It’s been two years since the late Steve Jobs said Apple would never release a 7 inch iPad. This week the company introduced a 7.9 inch iPad mini instead. But new CEO Tim Cook says he agrees with Steve Jobs: There will never been a 7 inch iPad.
During today’s earnings call, Cook said the new iPad mini isn’t the same kind of compromised product he believes a 7 inch tablet would represent.
That’s because the iPad mini has a screen that’s about 35 percent larger than that on the Google Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire, or other 7 inch tablets — even though it doesn’t actually have more pixels.
The iPad mini has 1024 x 768 pixels, which gives it the same resolution as the original iPad and the iPad 2. That’s good news if you want to ensure that the 275 thousand apps designed for iPads can run on the new tablet. But it seems a bit silly to claim that the larger screen makes the tablet significantly easier to use or better looking when Google’s tablet has a higher resolution 1280 x 800 pixel display and Barnes & Noble’s upcoming NOOK HD has an even higher resolution 7 inch, 1440 x 900 pixel display.
Oh yeah, both of those tablets also sell for $199, while the iPad mini is $329. Maybe that’s why Apple has no plans to make a 7 inch tablet. The company doesn’t want to compete on price, so why compete on size?