SAN FRANCISCO Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) new iPad mini appears to include an LCD display driver from South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS), a key supplier but also the Silicon Valley tech giant's fiercest rival in a global mobile-device war.
The iPad mini, to be available in stores on Friday, includes Apple's A5 processor, SK Hynix Inc (000660.KS) flash memory and a number of chips from Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc FCS.N, according to electronics repair company iFixit, which acquired one early and opened it on Thursday.
Apple and Samsung are engaged in patent disputes across 10 countries as they vie for market share in the booming mobile industry, and Apple is believed to be seeking ways to rely less on Samsung. But Samsung remains a key supplier for Apple, manufacturing its application processors and providing other components.
The 7.9 inch iPad mini marks the iPhone-maker's first foray into the smaller-tablet segment. Apple hopes to beat back incursions onto its home turf of consumer electronics hardware, while safeguarding its lead in a larger tablet space - one that even deep-pocketed rivals like Samsung have found tough to penetrate.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; editing by Matthew Lewis)