Internal e-mail: Jobs was ‘very receptive’ to 7” iPad

In public, Steve Jobs dumped all over the idea of a 7" iPad. AppleInsider quoted him two years ago as saying, "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." Was it all just clever misdirection?

We’ll never know for sure, but as The Verge reports, an internal e-mail released as part of the Apple v. Samsung case suggest Jobs was actually enthusiastic about the prospect of a smaller tablet. The internal e-mail was sent on January 24, 2011 by Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior VP of Internet Software and Services, to Steve Jobs, Scott Forstall, and Tim Cook. It references a GigaOM editorial, whose author claimed to have dumped his iPad in favor of Samsung’s 7" Galaxy Tab.

"Having used a Samsung Galaxy, I tend to agree with many of the comments below (except actually moving off the iPad)," says Cue in the e-mail. "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."

Interesting.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that rumors about an iPad mini have been intensifying as of late. A recent story by iMore says Apple will unveil the iPad mini alongside the iPhone 5 at a special event on September 21. The device is said to feature a 7.85" panel and to have the same 4:3 aspect ratio as the existing iPad.

Comments closed
    • clone
    • 7 years ago

    if the “Steve Jobs” school of thought really has any lasting effect then digital convergence will continue dictated by the market in an effort to stay ahead of the competition.

    limited purpose devices will be outmoded, GPS, Cell Phone, Laptop’s, Tablets, notebooks, desktop PC, music players all should become one in the future as technology makes their individual existence from a practicality standpoint, pointless…. I’m not sure this will continue and if it doesn’t then Steve’s legacy died with him and the “Steve’s E-mail’s” will be more than bullshit, they’ll be a betrayal.

    • moog
    • 7 years ago

    Why is this specific misdirection clever? Because its Apple?

    Would misdirection by Dell for example be as clever?

      • shank15217
      • 7 years ago

      Well whenever apple pisses, everybody has a golden shower.

    • albundy
    • 7 years ago

    wow, that internal email falls between my notion of who cares and I dont give a cr@p. Steve, what do you think?

      • RhysAndrews
      • 7 years ago

      Why are you reading, then? It interests some of us..

    • OU812
    • 7 years ago

    I hope when Apple releases their 7″ tablet that the other vendors of 7″ tablets sue them and go before the ITC to keep it off the market.

    Since that is Apples MO against competition it would be great to see it turned back on them.

      • yogibbear
      • 7 years ago

      Well my patent is only valid for 19.9cm tablets… so I guess I will let them pass.

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 7 years ago

      Right, because no one is already suing Apple for questionable patents….

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    7.85 != 7, so the whole issue of what Jobs said about 7″ tablets is kind of irrelevant anyway.

    A 7″ iPad would have 45% the surface area of the current iPad. A 7.85″ iPad would have 66% of the surface area. In other words, a 7.85″ iPad has 47% more surface area than a 7″ iPad.

    Let’s get real here. Nobody would be using trunc(7.85)=7 to refer to this hypothetical new iPad if it wasn’t for what Jobs had said about 7 inchers. The normal thing to do would be to call it a round(7.85)= 8 inch iPad. This is all a trumped up “controversy” to sell ad space on tech sites.

      • nico1982
      • 7 years ago

      I think a 7″ would have 52% ((7 ^ 2) / (9.7 ^ 2)) of the surface are of the current iPad, and the 7.85″ has just 26% more surface area than a 7″ ((7.85 ^ 2) / (7 ^ 2)), aspect ratio being the same of course.

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        And it’s using a lower resolution display than, say, the Nexus 7″. So, the PPI is even worse because of the larger display.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Seriously? You got so worked up about [i<]that[/i<]?! Let's say it refers to a "7-inch class" of tablets, covering tablets between 6" and 8"... is that more acceptable to you? Apple hate can be really entertaining sometimes

        • blastdoor
        • 7 years ago

        Hypocrisy thy name is NeelyCam.

        What if people were systematically mis-stating the die size of Intel chips by a factor of 50% relative to AMD chips?

        No doubt your head would explode, not that you’ll admit it.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          Ah, so you believe 7.85″ (Apple) is superior to 7″ (non-apple), and that’s why you’re personally insulted by the insinuation that Apple’s minipad is somehow worse (=smaller) than it actually is? (Note that, as nico already said, it’s only about 25% larger in area, but that’s just math..)

          I also find your insistence to explain away the apparent contradiction in your iGod’s statements somewhat silly.

