Apple's fierce rivalry with Samsung has taken a turn for the worse recently, as an unnamed official at Samsung revealed that his company have a contract to make certain pieces of hardware for the iPad 'mini'. See also Samsung makes $9.7bn from Apple

Speaking to The Korea Times the Samsung official revealed that Samsung was already making huge amounts of money supplying hardware for the current iPads “The amount of the current contract is around $9.7 billion”. Visit: New iPad review.

The official went on to reveal more than Apple would have liked “The contract is expected to rise to $11 billion by the end of this year as Apple is planning to release a smaller iPad, probably with a 7.85-inch screen, and to sell more of its MacBook Air PCs using Samsung’s faster solid state drive storage.”

The news that Apple is to produce a smaller version of the iPad is a clear indication that the company is wiling to go against Steve Jobs' will on certain occasions. In 2010 Jobs said the following about the possibility of a smaller iPad "One naturally thinks that a seven-inch screen would offer 70 percent of the benefits of a ten-inch screen. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. The reason we won't make a seven-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit a lower price point, it’s because we think the screen is too small to express the software."

If Apple is to launch a new eight-inch device, they will be entering a market that already has a considerable amount of competition as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 (8.9-inch), Kindle Fire (7-inch), BlackBerry Playbook (7-inch), LG Optimus Pad (8.9-inch), HTC Flyer (7-inch), Viewsonic ViewPad 7 (7-inch), Acer Iconia Tab A100 (7-inch).