record profits as it extends its lead over Apple in terms of smartphone sales. Samsung already works with Apple and other firms in various manufacturing deals but Apple is reported to have taken steps to be less reliant on Samsung recently