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Apple discussed a 7 inch iPad among top executives, including Steve Jobs, as early as 2010


The iPad [2] has been a huge success since it was introduced in 2010. In an attempt to carve out a similar but non-competing market, other manufacturers starting creating 7 inch tabs (primarily Samsung, [3] who can be credited with creating this niche, with Amazon [4] and Google [5] following suit later). Apple has yet to dive into this 7 inch tablet market although rumor has it a 7 inch iPad Mini [6] may be released later this year. As it turns out, Apple was internally discussing a 7 inch iPad as early as 2010 with a top executive strongly lobbying for it.

The following is an e-mail sent by Eddy Cue in January 2011, the head of Apple’s Internet software and services division:


As you can see, Cue e-mailed Tim Cook, Scott Forstall, and Phil Schiller (all top Apple executives; Tim Cook wasn’t CEO at the time) and extended his support for a 7 inch tablet. Not only that but Cue also forwarded a GigaOm article [8] to the trio which talks about why a 7 inch tablet is better than the iPad and informed them Steve Jobs seamed “receptive” to the idea of a smaller iPad. Of course Cue’s claim that Jobs may have supported the idea is in stark contrast to Jobs’ public outbursts against less-than-10-inch tablets but Steve Jobs was known to often flip-flop on ideas or purposefully mislead his competitors. (Note: The subject of Cue’s e-mail is “Why I Just Dumped the iPad (Hint: Size Matters)”. The subject is referring to the title of the GigaOm article; it is not saying Cue himself dumped the iPad.)

Perhaps the most interesting parts of the e-mail are

If rumors are correct, Cue may finally get his wish with the release of an iPad Mini [6] later this year. If rumors aren’t correct… well, then iPad will likely continue the 10 inch tablet market while competitors will be left to fight over the 7 inch market. So… who’s ready for an iPad Mini [6]? Let us know in the comments [10] below!

[via CNET [11]]