          As for hypocrisy… honestly, my head wouldn’t explode if someone misstates something when comparing AMD and Intel chips (e.g., saying that AMD modules are dual-cores). If it’s a honest mistake, I’ll politely correct them. If they are fanbois, I tease them. I come from SSK Skool of trolling, and I’m proud of my alma mater

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            awww tiff, you make me sooo proud! *sniffle* I ♥ you too! you’re my best student!!

            on an unrelated note, me and dpaus met this morning IN REAL LIFE. yeah, it was pretty cool. he’s one tall bugger! we had some breakfast, it was pretty fun. When you coming by? he’ll post some photos later. i was so smitten i forgot about my camera.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            But you guys are in Kanada. That’s, like, miles away

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            what’s a miles?

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            8 furlongs

            • blastdoor
            • 7 years ago

            You’re weird . Where are you getting that I’m “personally insulted”? You’re injecting a lot of emotion into this that doesn’t need to be there.

            Look in the mirror when you’re writing this stuff.

            edit — btw, you’re right about the math — I was sloppy. Sorry about that.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            You’re weird . Where are you getting that my “head will explode”? You’re injecting a lot of emotion into this that doesn’t need to be there.

            Look in the mirror when you’re writing this stuff.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            You guys should kiss

    • Silus
    • 7 years ago

    Even in death, people are still giving Jobs importance ? If this doesn’t define what a fanatic is, I don’t know what will…Who cares about what Jobs thought about a 7” iPad ? They are only about to release one, because others already did it and successfully so…

      • Mourmain
      • 7 years ago

      Should we ignore Newton because he is dead now? What about Michelangelo, is his art crap now? The man’s a stiff!

      Yes, Steve isn’t on par with those guys, but he *was* a great designer/choice-maker. His opinion counts.

        • OU812
        • 7 years ago

        It is an insult to Newton and Michelangelo to even put their names anywhere near Jobs.

          • Silus
          • 7 years ago

          Exactly! +1

          • Grigory
          • 7 years ago

          Big time!

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        We don’t care what notation Newton used for calculus.

        • Silus
        • 7 years ago

        Wow! You really compared Steve Jobs to Newton and Michael Angelo ? LOL…After that I shouldn’t even bother answering you…

        Steve Jobs was nothing more than a marketer, one that definitely had arguably good ideas, but that alone doesn’t let his opinion on whatever be relevant after his death.

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          Mourmain pointed out that they aren’t on the same level…

          Just because someone is dead does not mean that he/she is not relevant. Mourmain pointed that out. Even though Jobs was “just a marketer,” he will go down in history as one of the greatest, and his ideas will likely be studied, reused, and taught for decades if not longer.

            • Grigory
            • 7 years ago

            His ideas? He only followed one of the Rules of Acquisition from Star Trek:

            There’s a sucker born every minute; be sure you’re the first to find each one.

            • CuttinHobo
            • 7 years ago

            Where might I purchase some of his vacuum-desiccated remains?

            • Silus
            • 7 years ago

            No…he first mentioned Newton and Michael Angelo and then proceeded to say Jobs wasn’t on the same level, which raises the question why did he even made such a moronic comparison in the first place ?

            And there are plenty of people that are dead and that are still important given what they found out and is still used today. I’m talking about actual methods and theories that are present in our daily life (work or studies). Jobs brought nothing of that sort. At most he thought of black rectangles with round edges…
            “His ideas” is also laughable as NOTHING that Apple does or did during his time, were “his” ideas. He was good at using someone else’s ideas, combine them together and market it as a product, but again that’s a trait of a marketer, not a man to be revered…

          • Beelzebubba9
          • 7 years ago

          From your post history I know you reflexively hate Apple, but under Jobs the company went from the brink of extinction to the largest in tech largely on the back of Jobs’ vision for how personal computing should be. Aside from Bill Gates, there’s no other person in the modern era that’s had nearly the impact on the industry that Jobs had.

          You can dismiss his role as that of a marketer, but considering how comprehensive Apple’s success has been (especially in the areas of supply chain management and design), he’s pretty clearly a man of much broader talents.

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            Well even if he were entirely (or mostly) a marketing guy, he actually brought the design and function togther in a way that that you don’t really see, making the product people wanted from all angles, whereas a lot of PCs (laptops, etc.) seem like Frankenstein’s monsters. Every part comes from a different company or they build a chasis around the hardware available.

            The people to keep an eye on right now are at Vizio. They’re specifically targeting a price “just below Apple” for their computers, and there’s a lot of the same philosophy in those designs.

