iPad mini

Samsung to Supply Apple With iPad Mini Parts in 2012

An official from Samsung told the Korea Times that Apple is planning to buy around $11 billion in parts from the Korea-based supplier in 2012. Part of the deal will include components for the rumored iPad mini. The unnamed Samsung employee said their deal with Apple is expected to increase from around $9.7 billion to $11 billion when Apple releases a smaller iPad at the end of the year.

iPad Mini

A source in the supply chain told the DigiTimes on Monday that Pegatron Technology has been chosen to assemble the iPad mini instead of Foxconn. The same source said that the iPad mini will not feature the same Retina display technology as the iPad 3, but will most likely feature IPS/FFS panels manufactured by LG Display and AU Optronics.

iPad Mini Still a Possibility?

It looks like the iPad mini rumors may never die. The latest rumblings from the supply chain (via DigiTimes) suggests that Apple will increase the viewing area of the mythical 7.85-inch iPad by featuring a slimmer bezel.

iPad 3 Rumor mini 7-inch

According to an earlier DigiTimes report, Apple has chosen to give the assembly contract to Pegatron Technology instead of Foxconn, which was the company that manufactured the iPad 2. If the DigiTimes' sources are correct, the iPad mini will not feature the same Retina quality display as the iPad 3, but will most likely feature IPS/FFS panels from LG Display and AU Optronics.

iPad Mini 7-Inch Displays Start Production?

The iPad mini sounds like a knock off product or cheap imitation of the iPad, however according to supply chain mag DigiTimes displays for the rumored device have already been ordered. Apple has placed the 7.85-inch LCD panel orders with AU Optronics and LG Display.

iPad 3 Rumor mini 7-inch

Forhouse, an affiliate of AU Optronics is said to be making matching backlight units for the smaller iPad screen. DigiTimes didn't stop there, with the report also explaining that the assembly contract for the iPad mini will go to Pegatron Technology, not Foxconn, the current producer of the iPad 2. The report follows several back and forth rumors over Apple's plans for a smaller tablet, or lack thereof.

More iPad 3 Info Leaks Ahead of Press Event

The iPad 3 has a home button! This is according to Repair Labs, which has acquired an iPad 3 digitizer and bezel. The part is pictured below in both black and white. According to this leak, the home button is exactly the same as the previous two iPad models.

ipad 3 bezel parts in black and white

After the Apple press event invite was circulated, some speculated that the home button would become a thing of the past. The photo on the invite did not depict a home button, however no other evidence pointed to Apple scrapping the design feature.

Analyst Believes iPad Mini Has Always Been a Part of Apple's Plan

After the iPhone 5/iPhone 4S fiasco I'm not convinced Apple is going to release an iPad mini this year. Apple didn't need a new low-end iPhone to compete with other smartphone manufacturers at the end of 2011 like a lot of analysts predicted they would. The iPhone 4S performed well, and the iPhone 3GS allowed them to compete in the low-to-mid end market without having to release a new affordable phone. However, some analysts still believe Apple will release an iPad mini to compete with the Kindle Fire in 2012.

iPad 3 Rumor

A Technology Business Research analyst believes Apple plans to release an iPad mini sometime this year. "I believe that's always been in the plan," Ezra Gottheil told Computer World. "Actually that's a good form factor for some users, and although they will also charge a premium above other similar-sized tablets, they want to protect that price flank."

More iPad Rumors: Apple to Ship 'iPad 3' in March and 'iPad 4' in October

Is Apple going to release the iPad 3 and 4 in 2012!?! It's not as crazy as it sounds, but the report does come from Asian supply chain watcher DigiTimes; who doesn't have the best track record when it comes to Apple rumors. Citing "Taiwan industry sources," the DigiTimes writes that Apple is prepping to release two iPad models in 2012. The so-called "iPad 3" will feature a QXGA (1,536x2,048 pixels) display and longer battery life. The so-called "iPad 4" will ship with many "upgraded hardware specifications and integrated applications." The iPad 2 will be reduced to $399 to compete with Sony, Motorola Mobility and Samsung Electronics' cheaply priced tablet PCs.

iPad Rumors

This may sound like a new rumor, but it's actually not. Component suppliers are just using the names "iPad 3" and "iPad 4" to describe what could be the new mid-range and high-end Apple tablets we've been hearing so much about. Previous reports from the supply chain have claimed Apple is working on a "complete iPad series" for 2012. The new iPad line will feature a $299 to $399 entry-level Wi-Fi only iPad, a new mid-range iPad and the high-end iPad 3. The new iPad line is supposedly Apple's plan to compete the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google's rumored new tablet PC.

iPad 3 Rumors: Apple to Release Two New iPads in 2012, No 7-Inch iPad! (Updated)

Contradicting their previous report that Apple is working on a 7.85-inch iPad, the DigiTimes writes that Apple will release a "complete iPad series targeting the entry-level, mid-range and high-end market" in 2012. The iPad 2 will be reduced to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire, and the next-generation iPads will "focus on the mid-range and high-end segments," according to sources in the supply chain.

iPad 3

The new iPads will feature 9.7-inch screens, QXGA resolution (1,536x2,048 pixels) and the rumored dual OLED backlights we keep hearing so much about. The new "high-end version" of the iPad will feature an increased battery capacity of 14,000mAH compared to 6,500mAH used currently. Both new devices will use the quad-core A6 processor being manufactured by Samsung.

Rumor: Apple to Release iPad 3 and iPad Mini in 2012

Amazon has proven that affordable smaller tablets can sell well, but are they selling well enough to force Apple to change their opinion about 7-inch displays? According to a recent report from the DigiTimes, Apple plans to begin production of a 7.85-inch iPad next year. The smaller tablet, dubbed the "iPad mini," will be available in Q4 of 2012, and the iPad 3 will still launch in February or March of the same year. DigiTimes claims Apple will purchase the 7.85-inch panels from LG Display and AU Optronics, and that production of the new models will begin at the end of the second quarter of 2012.

iPad mini Christmas 2012

The success of the Kindle Fire has revived old rumors about a smaller iPad that date as far back as 2010. The Korean Times wrote in November of 2011 that Apple met with LG Display to discuss production of 7-inch displays, and a few analyst have restarted the iPad mini rumor mill this year as well. The device will reportedly feature the same resolution as the iPad 2, and will be Apple's answer to the growing demand for more affordable tablets.

Production Starts For iPad 3 Display

DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim says production on the 2048 x 1532 iPad 3 panels has begun. "It's happening! Panel production has started [for the next-generation iPad]. There's three suppliers," Shim told CNET.

iPad 2 side view

Early reports revealed Apple has already received one million displays for the iPad 3. If true, this puts the next generation iPad on course to be released as early as March 2012 like earlier rumors have suggested.

"It takes a couple of weeks for the production to go to the ODMs (the manufacturers). Then the manufacturer puts them in the housing. Then, that goes off to shipment. We could start seeing finished devices produced in December. And then being ready to be shipped in January. With volumes gearing up in February and March," Shim said.

Slightly Thicker iPad 3 in March?

So far the next generation iPad rumors have suggested Apple is working on a variety of smaller and thinner iPads, but a "reliable source" told iLounge a different story. The iLounge tipster said the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro will all be receiving redesigns in 2012.

iPad 3

The third-generation iPad will be thicker (0.7 mm) to accommodate the rumored dual OLED backlights, and it will be revealed in January followed by a March release. This is much a different story from the "iPad mini" and thinner iPad 2S rumors we've been hearing from other sources.

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