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