Since its conception the iPad has been held to the strict design standard that Apple puts on all of its device. There is a market for the iPad as it is – 10 inches, thin, and recognizable – why make anything else? But what about the smaller, cheaper, tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire? Turns out Jobs was open to competing in that market too.
Today, a 2011 email conversation between Apple Vice President Eddie Cue and Tim Cook was revealed by Samsung as evidence in the Apple v Samsung patent trial. The email shows Eddie Cue urging Tim Cook to consider developing a 7-inch device to compete in the market. This same email later mentions that Cue mentioned the idea to Steve Jobs “several times since Thanksgiving” and that “he seemed very receptive to the idea this time.”
This information lines up well with rumors that a smaller and cheaper iPad Mini may be in development. Apple has no answer to $200 tablet’s like the Nexus 7 and without an answer they run the risk of losing market share to it’s biggest competitor; building a 7-inch tablet makes sense. Jobs’ interest in the idea may be just what Apple needs to give us something we really have to see. And touch.