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Apple's Jobs trashes Android tablets, rules out 7-inch iPad

updated 06:50 pm EDT, Mon October 18, 2010

Jobs says 7-inch tablet too small, Android poor

Apple chief Steve Jobs during a surprise appearance in the company's summer 2010 results call explained much of the company's strategy on tablets and dismissed seven-inch tablets, Android tablets as well as any prospect of a seven-inch iPad. He claimed that the size was too small to create viable tablet apps as it provided less than half the screen area of a 9.7-inch tablet like the iPad. Seven inches cuts down on the number of elements you can put on screen and would only work if you could make your own fingers smaller, Jobs said.

"It's meaningless [to go to seven inches] unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size," he said.

He saw efforts to shrink tablets down to pocket size, such as the five-inch Dell Streak and seven-inch Galaxy Tab, as being ineffective partly because many already have iPhones and iPods that fit better. About 10 inches was the "minimum" for a good tablet experience, the CEO explained. Many of these companies were going to produce tablets that were "dead on arrival" and would have to come back later with 10-inch models.

The smaller tablets don't have cost advantages even when they have reduced features, he added. Apple's integration meant it could keep the iPad's price down where others had to buy through middlemen that raised the costs.

Jobs took additional time to single out Android. There are "zero" apps that are tablet-optimized, he claimed. Flash, an advantage of Android, also wasn't a factor since much of Internet video was now HTML5. Android fragmentation would be an issue as well since developers would have to accommodate different sizes. When even Google was warning against Android 2.2 tablets, that didn't bode well for companies that were ignoring the advice and going ahead anyways, the Apple chief said.

At the same time, he touted Apple's own long-term prospects in the field. Just as Apple won in iPods through "relentless improvement," it could do the same in tablets. He pointed out that iPads were already outselling Macs after two quarters and that it was "not a question of if, but a question of when" tablets were going to bite deeply into the notebook market. Education, and surprisingly business, were seeing very quick uptake, while everyone was helped by familiarity with the iPhone and iPod to get used to the experience.

"The more time passes, the more I'm convinced we've got the tiger by the tail," he said.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. macmedia1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ???? sandpaper for fingers???

    Maybe we need baby fingers then to operate the iphone - 3.5" screen vs. 10" of the ipad.

    Stupid argument by Jobs.....

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No. The iPhone apps are

    iPhones. You can run iPhone apps on an iPad, but they are then obviously not optimized for the iPad's larger screen real estate. You might be able to run some iPad apps on an iPhone even, but you will have much less real estate to cram stuff into. The point is that the 7" iPad idea would not allow for the same "full application interface" experience that the current iPad provides and that if you shrunk everything to fit the 7", you'd need tiny fingers/a lot of zooming and pinching/magnifying glass to use it.
    Try running an iPhone app on the nano. I think you'll see the point (no pun intended).

    Maybe you have a better plan. So, go for it.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apparently, an iPhone isn't considered a

    tablet by Steve's definition. It's a smartphone and the size fits. iPad apps are designed for a 9.7 inch display and I guess he thinks a 7 inch screen is less than optimal size for standard iPad apps. IPad apps wouldn't fit too well on an iPhone, would they if they're not optimized also for the iPhone, would they?

    Whatever. Steve still shouldn't waste his time cutting down Android tablets. If they fail, they fail. I think there are some people who'd be happy with a 7 inch tablet. Maybe not a lot, but some. I also don't understand why companies are currently pursuing Android tablets when Google said that Android isn't optimized for tablets. That would seem to be rather risky offering an unfinished device to consumers. And it's odd why analysts would think they'd be so successful selling a less than optimal experience to consumers. I guess simple things like that don't really matter to analysts because they figure consumers are stupid and will be happy with anything.

    I thought smaller tablets would have some cost reduction owing to a smaller display size, but I guess not all that much of an advantage. I'm sure Apple is able to undercut most rival companies by having four iOS devices using nearly the same components. That sort of scale is huge. It could mean similar components for around 100 million devices a year.
    60 million iPhones, 30 million iPads, 10 million iPod Touches and 4 million Apple TVs as a conservative estimate. Apple is going to leave other computer vendors gasping for air.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    well, Children DO have small fingers

    but, I guess, tough luck for _them_!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. LeoNobilis

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Exactly, @MacMedia1

    I concur!

    Jobs is a manipulative little hypocrite!

    If Apple's next iPhone (the successor to the iPhone 4) doesn't turn out to have an at least 4.3" screen (and at the same time, boast a much, much improved battery life), I'll be done with the iPhone indefinitely!

    Well, I understand Apple's love affair with tiny 3.5" and smaller screens, but Apple ought to know that not all Apple fans are women and children and 70+ years old trendhunters who attach little significance to the screen size of their smartphone since they rarely browse the internet, send and receive email, compose documents, etc, etc..
    Additionally, the iPhone 3G (and 4) battery life is a bloody joke! Is that all you could do, Mr. Jobs?!.
    I won't proceed with my criticisms - I've got quite a few - they all pale next to these two.

    That's not good enough!

  1. dmsimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    10.4 by the tail

    "Lion by the legs," Steve...

    Comment buried. Show
  1. LeoNobilis

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's not a war waged between the iPhone and the iP

    Purchase of a 4.5" or 5" screen iPhone wouldn't necessitate, on the part of the majority of your customers, an abstention from purchase of a 9.7" iPad, if that's what Apple is afraid of! Most users wouldn't have to choose between these two! In other words, I don't think #Apple's #greed would ultimately suffer its decision to adapt the iPhone's screen size in accord with its functionality. There's still a great difference between a 5" smartphone and a 10" tablet, and those who prefer both the minuscule-screen iPhones (as they are and have been so far) and an iPad, would still go for both. I would! The danger for Apple here is rather "how many people are going to acquise in squandering money on a device, whose functionality is greatly - not just somewhat - but most obviously - limited by the size of its primary component (from the user's point of view), its screen size. The difference between 3.5 and 4.5 screens is not a trifle!

    May I also mention the iOS devices extremely limited memory AND storage?!.

  1. facebook_Jeff

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010


    Well, at least I can stop waiting for a 7" iPad…

    And decide if I want to go with a Galaxy Tab (which I've been reading good things about—must be a lot of tiny-fingered folks out there). The form factor of the Galaxy is exactly what I want…big enough for comfortable reading, but small enough for one-handed operation, would probably fit inside my inside jacket pocket. The reviews seem generally positive, and the next iteration of Android will make it even better.

    The fit and finish of the iPad are unbeatable, and I already have lots of iPhone apps that will run on it. But it's big. Every time I head out I'll have to consider whether it's worth carrying a messenger bag or having to hold it in my hand.

    Unless "A 7-inch iPad doesn't make sense" is like "no one wants to watch video on an iPod…"

    Comment buried. Show
  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh Steve,

    You sound desperate!

    HTC should patent the 4", 4.1", 4.2", 4.3" smartphone screens, Samsung with the 7" so they can sue Apple if they ever made an iPhone or iPad that size.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "Jobs says 7" is too small"

    And he's right. Have you seen that Samsung thing? Tiny. I can just use an iPod touch if I want tiny.

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