Apple executive disagreed with Jobs about 7-inch iPad

Prior to his death last year, Steve Jobs was notably pessimistic about the market for 7-inch tablets. In 2010, Jobs said the smaller sized tablets are "meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size." But did other Apple executives feel the same way? According to an internal Apple e-mail released in the company's case against Samsung, no.

In an e-mail obtained by CNET News dated January 24, 2011, Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services at Apple, said he believed "there will be a [market for 7-inch tablets] and we should do one." Cue then went on to say he had expressed this belief to Jobs "several times" since the previous Thanksgiving and Jobs "seemed very receptive the last time."

Cue's e-mail was addressed to current Apple CEO Tim Cook (then COO and acting CEO); Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS software; and Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing. The message was a direct response to a GigaOm editorial entitled "Why I just dumped the iPad (Hint: Size matters)." Samsung's lawyers submitted the e-mail as evidence to bolster their claims that Apple is inspired by its competitors.

Apple is widely rumored to be releasing a 7-inch iPad later this year – often referred to as the "iPad Mini" – to compete with the likes of Amazon and Samsung offerings. In Cue's e-mail, the Apple executive specifically mentioned trying out a 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab and coming away impressed. Apple's 7-inch iPad is rumored to launch as soon as this October with a price in the $200 to $250 range.

Despite Cue's claims that Jobs was receptive to the idea of a 7-inch iPad the last time the two discussed it, the late Apple CEO never expressed similar sentiments publicly.

Source: CNET News | Image via CNET News

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I personally think 7" is a perfect size for a tablet because they're far easier to hold and are much lighter. At iPad size I'd rather just have a laptop.

I managed to play around with the Nexus 7 and it's awesome.

Just ordered mine (nexus 7). It will be here Monday. Jelly Bean here I come!!! Apple better announce the cure for cancer in October or they are toast.

I think Steve's points weren't that the 7" form factor isn't a useful size, but having a 7" device you are limited in certain aspects. Mainly the iPad 'split screen' mode which practically every iPad app uses when in landscape mode just doesn't work on a tablet that size because everything is so much smaller

I'm guessing they didn't want developers to create a 3rd version of their apps to suit the 7" screen size (they could always force them to landscape, but that's a bad compromise as well).

I personally don't think we'll see an 'iPad mini' - just like we never saw an iPhone nano despite the constant rumours at one point in time.

DomZ said,
I think Steve's points weren't that the 7" form factor isn't a useful size, but having a 7" device you are limited in certain aspects. Mainly the iPad 'split screen' mode which practically every iPad app uses when in landscape mode just doesn't work on a tablet that size because everything is so much smaller

I'm guessing they didn't want developers to create a 3rd version of their apps to suit the 7" screen size (they could always force them to landscape, but that's a bad compromise as well).

I personally don't think we'll see an 'iPad mini' - just like we never saw an iPhone nano despite the constant rumours at one point in time.

I'll be more surprised if we don't see one. The iPad is pretty much the king of tablets right now, doesn't it own nearly 3/4 of the market or whatever? Yet the two best-selling Android tablets have been the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 - both 7" devices. I don't think that's a coincidence, I think it's clear there's a gap in the market there that Apple has missed.

Yes, the 7" form factor is "limited" compared to the 10", but 10" is limited compared to a 20" tablet. Sometimes, bigger isn't always better and what you can do, practically, on a 7" tablet while on the move is a lot more than what you can do with a 10" tablet. 7" fits nicely into a smallish bag or purse, a 10" doesn't.

Otherwise, it's a bit like saying that all future iPhones should be 10" since a smaller form factor is "limited".

Kushan said,

I'll be more surprised if we don't see one. The iPad is pretty much the king of tablets right now, doesn't it own nearly 3/4 of the market or whatever? Yet the two best-selling Android tablets have been the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 - both 7" devices. I don't think that's a coincidence, I think it's clear there's a gap in the market there that Apple has missed.

Yes, the 7" form factor is "limited" compared to the 10", but 10" is limited compared to a 20" tablet. Sometimes, bigger isn't always better and what you can do, practically, on a 7" tablet while on the move is a lot more than what you can do with a 10" tablet. 7" fits nicely into a smallish bag or purse, a 10" doesn't.

Otherwise, it's a bit like saying that all future iPhones should be 10" since a smaller form factor is "limited".

The only reason those android tablets have outsold the rest is quality. 99% of android tablets are utter trash.

I'm hoping for an iPad mini, I can't justify £400 or so, but I can £200.

If I use it a lot etc then in the future I'd more likely jump to an iPad

Dan~ said,
I'm hoping for an iPad mini, I can't justify £400 or so, but I can £200.

If I use it a lot etc then in the future I'd more likely jump to an iPad


its apple!!! there were thinking about making smaller 7'' size not the price..

Hello_World_99 said,
Who cares! It's all about saving face at this point for Apple.

Apple does things like this all the time, then does exactly what they criticized. Remember Job's "people don't read any more" comment as a way to slap down their competition. Then they turned around and released iBooks and now they brag about how many books they sell. Apple says what is convenient for Apple at the moment, and rely upon their fans to ignore what they said when they change course.

Hello_World_99 said,
Who cares! It's all about saving face at this point for Apple.

I think so too. And it is even more evidence that a 7" tablet is on the way, or else why would they need to save face?

A market for a 7" ????
I thought Apple said they don't do things for the money? Distortion or just lies?

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