            • Silus
            • 7 years ago

            I’m sorry, what did Jobs do that changed computing ? What impact did he have in ANYTHING that you use at work/school/every day life ? Please don’t reference the iPhone or iPad. Both were preceded by other similar devices that just weren’t successful or marketed at all. Again, Jobs trait was to market a product and…that’s all!

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            The iPhone. Just because “someone did it first” does not mean that it actually stuck. Microsoft did Tablet PC first and it went nowhere. Jobs put millions of iPads in the hands of users, and THAT is what changed computing. Once people had a reason to own the device, the trend caught on.

            And don’t try to underplay the smartphone angle one bit. There was stuff going on before the iPhone, but Apple simply knocked that door down and made them mainstream. Blackberry was mostly for professional use, and what happened to them? Major companies are abandoning Blackberries in favor of iPhones, which were made and marketed for an “average” user.

            Marketing? Yes, it was a thing. But as I said before, Jobs really hammered home the idea of a unified product as opposed to having all things developed separately. If the iPhone and iPad were complete junk, some Apple fanboys would have still bought them, but they would not sell millions every year with minimal revision.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 7 years ago

            Doing something badly and failing in the market before a competitor does it properly and succeeds wildly means you get a gold star and nothing more. Microsoft’s tablet revolution of 2002 withered because they were pitching the idea of an even more expensive x86 laptop running an OS with the barest concessions to a stylus-based interface kludged on top of Windows XP. The tablet PC failed because it was a bad idea and was executed poorly. If anything, Apple’s ARM-based Newton was a more direct ancestor to the modern ARM based, mobile OS powered, touch tablet than anything Redmond sold prior to Windows RT.

            There’s a reason why almost all modern smartphones have a Gorilla glass covered, finger-touch based interface on a slab sided piece of hardware build around a web browser capable of rendering normal webpages and an ‘App store’ that can extend the device’s functionality. Hint: It’s not because of a $800 Nokia Symbian phone that was never sold in America.

            Nerds just can’t seem to grasp that success in the consumer market requires both marketing and having a quality product to sell. Apple makes devices that are consistently at or near the top of their class and has been doing so for many, many years. Combine excellent and innovative product design with industry leading mindshare and marketing and you end up with the biggest tech company in the world.

            p.s. rMBP

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        From a designer’s point of view you would want to know what Jobs thought.

        It should be irreverent from a consumer point of view though. You should buy a product because you like it or your don’t, not because Jobs told you to like it.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    Can’t wait for the guiness world record for swallowing that thing…

    • Peldor
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Was it all just clever misdirection?[/quote<] Next you'll be telling me Apple has a patent on lying.

      • quarantined
      • 7 years ago

      It’s called the Reality Distortion Field.

      • Grigory
      • 7 years ago

      That would be awesome! It would completely destroy certain political parties! 😀

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]... certain political parties...[/quote<] ..as in "all of them"?

          • Beelzebubba9
          • 7 years ago

          No, my party is completely honest and uncorruptible. It’s the other guys you need to worry about.

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    Who friggin cares?

      • Silus
      • 7 years ago

      Pretty much…

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      you silly boy. this is an [i<] apple/jobs [/i<] rumor. did you think it was another company/person? maybe you misread the title. you can edit your post now that i've cleared that up for you. I don't hate apple, they make solid products, no question. What i don't care for is the unusual attention they're given on every rumor, email, etc. it's not balanced reporting, and i get it's click driven sales, but seriously, it gets annoying.

    • Decelerate
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t expect the CEO of a company that sells every product he makes, as in production chain limit, to declare “Oh, we’re making another product soon”. That’s not a way to announce a product. This is why I criticise Microsoft so much: “We have the new surface! No price, no availability date”, guess what that does to their tablet OEMs…

    Don’t forget that Apple denied working on a phone and a tablet previously.

      • shank15217
      • 7 years ago

      Its obvious microsoft doesn’t give a shit about their tablet oems, which is why great hardware from Intel and AMD are getting serious pressure from ARM. Their saving grace is x86 android. I would love to see a x86 android tablet, it would blow the doors off any ARM offering. I’ll take a hit in battery and slight hit in weight for that.

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 7 years ago

        Why would you want an x86 Android tablet?

