Steve Jobs had famously taken a dig at Apple’s competitors for launching tablets that sport a 7-inch screen. Steve Jobs had this to say at a conference call last year about upcoming tablets from competitors.
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.
However, the chatter of a smaller iPad has only grown louder since Amazon launched Kindle Fire – their 7-inch Android based tablet, which has been extremely successful. According to recent reports Apple has been persuaded to launch a cheaper 7.85-inch iPad mini next year to compete with the 7-inch Kindle Fire.
So how would a 7.85-inch iPad look and feel like? Curiosity got the better of folks at MacRumors who asked CiccareseDesign – a design studio to create mockups of what a 7.85-inch iPad may look like.
Here are some of their observations:
- The 7.85″ iPad actually feels a lot smaller than the existing iPad.
- The user interface elements, however, don’t feel that far out of place. Icons are smaller than the 9.7″ iPad, of course, but still bigger than the icons found on the iPhone.
- The on screen keyboard also seems quite usable at this size.
- Other elements, such as Safari’s location bar, do scale down but, again, are no smaller than what we’ve seen on the iPhone.
If you want to see what a 7.85-inch iPad looks like then you can print the PDF (Home Screen (6MB), Keyboard (18MB) or checkout the actual size on your iPad by pointing Safari to following URL (launching it as a web icon from the home screen).
What do you think? Would you buy a 7.85-inch iPad? Sound off in the comments.