updated 11:12 am EDT, Sat August 4, 2012
Cue continually pressed Jobs on 7-inch model
An internal email released in the course of the Apple-Samsung patent trial revealed yesterday that executives at the iPad maker have been interested for some time in the possibility of a tablet device comparable in size to the Kindle Fire or Google's Nexus 7. As CNet details, the email demonstrates that Apple does keep an eye on products other companies are releasing, even if those products are in a sector that doesn't compete directly with Apple's products. While no details on a possible device were revealed, the email shows that not all Apple executives were dismissive of the 7-inch form factor.
The email in question is from Eddy Cue, head of Apple's Internet software and services, to Tim Cook, Scot Forstall, and Phil Schiller. In it, Cue says that he has used a 7-inch Galaxy Tab and that he found the email, book, social, and video experience on the device to be compelling. Browsing the web, Cue says, is the weakest point of the 7-inch form factor, but that was not a major detractor.
Cue also says in the email that he believes "there will be a 7" market and [Apple] should do one."
The email demonstrates at least one point that Samsung has been pressing in its trial: that Apple does indeed take cues from its competitors at times. Perhaps more immediately important outside of the case, however, is the fact that a smaller form factor iPad has support within Apple's ranks. Such a device has been rumored for the past two years, but the success of last year's Kindle Fire and this year's Nexus 7 have reignited talk of a comparable offering from Apple in the offing.