During Apple’s Q4 earning conference call yesterday, Steve Jobs firmly iterated the company’s position on 7 inch tablets. They are useless and you can be sure that Apple is not going to release one.
The Apple head honcho noted that the screen real estate available would not facilitate good user interaction and that 10 inches was the minimum screen size necessary for functional tablet computers.
This news is in direct contrast to the months of rumors that have been swirling round noting that Apple was getting ready to release a 7 inch edition of the iPad between Christmas and March 2011. Jobs essentially squashed that rumor with his thumb but his comments did inadvertently suggest that Apple did in fact engineer smaller tablets when doing their initial research for the first generation iPad.
However, reading further into Jobs’ comments, he didn’t rule out thinking about releasing a bigger iPad that the current 9.7 inch. But then, you are getting into the realms of effectively carrying around a flatscreen television with you. Without an ability to reduce the weight of the iPad, this would seem to be a no-starter.
For now, it seems Apple is focused on keeping the iPad the same size but making it much better.