          • TO11MTM
          • 7 years ago

          This is just me, but I’d want an X86 Tablet primarily so that I could run Linux on it…

          Yes, I’m aware that there are ARM Linux Distros. That doesn’t solve the problem of running x86 Apps under, say, WINE. That’s not to say you’d be able to buy one on day one to do so, I’m assuming they would still have to be jailbroken, and there would probably be other work (If I recall, some of the Atom variants for smartphones/etc. do not have PCI Bus,) so rewrites of certain bits may be required, but it would be a far easier undertaking than to make something like WINE run on ARM (At an acceptable performance level.)

          That, and I don’t care for Android as an OS, but that’s a whole nother matter…

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 7 years ago

            That makes sense – thanks!

    • Mourmain
    • 7 years ago

    I think the release of that email is intentional. An image had built up that the 7″ iPad was something Steve Jobs hated. Steve is a large part of Apple’s image, and if a new product were known to be without his blessing it would be received by the regular customers as a sign that Apple is already going against his “gospel”.

    Steve was known for complete opinion swings, so I’m not surprised they found something, anything, that makes it look like he might have supported the 7″ iPad. They had to.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      +1 Insightful

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    Let’s be honest here. The real reason Jobs was against a smaller iPad was because it would destroy the iPod Touch’s profitability. And if you can make $300 selling a 7-8″ 16 GB iPad or $400 selling a 3.5″ iPod Touch based on an iPhone from two years ago, which would you choose?

    You’d choose, if money is your aim, to keep popping out those iPod Touch’s. They’re cheap, easy, and still very profitable for what actually goes inside them. The screen size is antiquated, the flash doesn’t cost nearly as much as Apple would like you to think it does, and the hardware is ancient. But if there was an iPad Mini (or perhaps I should say “when”) you’d suddenly have a lot of users who wanted something smaller than 9.7″ going, “Hey, that’s small enough for me to take with me.”

    And the iPod Touch goes kablooey. If Apple is making an iPad Mini, it’s only because Amazon and Google have already affected their iPod Touch sales and so they might as well capitalize on the given market now. Jobs was nothing if not practical. Why do you think the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad all dumped any kind of memory card slot? Because Jobs rightly predicted people would pay hundreds of dollars for minor upgrades to the amount of flash since storage is king in an environment with limited storage options.

    He didn’t do that to help you.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      The iPhone 3Gs being “free” under contract affected the iPod touch far more than anything else. It’s getting to where I expect the iPod touch to be dropped shortly.

        • Decelerate
        • 7 years ago

        But the carriers pay Apple for the 3GS. It’s also a nice “sample” of the 4/4S, which is a [b<]lot[/b<] more profitable to Apple.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          No, when you get any phone on contract YOU pay for it in the form of carrier lock-in and higher monthly prices. Don’t ever think for a moment AT&T or Verizon is paying for your iPhone.

            • Decelerate
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t disagree with your statement: I didn’t say that the customer doesn’t pay for those devices. I simply said that [b<]the carriers pay Apple[/b<] for it (ie: Apple receives money for the product). That and the fact that "Ohh, I like the 3GS, I'll try the new(er) iPhone next time" is a lot more plausible than "Oh I like this iPod touch, I'll try the new(er) iPhone next time".

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            Just anecdotally speaking, I know a handful of folks who got iPhones after owning 2nd and 3rd gen iPod Touches. I do see what you’re saying in that people will try the “free” phone first and then climb the ladder next time, too.

            • Decelerate
            • 7 years ago

            Drug dealers have mastered the art for so long 🙂

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            lol nice

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            Mostly…kinda…sorta…

            The smartphone explosion has actually done a number on networks, and the iPhone has lost some money for those two here and there. That doesn’t mean that the user doesn’t pay for it (users pay for basically everything providers do). I think it probably means that it’s made providers work a lot harder than they ever wanted to stay profitable.

      • riviera74
      • 7 years ago

      Personally, I suspect that the iPod Touch is obsolete given the iPhone and the iPad. Especially if there is a 7″ iPad mini coming soon. The iTouch only existed for as long as it did because some people loved the iPhone but did not want to make calls or be under contract for two years. Once the iPad mini comes out, the iTouch will most likely be deprecated. The iPod Classic will be too. It’s just a matter of when, not if, they are deprecated.

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        Smartphones in general killed the iPod. The iPhone was a big player, but the advantage of it was having portable music, and since more portable devices with more function are out now, there is little reason to carry an MP3 player. The iPad made a big dent as well. It’s basically a portable computer, so it has all the MP3 functionality of an iPod and then some.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      Are there any sales numbers available on the touch line? From my friends in retail, almost no one buys them. Most people willing to dump that much money into a device will ’round up’ and get an iPhone which does all of that and works as a phone. Or, conversey, most people who would consider a touch are already iPhone owners, so why would they pay twice for something their phone can already do.

