We’ve heard several rumors that Apple is working on a 7-inch iPad and could launch the mini iPad as early as the first quarter of 2011. But it’s not happening.
Steve Jobs has commented at today's conference call for Apple's Q4 2010 financial results saying that 10-inch screen is minimum size necessary for a tablet indirectly taking a dig at new tablets from competitors such as Samsung Galaxy Tab and BlackBerry Playbook that sport a 7-inch screen. This should put things to rest once and for all.
Steve Jobs had this to say at today’s conference call about upcoming tablets from competitors:
Commenting on avalanche of tablets heading to market. Just a handful of credible entrants. Almost all use 7" screen, compared to iPad at nearly 10" screen. 7" screen is only 45% as large as iPad's screen. Hold an iPad in portrait view and draw a horizontal line halfway down. What's left is a 7" screen…too small. There are clear limits to how close elements can be on the screen before users can't touch accurately. We believe 10-inch screen is minimum necessary.
The reason we won't make a 7-inch tablet isn't because we don't want to hit that price point, it's because we think the screen is too small to express the software.
We know developers aren't going to deal well with these different sizes and they have to change their software every time the screen size changes.
When we make decisions on 7-inch tablets it's not about cost, it's about the value of the product when you factor in the software.
We're all about making the best products at aggressive prices and that's what we do, and that's what we will do with the iPad and iPod.
So the news that Apple had worked on tablet designs of several sizes, including a 7-inch device, before choosing to go with a 9.7" screen for the iPad was indeed accurate. We now know why Apple decided to go with 9.7-inch screen.
What’s your take on it? Would you buy a tablet with a 7-inch screen?