When is a 7-inch iPad mini NOT a 7-inch iPad?

| Editorial

During Apple’s Q4 Earnings Report, Tim Cook reiterated that Apple would never make a 7-inch iPad, thus fulfilling the prophesy of Steve Jobs. But wait. Didn’t Apple just announce a 7-inch iPad? Not according to Tim Cook.

Say what?

As Tim Cook described it to Kulbinder Garcha of Credit Suisse, when Steve Jobs said that Apple would never make a 7-inch iPad, what he meant was one of those small 7-inch tablets with an unusable display. And so Mr. Cook reiterated, to our amazement, “We’ll never make a 7-inch tablet.”


The iPad mini is different, Mr. Cook went on to explain. It has a larger physical display area (by 35 percent) than the other small 16:9 aspect tablets. Presumably a larger display makes it more pleasing and easier to see content. Also, Mr. Cook explained that the iPad mini has a standard 1024 x 768 resolution display, like the iPad and iPad 2. And so it can run all the 275,000 iPad native apps.

And of course, a larger display (7.9 inches) with a 1024 x 768 resolution would appear to solve the problem of fumble fingering a small 7-inch device ... as Mr. Jobs described it.

So all is well in Apple Land. The company has remained true to the vision of Mr. Jobs by affirming that it would never build that darned contraption that Steve Jobs said Apple would never build.

And thus we have, behold, the 7.9 inch iPad mini. Prophesy has been fulfilled, all is right, Apple can move forward, and Mr. Jobs can now rest in peace.



YES, that was a particularly weasely exchange.
I’d have much rather they come out and say “When Steve said that it was true. Time change. Technology changes. And now we are able to put out a 7” tablet that meats Apple standards.”
Remember even Henry Ford said he’d only paint cars black.


...that meats Apple…

Bloody auto correct. Should be meets


Wow, it’s so simple to me.  7.9 inches rounds to 8 inches in my book, so it’s the 8-inch iPad.  Duh.  Case closed.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

It’s starting to sound like it was more important to them to be consistent than to ship a great product. And it’s funny, because on phones, they figured out that 16:9 (or 16:10) is really important for gaming and video.

I can’t wait to see what Google does with this next week. I kinda hope nothing, as it would say they don’t think the iPad mini is a serious contender in this space. Apple will still sell all the minis they can make for the next month or so, but December will be the month when this space really heats up.


I agree with Thanson. It is a lot closer to eight inches then seven. Generally, when rounding people round to the closest whole number. So, if anything, it is an eight inch tablet.

I agree with Bosco that December will be an important month, but parents will be buying stuff for their kids. Kids like Apple products. I expect the iPad Mini to be a big hit under the tree.


Obviously!  It’s 7.9”  That’s an extra nine-tenths of an inch!

Of course, everything displayed on the iPad mini will be about 20% smaller than it was on the original iPad, so you’ll still need to sandpaper those fingers.  But that’s okay because you can pick up iSandpaper at your nearest Apple Store for only $29.95 per sheet!


Obviously iPad Mini is 8” tablet why many stupid people still call it is 7” tablet? Do they know math? Steve Jobs said 7” is terrible not said 7.9” = 8”. Why people so stupid.


8 inches is closer to 7 in. than it is to 10 inches (the size of the actual iPad). Seriously. Lets be real.

Steve Jobs meant the same thing when he mentioned 7 inch tablets as this thing - because this thing is basically the same thing. This is why he didnt “build” a 8 inch iPad in the first place. He released a 10 inch iPad. Not an 8.

If you notice, everything points that you can not type productively on this thing. Whereas the full iPad still has a near full size keyboard, which may not be PERFECT, but you can still touch type and be productive on. This is the same as a 7” would function towards most user input - a key idea for Jobs.

Apple is merely making this just to continue dominating a market, by competing/stunting the bunch of tablets being released and the smaller-sized, low-price segment; It is a cheaper device designed as an entry point to get people into their line and keep guys like Amazon from takin market share. And really, without Jobs around to continue his one of a kind talent of innovating and thinking forward - doing stuff like this is probably important for business when lacking a wealth of the aforementioned.

I love the iPad and it has become the center of my tech life, replacing nearly everything. I have little interest in this device. The real iPad is “mini” enough. To me, this is very “consumer”, or toy, driven. And while people say it far too often i firmly believe if Jobs were still alive, this wouldnt happen - at least not at this point in time. And i think this may be the point the author was trying to sarcastically make.


truth, maybe you and I can’t type very well on an iPad mini. So what? If we really need to able to type well on an iPad, then we can get a full-sized iPad. I bet that most K-8 kids will have little problem typing on it.  Who do you think is the primary target market for the iPad mini?


Well I don’t think that k-8 is the primary target for the iPad mini. How many k-8 establishments can afford an iPad mini en-masse? I think it’s a mainly media driven device like the kindle fire, which was always a huge misnomer about the real iPad.

You may be right about younger, smaller kids actually being suited to type on the small form factor at first though, up to a certain age. Even then i would still rather have most grades on a full size iPad, since I doubt kids could get much older before they begin outgrowing the small form factor (for typing) - so it guarantees they can still learn to touch type with it, still an essential skill, and more resembles real keyboards. Anyone young enough to feel comfortable on a mini is probably too young for a typing class. If apple really was interested in k-8 edu they would have just kept makin a version of iPad1, which I think is far better to have in nearly any grade than a mini. I think its just a device to compete in the market.

I typed this entire post on an iPad.


If this piece appeared elsewhere I probably would think the writer was a troll.

The iPad Mini has an 8-inch 4:3 screen and solidly crafted aluminum body much slimmer and lighter than “competing” 7” tablets. The Mini screen is more than 30% larger than the 7” 16:9 tablets. These factors make the Mini a substantially different device from the tablets Jobs dissed. Not to mention the fact that it runs as a tablet and not an enlarged cellphone.

I typed this entire post on an iPad but with difficulty. First, the site crashed Safari repeatedly when I attempted to log in at the top of the page, forcing me to go to Forums to get logged in. Then, when I started typing my comment the first couple of lines appeared behind the Mac Observer logo and blue bar above the comments area. I ended up writing this in Notes and pasting it into the Observer.

It is pretty sad when an Apple oriented site does not work properly when displayed on a fully updated new iPad generation 3.


truth: By K-8, I meant kids in those grade levels, not so much the actual schools. Also, while most schools can’t afford to buy their students any kind of tablets, many do have computers that, even if older, are plenty capable of running typing training software. Kids should definitely learn to type on a real keyboard, not on any tablet, small or large.

Peter: When the iPad is held in portrait mode, the keys on the keyboard shrink considerably from their size when the iPad is held in landscape mode. They’re probably about the size of the icons on the iPad mini, and I have no problem tap-typing with the keys at that size, even with my large hands. So, doubt many people will feel that their fingertips are too large to work with the icons on the mini. People seem to do pretty well with the iPhone, and the icons are at least as small with that.

craigf: You’ve made the points I wanted to make. Thanks!


truth : 8” is close to 7”? Do you know more 1” has big different. Do you know Math?


Steve was the master of hyperbole. In Steve speak, ‘never’ always depended on time and situation and ‘never’ is one of those authority words he liked to toss around.

This is such a non issue. When the time is right, Apple will turn on a dime. The time is come and the iPm is what it is: in a class by itself. Such a lonely place is the top of the mountain.

Tim’s error is the lack of confidence one suffers when stepping into the shoes of a superior being. He needs a lesson in hyperbole.

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