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Samsung may have let slip Apple's iPad Mini plans

A Samsung official tells the Korea Times that Apple will likely release a smaller iPad by the end of this year.

Samsung says a smaller brother is on its way.

Samsung may have accidentally spilled the beans on Apple's plans to sell a smaller iPad.

By the end of the year, Apple will release an iPad with a 7.85-inch screen, according to a report from the Korea Times, which cited an unnamed Samsung official.

The disclosure comes with Apple just days away from releasing the new iPad, which has an enhanced resolution display, but remains the same 10-inch size as previous models. Steve Jobs had previously dismissed the size and usability of a 7-inch tablet, saying it was too small to be used as a touchscreen tablet device.

Still, with the success of the lower cost Amazon Kindle Fire, which is a 7-inch tablet, Apple may look to get into that segment of the market as well.

A rumored iPad Mini, which is what it is referred to in tech circles, was among the announcements people had hoped for when Apple announced the iPad last week.

Samsung's comments, meanwhile, illustrate the strong ties between it and Apple despite their ongoing legal dispute. The executive said Apple's contract would rise to $11 billion by the end of the year, based on demand for the various components Samsung supplies. Samsung supplies the processor (which Apple designs), LTE chips, and solid-state storage drives to various Apple products.

Apple bought $7.8 billion worth of parts from Samsung in 2011, the report says.

The bipolar relationship underscores the size of Samsung, whose various units as like separate multinational corporations in their own right.

Samsung will also supply new LCD screen technology for the smaller iPads, the report said, and is currently in talks to have its LCDs go into the next iPhone.