The existence of a 7.85-inch iPad mini might have been confirmed by an unnamed Samsung official earlier this week.
According to Slash Gear, the Samsung official was speaking with the Korea Times on the current contract with Apple when the alleged device was being mentioned along with a new model of the MacBook Air.
Slash Gear - “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 (SSD) storage.” – Unnamed Samsung Official
The current contract between the two companies is estimated at US$9.7 billion which involves Samsung supplying NAND flash memory, mobile processors and displays to Apple. The total figure is likely to increase by the end of the year as the new iPads are selling like hotcakes even before its official launch on March 16.
Rumors of an iPad mini are not new and continue to stream in despite the late Steve Jobs' reluctance to make a 7-inch tablet. An earlier report by BGR claims that Apple will unveil a 7.1-inch tablet to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire and Noble's Nook Tablet.