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If Apple is going to upgrade the iPad mini with a Retina Display a year after it’s debut, they should get breaking on sourcing the 2,048 x 1,536 resolution, 7.9-inch displays that’ll drive them. Now a brand-new rumor suggests that Apple has contracted good ol’ frenemy Samsung to make them for them.

According to a report from Korea’s ETNews, Samsung Display is supplying the 7.9-inch Retina Displays to Apple, together with a new display for use in the iPad 5. The Retina iPad mini displays will be delivered to Apple in the third quarter, or starting next month, while the iPad 5 displays will can be found in the 4th. Both, presumably, would launch near Christmas.

That’s an interesting report. It’s possible that if Apple gets them in the 3rd quarter, that they can manufacture sufficient Retina iPad minis to launch in the 4th quarter. Samsung could be able to deliver iPad 5 displays to Apple on a later timetable, both due to the fact that the process is largely proven as compared to 7.9-inch Retina Displays, and since Apple anticipates demand for the iPad 5 to be less than for the Retina iPad mini, which I think is a winner.

The big question is why Apple is signing orders with Samsung after taking such discomforts to distance their manfuacturing from them. Previous reports suggested that Apple would start producing Retina iPad minis this month with displays provided by LG, but ETNews suggests Apple was forced to go back to the arms of Samsung after LG hadn’t been able to attain the yields needed for a full-scale launch.