Chief Executive of Apple Condemns 7" Tablets: They Are Dead on Arrival

Tablets with 7" Screens Will Be Expensive and Useless - Steve Jobs

by Anton Shilov
10/19/2010 | 06:23 PM

Steve Jobs, chief executive officer of Apple, said during the company's most recent conference call with the financial analysts that tablets with 7" that are currently in development by various manufacturers would not be able to compete against Apple iPad, would be more expensive and practically useless. In addition, such devices would also slowdown development of applications for tablets.


"It appears to be just a handful of credible entrants [onto the tablet market], not exactly an avalanche. Second, almost all of them use 7" screens as compared to iPad's near 9" screen. [...] The screen measurements are diagonal, so that a seven-inch screen is only 45% as large as iPad's 10" screen. [...] This size is not sufficient to create great tablet apps in our opinion," the head of Apple told financial analysts.

Apple iPad is not an ideal device by itself, but thanks to the lack of competition and choice on the market, it appears to be pretty popular among consumers. For example, the iPad lacks support for Adobe flash, does not have a webcam, does not support multi-tasking or voice calls via GSM/3G networks. The device also does not feature USB support or an SD card reader. Among other disadvantages, the slate has 1024x768 screen, hence, does not support high-definition video in any form. But apparently Mr. Jobs does not believe in high-def on the go.

"One could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference. It is meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size. [...] There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10" screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps," explained Steve Jobs.

Given the fact that slates are currently supplementary devices, it is hard to tell which form-factor or size will be the ideal. For example,  millions of people use Amazon Kindle with 7" screens to read books, browse the Internet or listen to music. The same people could use 7" tablets to enjoy something else more comfortably than on a smartphone.

"Our potential competitors are having a tough time coming close to iPad's pricing, even with their far smaller, far less expensive screens. The iPad incorporates everything we have learnt about building high value products from iPhones, iPods and Macs. We create our own A4 chip, our own software, our own battery chemistry, our own enclosure, our own everything. And this results in an incredible product at a great price. The proof of this will be in the pricing of our competitor's products which will likely offer less for more," stressed the head of the company known for overpriced products.

So far no companies have revealed specifications of Google Android-based tablets, but RIM's Blackberry Playbook actually does offer more than the iPad, at least in terms of technology. Unfortunately, its price is unknown at the moment. What is known well is that companies like Acer, Dell, HP and others are working on many slate-type products with different sizes and specs, which will guarantee high availability, affordability and quality.

"The current crop of se7" tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival. Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the 7" bandwagon with an orphan product," concluded Steve Jobs.