Despite Steve Jobs famous utterance that tablets with screen sizes smaller than 10-inches would be D.O.A., other Apple executives became interested in smaller form factors soon after the introduction of the first Samsung Galaxy Tab, a 7-inch Android tablet introduced in late 2010.
The information came out on Friday during Samsung’s cross-examination of Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS Software. Samsung introduced an email from Apple executive Eddie Cue to current Apple CEO Tim Cook and others, including Forstall. The email, sent in January 2011, recommended that the company build its own 7-inch tablet.
At the time, Cook was COO, and the late Steve Jobs was still CEO.
Cue wrote, “I believe there will be a 7-inch market and we should do one.” Referencing an article written by a reporter who had switched from the 9.7-inch iPad to a 7-inch Galaxy Tab, Cue continued: “I tend to agree with many of the comments below.”
Apple’s interest in smaller tablets is expected to come to fruition this fall. Apple is widely believed to be planning to introduce a 7.85-inch iPad mini tablet alongside the iPhone 5, this fall. The tablet will sport a non-retina display, and be priced slightly above the price of the current Android price leaders (at least in terms of what are considered well-built, well-received devices), the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7.
Not only did former Apple CEO Steve Jobs say such smaller tablets were D.O.A., he added that such tablets would only be practical if they came with sandpaper to reduce the size of people’s fingers.
What was noted by some cynics, though, was that even the iPad fell short of Jobs’ statement, being only 9.7-inches in size, rather than 10-inches.