It's so weird that Samsung knows so much about its rival, but hey, they supply the iCompany with chips so it's not necessarily a surprise. Conflict of interest, anyone? The Korea Times reports that a Samsung exec says their contract with Apple is "around $9 billion" and that it may go up to $11 billion depending on the demand for Apple products.
The chips said to be manufactured by Samsung and procured by Apple are for the new iPads with LTE connectivity. Apple and Samsung head honchos---Tim Cook and Lee Jay-yong respectively, have an agreement to use Samsung chips until the end of 2014. We guess they're still good partners despite their all court cases.
The Samsung source says their contract is expected to rise to $11 billion because on top of releasing a smaller iPad that will probably have a 7.85-inch screen, Apple also aims to sell more MacBook Airs powered by Samsung's SSDs (solid state drives).
Speaking of the 7.85-inch screen, the source also says Samsung is "putting huge resources to becoming the world's first OLED panel supplier to Apple for use in i-branded devices" and that "Apple has the intent to use Samsung's OLED technology but it doubts the output commitment for OLED screens" by the Korean giant.
Technically, if Samsung wanted to shut Apple down they could, but that nice billion-dollar contract is just too juicy to turn down. Apple, on the other hand, probably wishes they had their own factories so they wouldn't have to depend on a competitor for parts.
If Apple and Samsung are friendly, should we believe the Big S? Perhaps this is a ploy to keep people talking? Steve Jobs was famously opposed to the idea of creating a smaller iPad, so why now? Hmm...