      I never really saw the appeal of the touch–and I’m a non-smart phone user. I should be the demographic they’re aiming at. Like you suggest, I’m looking at 7″ tablets.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    So when Apple has no 7″ in the works it’s a terrible idea, now that they do it’s not a bad idea after all?

    Marketing has got to be the easiest (and best paid) job in the world. /grumble

    Off to do real work for 1/10th their salary.

      • Silus
      • 7 years ago

      Marketing only works when there are plenty of idiots on the receiving end…and Apple fanatics fit that group very well!

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        Sometimes I wonder if apple haters are influenced by their own distortion field.. The hate is so deep and so irrational.. Are people really so upset that their supposedly superior Android toys don’t have the same effect on the opposite sex as the neighbor’s iToys?

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 7 years ago

        I wonder if the irony of writing multiple posts in a single thread slamming Apple ‘fanatics’ for what would objectively be considered normal behavior* will ever sink in….

        *(Most people who don’t tie their identity to the hatred of a company would consider heeding the opinion of the most successful CEO of his generation or buying the company’s well reviewed and sometimes pioneering products to be a pretty normal course of action)

        • Decelerate
        • 7 years ago

        Maybe Apple understands their fanatics more than the other companies understand theirs…

    • nico1982
    • 7 years ago

    I’m not sure it does matter anymore, but I wonder what they meant with ‘he [Steve] seemed very receptive’ back then, when Jobs was still alive. I would never have written ‘he [Steve] didn’t whined as usual the last time’ explicitly, that’s for sure.

    • tanker27
    • 7 years ago

    As an iPad and iPhone owner and user I dont see the allure of a 7″ iPad. Maybe if I didnt have one of the other ones. /shrug

    EDIT: On second thought, I can see where the 7″ could be really useful; for instance in the car. The iPad is too big to mount and the iPhone is too small to actually use, the 7″ could fill that gap.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      7″ tablets are just so comfortable to hold with one hand. To me, the Nexus 7 (or Kindle Fire or Nook Color or any other 7″) is the perfect size. They’re great for reading e-books and great for goofing around. And with a high-res screen the Nexus 7 is also a very good browsing platform, which up until recently is something that only “big” tablets could do well without zooming around.

      • tanker27
      • 7 years ago

      Really a minus for my comments? I wish we could see who does those thumbs ups and downs.

        • Philldoe
        • 7 years ago

        They probably gave you a thumbs down for owning an iDevice.

          • tanker27
          • 7 years ago

          You’re probably right. Bet meh. eff ’em its my money. They do what I want it to do and they do it well. But I am skeptical people hate Apple because its the cool thing to do, damn hipsters. /eyeroll

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            My guess is that you got downthumbed because you dismissed a form factor that Apple doesn’t offer, possibly partly [i<]because[/i<] Apple doesn't offer it. I personally don't have a 7" tablet, but I've used 10" tablets (including iPad) and I wish I had a 7" instead. IMO, that is the perfect size (assuming screen resolution is still high)

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            Well I’ll man up and say that I don’t know who all thumbed him down or how many he got, but he got one from me for precisely this reason.

            When a form factor (and price point!) work so incredibly well for a ton of people, it’s hard to ignore. The Nook Color and Kindle Fire (and their associated Cyanogenmod ports) go a long way towards illustrating that point.

            • tanker27
            • 7 years ago

            Thanks for manning up. 😀

            I can see the possibilities of a 7″ form factor, just look at my edit. I just stated that because I have the new iPad (3rd gen) and iPhone 4s I couldn’t see myself adding in a 7″ one. My wife has my original iPad and I could see her upgrading to a 7″ one though.

            Then again price point and the ability to jailbreak make it alluring to me as a gadget freak. 😛

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            That’s perfectly understandable.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            if you had a smartphone AND an ipad and said I NEED A 7 INCH IPAD, then you’d deserve the ridicule of your friends. the “it’s my money” argument is lame. you’d be a moron, baring some SERIOUSLY REALLY (likely nonexistant) reason for buying one. otherwise, you’d deserve the insults of your friends. your post was personal, and rational.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            In retrospect, maybe so, but at the time this morning I took it as “Apple already makes 3.5″ and 9.7″, why would anybody want anything in between”.

            Obviously it was my reading comprehension at fault, and not tanker, but hey, I’m flawed. :p

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            and i still love you.

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