An email from 2011 from Apple Executive Eddie Cue to Tim Cook, Scott Forstall and Phil Schiller was released as part of the evidence in the court case between Samsung and Apple.
The text of that email, as discussed over at CNET reads as follows: “Having used a Samsung Galaxy, I tend to agree with many of the comments below (except moving off the iPad). 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.”
The Apple email threads referenced an article by GigaOm’s Kevin C. Tofel which talks about the great usefulness of one of Samsung’s 7-inch Android tablets.
This is all despite Steve Jobs saying that 7-inch tablets were DOA or “Dead on Arrival”, although with the firm caveat that Jobs was only speaking, at the time, about the “current crop” on 7-inch tablets at the time, like the original Samsung Galaxy Tab at 7-inches.
In terms of 7-inch tablet experiences, many people have used one of Samsung’s or another brand of 7-inch tablet, along with the hugely successful Google/Asus Nexus 7 tablet, they just haven’t been able to get their hands on one by Apple - and clearly, given buzz around the iPad mini, people definitely would like to get their hands on one!
Indeed, having used Samsung’s original Galaxy Tab 7-inch, and its follow-up Galaxy Tab 7.0-plus, along with Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, I can happily attest to their usability and usefulness, and with each model getting a lot better than the previous one before it.
Indeed, Google’s Nexus 7 is running the latest 4.1.1 operating system that is giving iOS a run for its money, although Apple’s iOS 6 give it a run back.
So, despite Steve Jobs’ somewhat predictable disparaging of a competing product designed to take on the original iPad that wasn’t made by Apple itself, it seems ever more obvious that the iPad Mini is real, that it’ll be at least 7-inches if not the rumoured 7.85-inches to maintain the same aspect ratio.
Unfortunately, we’re still going to have to wait around 5 weeks to find out if that so-called obviousness ends up having been obvious after all – or whether Apple’ 7.x-inch tablet will remain hidden with the unicorns and snowmen Yeti to come out next year (or never!) instead.