What Made Apple Alter its Point of view and Issue a 7″ Tablet?

In fact, there really ought to be a ‘sub-question’ to this one. The ‘sub question’ should be whether the iPad Mini flies inside the face of the late Steve Jobs’ wishes for his company. It may be a topic ofintense Internet debate ever since iPad Mini was introduced. For his part, Apple CEO Tim Cook made his personal feelings very clear about 7-Inch tablet pc’s last October, when he told analysts that “We would not make a 7-inch tablet (…) We don’t think they’re good products.”


Obviously, he then argues how the iPad Mini (by virtue of being 7.9-Inches versus a mere 7-Inches) just isn’t a 7-Inch tablet. This is, strictly speaking, true, albeit slightly spurious. Basically, to quote cNet.com’s Roger Cheng:

“Cook argues that the extra size gives it a much larger viewing area, and isn’t cramped like smaller devices such as the Nexus 7 (…) The slightly larger size gives the iPad Mini a 35 percent larger display, and more than 50 to 60 percent when considering the usable area (excluding the tabs and other bits of interface on Android tablets).”


So, was Steve Jobs against a 7-Inch iPad? Well, he did once say that,  “a tablet that’s smaller than the original 9.7-inch iPad was too uncomfortable, and that consumers would have to shave off parts of their fingers to actually use it.”So it’s safe to presume that yes, he was. It is also safe to believe that Tim Cook isn’t necessarily going to avoid the massively lucrative 7-Inch tablet pc market just because his predecessor did not think it is a great concept.


Additionally, according to iPad Insight’s Patrick Jordan: “there are internal Apple emails showing that Apple execs noticed the writeups by Kevin C. Tofel praising the 7 inch tablet form factor, were impressed by those and went to Jobs with them – and Jobs was said to be on board with the idea of looking at this form factor to extend the iPad line”. Jobs had made downbeat statements about other tablet pc’s that ultimately proved to be lucrative before. He was a flexible thinker. It is completely possible that, had he lived, he may have changed his mind, although, on this particular subject, he did appear to be quite adamant.


So, what made Apple change its mind? Well, the answer to that is quite simple. 7″ tablet pc’s are a massive part of the modern computer marketplace and, frankly, a huge part that Apple was missing out on. Ultimately, the choice must have come down to potential income and customer fulfillment. Where there’s a demand, there needs to be a supply.


A ten-Inch pc tablet is large and cumbersome: it isn’t predominantly travel friendly, neither is it particularly easy to handle. A transportable computer needs to be just that; portable and the 7″ tablet pc achieves this in ways in which the ten-Inch tablet cannot. 


So, going back towards the sub query: would Jobs have approved? Perhaps not, but if Tim Cook felt the time was right, then, as Jobs’ successor, it was his decision to make.