Well, this comes as a personal surprise to me. After publicly mocking 7-inch slates at one of Apple’s earning calls, it seems Steve Jobs after all, approved of the smaller-sized tablets. This came out as part of the evidence, presented in court in the heated Apple vs. Samsung trial.
I’ve long dismissed all rumors of a 7-inch iPad Mini (iNotepad or whatever else it may be called), based solely on this past public statement by Steve Jobs that 7-inchers were no good. Period.
Well, it seems that the good old sport might have had a change of heart in his last months. We don’t know for sure whether a real product had come up out of this, but I’m already starting to think that we may as well see an iPad Mini announced this year, as plenty of old and recent rumors suggest.
Thanks to TheVerge.com, who have meticulously been documenting the high-profile hearings in the Apple/Samsung trial, we now know that the story went somewhere along these lines.
In January 2011, Apple’s VP Eddy Cue (pictured above) stumbled upon an article, written by a user, who picked a 7-inch Galaxy Tab after ditching his iPad. The article carefully examined all the advantages the 7-incher had over its bigger competitor.
Cue forwarded this article to Apple’s executive team — Tim Cook, Scott Forstall, and Phil Schiller — along with a note saying “I believe there will be a 7-inch market and we should do one.” Eddy Cue even commented that he had tried a 7-inch Galaxy tablet and “found email, books, facebook and video very compelling on a 7-inch. Web browsing is definitely the weakest point, but still usable.”
Most importantly, he also explained that he’d “expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time.” You can read the original email here.
An interesting fact is that it was the Samsung legal team themselves who came up with this email as evidence (among many others) and presented it during the Scott Forstall hearing.
There you have it! Internally, Apple’s management had warmed up to 7-inchers so there’s no more grounds for us to deny the persistent rumors. So what do you say, will we see a 7.85-inch iPad this year or not?