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Steve Jobs Calls 7-Inch Tablets 'Dead on Arrival', Says 10-Inches Minimum


Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance at today's financial results conference call for Apple's Q4 2010 results. Jobs commented on a range of topics including the fragmentation seen on Android as compared to the iPhone.

Of particular note, Jobs commented on the influx of tablet competitors that are flooding the market, and criticized the 7" tablet size, saying that it was too small.

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.

This effectively kills persistent rumors that Apple was planning on creating a 7" iPad in the near future. Apple has been known to experiment with different form factors and has even been suspected of creating multiple prototypes to throw off competitors.

Top Rated Comments

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23 months ago

"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."

10 inch screen is the minimum because 7 inch is too small... business was not part of the reasoning back then.


Steve Jobs always says stuff like this when Apple doesn't ship a product in a category only to turn around and say the complete opposite when they do enter a segment.

Then he makes you believe that Apple somehow "got something" and corrected all the problems that made it so it wasn't feasible until they did it, so that it doesn't look like he's flip flopping.

Steve was the master at flip flopping.
Rating: 10 Votes
23 months ago

It would be entertaining to go through this thread post by post and see how many here were criticizing the idea of a smaller iPad and now are singing it's praises. It was stupid when everyone else made one and now suddenly it's innovative. Priceless!


Oh they will, but it will be just as WRX says in reference to the way Steve would explain it away. Those people will indicate how the way in which Apple pulled it off suddenly made it brilliant and THE product to have. I've said it before. The process for products goes:

Someone has a great idea and makes a product (or adds a feature)
Others make a product (or feature)
Apple criticizes the product (or feature)
Zealots here will crow the same for as long as it takes (sometimes years)
Apple finally comes out with their version of the product (or feature)
Zealots here are brought to tears about how wondrous it is
Within 12 months, history is changed and Apple have now created the product (or idea) and all those afterwards are said to have just copied.

Please let me know if I'm off base. ;)
Rating: 6 Votes
23 months ago

Only on a Apple forum. Here, I'll carry it further. Since it's nearly 8", and 8" is close to 9", and once you're at 9" it's only a little more to 10". So in reality, the mini iPad is the same size as the original, it's a 10" tablet.


That's the same logic I use when I lie on swingers websites.
Rating: 6 Votes
23 months ago
It would be entertaining to go through this thread post by post and see how many here were criticizing the idea of a smaller iPad and now are singing it's praises. It was stupid when everyone else made one and now suddenly it's innovative. Priceless!
Rating: 4 Votes
23 months ago
As brilliant as Steve was, sometimes he was... drumroll... WRONG.

Sometimes he thought things like the Cube would be a good idea. Sometimes he thought removing features such as Firewire on the 13" MBP was a good idea, only to be persuaded to bring it back.

Some people apparently like to hold a tablet in one hand, and operate it with the other, like this.



Evidently this is difficult to do with the 10" iPad, considering the plethora of accessories attempting to alleviate the problem:







... And then there are plain retarded ones like this, er, BabyBjorn?



Who knows, maybe Steve was so absorbed initially in an "OMG we have a tablet!!!" sort of way that he assumed everyone would happily and ceremoniously devote both hands to holding the device and sit there awestruck forever. Maybe he was convinced that there must be a single sweet spot for this device type. Either way, he might have been -- gasp -- wrong.
Rating: 4 Votes
23 months ago

The kids on the first page of this thread look ultra silly.

True. Old threads are fun. My favorite is this one from 2001 about the introduction of the first iPod, which they thought was going to be a massive flop but ended up laying the foundation for Apple's path to becoming larger than Exxon.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=500

"iPoop... iCry. I was so hoping for something more."

"Great just what the world needs, another freaking MP3 player. Go Steve! Where's the Newton?!"

"hey - heres an idea Apple - rather than enter the world of gimmicks and toys, why dont you spend a little more time sorting out your pathetically expensive and crap server line up?"

"I still can't believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player? I want something new! I want them to think differently!
Why oh why would they do this?! It's so wrong! It's so stupid!"

"All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device? The Reality Distiortion Field™ is starting to warp Steve's mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off."

"I for one am disappointed and think that apple is making a mistake by trying to get into this market."

"Cube anyone..."
Rating: 4 Votes
23 months ago

Something I don't think he's wrong about - not shrinking a screen in 2010 and creating a second product line when there was no need to do so.


Ok - but there's a difference between not needing to and "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."

That's spin. And I'm sure you know that. 10" wasn't a minimum necessary for a tablet. Apple just didn't want to enter that market because it didn't believe it had any competition. Once they did/do - suddenly it makes sense. I don't begrudge Apple for changing their mind. It's important to listen to the marketplace. But whether it's now or back in 2010 - the "excuse" that 7" is too small is B.S.
Rating: 3 Votes
23 months ago
Surprised that everyone seems to have already forgotten what was revealed at the Samsung trial:

Eddie Cue, Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, wrote this email to Cook, Forstall and Schiller in Jan 2011:

Having used a Samsung Galaxy, I tend to agree with many of the comments below (except moving off the iPad). (NOTE: this is referring to a website review)

I believe there will be a 7" market and we should do one.

I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time.

I found email, books, facebook and video very compelling on a 7". Web browsing is definitely the weakest point, but still usable. - Cue


So we know that at least one Apple exec liked the 7" Samsung Galaxy, and that apparently Jobs was starting to listen to him.
Rating: 3 Votes
23 months ago

"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."

He probably said that with an iPhone in his pocket, and the audience went "yes, that makes total sense, elements are way too close to eachother on a 7" screen" and then they took out their own iPhones and tapped out their tech blog entries on 3.5" screens.
Rating: 3 Votes
23 months ago

The iPad Mini, if rumor is true, is not a 7" tablet


Since Jobs said anything smaller than 10" isn't worth it (paraphrasing) - then it doesn't matter if it's 7" or 8".

Technarchy - can't you just admit that Jobs said what he said because he was bashing the competition as inferior and elevating his own product based on spin? That won't revoke your Apple fan license - I promise.
Rating: 3 Votes

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