Originally Posted by DaveyJJ
I'll ask the obvious question for anyone not familiar with Clayton Christensen's book, The Innovator's Solution ... What job does a 7" tablet form factor do?
Or, what role would that size play?
See this is your first problem, you are think too hard.
The iPad's 1024x768 role is obvious ... people "hire" an iPad to do the jobs they'd rather not do on a laptop ... causal games, casual content creation, consume video, tweet, blog, email, balance their chequebook, etc. The screen real estate, battery life, form factor etc all make this possible.
All of those are possible on an iPhone or a laptop so what is your point. I'm responding to you right now on an iPhone, that doesn't mean it is ideal nor that I "hired" it to respond to you. Rather it is the most convient device I have at the moment.
An iPod touch or iPhone can't do some of these things as efficiently, that is, low enough cost of entry barrier to make me hire it do to those tasks.
Cost of entry has nothing to do with it.
Shooting out a decent sized blog post on the iPod touch is posible, but painful. Ditto web surfing. And I'd far rather read my newsgroups on an iPad, rather than the (comparatively) tiny screen of a touch or iPhone.
Admittedly iPhones screen is a little tough on some sights. However on the vast majority of the sights out there you don't need a 4:3 screen. If anything text comes in columns best read with a wides screen device in vertical mode. Think about how text is delivered on newspapers and magazines. Or take a look at the TEXT on a sheet of letter paper.
The fact is a 7" wide screen tablet would deliver a better reading experience in vertical mode than the current iPad.
I'm not convinced the 7" form factor brings any efficiency to these sorts of jobs that the iPad perfectly fulfils.
This one sentence is what set me off as it highlights a common issue, iPad is not perfect. It isn't even close. When you use a word like perfect and apply it to something like the entire iPad then people will rightfully dismiss you as a crack pot.
A 7" inch device can't be perfect either, it is however a smarter choice for many people simply due to portability. In many ways my iPhone is a compromise too, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been one of my best investments. A seven incher can be seen in the same light, a compromise that will work really well for many users.
The screen real estate and keyboard issues alone may make it a bit better than a touch-sized device, but I'm not sure enough that most won't go for the existing iPad factor instead.
Apple only has to sell enough to make a profit. Well that and attract enough developers to leverage the platform. In any event I think you mis a couple of real issues here as iPad isn't portable, at least not in the sense that it can be dropped into a pocket.
That's my 20 years of design and marketing input, anyway, worth about $0.02.
If you really have 20 years of marketing under the belt you would realize that there is a wide variety of needs out there. Using your logic, expressed above, Apple would never of had innovated the iPod line up. After all if somebody at Apple didn't think there was a market for different sized iPods we wouldn't have the current lineup.
Frankly I don't get this liberal attitude of one size fits all. It can be likened to the environmentalist and their insistance that everybody should drive an ultra compact car. That of course doesn't work because different people have different needs. If you are 6'-6" tall such vehicles may be impossible or you may have other needs. The market can decide which is profitable.
Right now the market is voteing Apple's iPad for a multitude of reasons. We have remember though that there is one big fact here, it is the only viable device available.