) co-founder Steve Jobs did not hide his disgust for smaller
tablets. Roughly a year before his passing, he told the world
exactly what he thought of the seven-inch devices, which he
believed would be "dead on arrival."
has archived the entire rant. Here is one of Jobs'
lesser-repeated comments regarding the seven-inch format:
"While one could increase the resolution of the display to
make up 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 their present size."
Surprisingly, Apple CEO Tim Cook made no mention of sandpaper
when the iPad Mini was introduced last October. The company did,
make several comparisons
to a leading Android tablet.
Clearly Jobs was exaggerating when he made the "sandpaper"
remark. Nonetheless, he was wrong. He was also wrong in assuming
that Apple would never release a small tablet.
From a business perspective, Jobs had every reason to deny the
existence of the iPad Mini. His company had invested heavily in
building a full-size tablet. If Apple had backed away from that
investment to follow the seven-inch trend two years ago, the iPad
project would have looked like a failure. Apple may also have
hurt sales of the first-, second- and third-generation iPads,
which collectively sold
100 million units
Thus, Jobs made the right marketing decision. From a business
standpoint, however, he was way off.
Jobs confidently told reporters that the reason "we wouldn't
make a seven-inch tablet isn't because we don't want to hit a
price point, it's because we don't think you can make a great
tablet with a seven-inch screen."
"We think it's too small to express the software that people
want to put on these things. And we think, as a software-driven
company, we think about the software strategies first," he added.
"And we know that software developers aren't going to deal real
well with all these different sized products, when they have to
re-do their software every time a screen size changes, and
they're not going to deal well with products where they can't put
enough elements on the screen to build the kind of apps they want
Cook's Apple did not think about these things when it decided
to lengthen the screen of the iPhone 5, which uses black bars to
fill in the blank space of apps that are not optimized for the
device. Cook did, however, recognize that Apple needed to offer
different screen sizes for all of its products if it wanted to
stay competitive -- hence the release of the iPhone 5 and the
Now that the iPad Mini is expected to
sell more units
than the fourth-generation model, it is easy to see why Jobs was
wrong about his original assessment of the iPad.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
Gain access to more investing ideas, tools & education.
Get Started on Marketfy, the first ever curated
& verified Marketplace for everything trading.