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Apple developed 7-inch iPad alongside current model - rumor

post #1 of 92
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Apple developed a smaller, 7-inch version of the iPad, but eventually only released a larger 9.7-inch model this year, according to a new rumor.

Citing anonymous sources, Jim Dalrymple of The Loop said this week that Apple has had a 7-inch iPad in its internal labs for some time. The hardware was allegedly developed alongside the original iPad, but Apple decided not to release the smaller model.

Recent rumors have suggested Apple is working on a 7-inch iPad, but Dalrymple suggested instead that Apple isn't "working" on one -- "it's already done," he said.

"Why did Apple choose to go with the larger model instead? Only Steve Jobs knows that for sure," he said. "Perhaps Apple didn't want comparisons to the iPhone or iPod touch. Even though those comparisons were made with the larger iPad, they would have been even more prevalent with a 7-inch model."

He also surmised that Apple "doesn't have to" release the 7-inch model, even as competitors like Samsung are betting on a 7-inch device as a potential market. Simply put, the strong initial success of the iPad means there's no need for Apple to rush out a new model.

"The iPad is one of the best selling devices in history," Dalrymple said. "Why would Apple need to release a smaller version to compete in a market it owns. It doesn't."

If recent reports are correct, Apple could be looking to release a 7-inch version of the iPad in 2011. Publications in the Far East have indicated that the device would be smaller and lighter than the current model, making it more appealing for e-reading.
post #2 of 92
I'd buy the 7" model. Sometimes two inches is a lot.
post #3 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple developed a smaller, 7-inch version of the iPad, but eventually only released a larger 9.7-inch model this year, according to a new rumor.

If true .... it would tell me two things. Apple determined the larger one was a better bet. Also should they ever need to release a 7" they have it ready to go. I only wonder what happens to apps, would they scale up or down or update SDK to create another set for the store.
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post #4 of 92
Please. The only people really interested in a 7" table are manufacturers who know they will get clobbered if the offer a 10" tablet matching the size of the iPad.

If they get any sales they can claim "see! People really did want a 7" tablet after all!"

While I could see Apple maybe offering one in a year or so, it's far too soon for something as incremental as a 7" tablet. Three years later, the only variation in iPhone models are last years models.

I wonder which manufacturer or stock shorter started this rumor to build up the "disappointment" when the the 7" form factor fails to materialize.
post #5 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

If true .... it would tell me two things. Apple determined the larger one was a better bet. Also should they ever need to release a 7" they have it ready to go. I only wonder what happens to apps, would they scale up or down or update SDK to create another set for the store.

That may be why they stuck with 9 inch, as not to create too many application versions. I am interested in the 7 inch to use on patient rounds using citrix receiver, can stick it in coat pocket and lighter to carry. iPhone/iPod touch too small to do meaningful things with it.
post #6 of 92
While I don't doubt they might have something "ready to go," I'm guessing that this might all just be about their product development methodology where they created a couple of different options and decided that the 10" version was a better way to go.

There may not really be any 7" version planned for production and sale at this point. That might have just been a development model.

Doesn't mean they can't or won't change their plans.

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post #7 of 92
Quote:
Citing anonymous sources, Jim Dalrymple of The Loop said this week that Apple has had a 7-inch iPad in its internal labs for some time.

Anonymous sources! Must be true then.
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post #8 of 92
Developed? No doubt.
Going to be sold? Unlikely.
post #9 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

I'd buy the 7" model. Sometimes two inches is a lot.


That what she said.

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post #10 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

If true .... it would tell me two things. Apple determined the larger one was a better bet. Also should they ever need to release a 7" they have it ready to go. I only wonder what happens to apps, would they scale up or down or update SDK to create another set for the store.

Theyd have to create a new UI and SDK to go along with new display I/O. This isnt like a desktop OS UI.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Please. The only people really interested in a 7" table are manufacturers who know they will get clobbered if the offer a 10" tablet matching the size of the iPad.

If they get any sales they can claim "see! People really did want a 7" tablet after all!"

While I could see Apple maybe offering one in a year or so, it's far too soon for something as incremental as a 7" tablet. Three years later, the only variation in iPhone models are last years models.

I wonder which manufacturer or stock shorter started this rumor to build up the "disappointment" when the the 7" form factor fails to materialize.

I dont see how this rumour cant be legit. I can other vendors figuring out the best size and aspect ratio display in the board room, but not Apple. This is something that is best done with mockups and actually holding the device to find the best feel and fit after you experience it in your hands.

People have said Apple only started working on a CDMA iPhone because of Android growth (of course ignoring the vendors who use it are doing so because they were facing profit challenges while Apple is taking ⅓ of all handset profits) but I dont see how Apple hasnt had a CDMA iPhone in the works since they started the project.
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post #11 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Why did Apple choose to go with the larger model instead? Only Steve Jobs knows that for sure," he said.

Probably because it's an ideal size? Big enough from the iPhone/iPod touch to be distinctive, but not so big as to be unwieldily?

I don't get the "demand" for a 7" tablet. Even at 7" its still too big to put in a pocket, and not that much smaller than a 10". I don't expect a 7" any time soon, if ever. If 7" tablets take off on other platforms, I could see Apple maybe doing it - but it offers another layer of complexity from hardware supply side management to software questions of handling another resolution that I don't see Apple in any hurry to address.
post #12 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

I'd buy the 7" model. Sometimes two inches is a lot.

It's actually 2.7", which is basically 3". If you cut out a 7" piece of paper it's WAY smaller than the iPad. I actually think the iPad is too big, but that 7" would be much too small.

The perfect size for me, and I think for most people is around 8.7" or so. Give us that with the same resolution as the 9.7" model and I'd buy it.
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post #13 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I dont see how this rumour cant be legit. I can other vendors figuring out the best size and aspect ratio display in the board room, but not Apple. This is something that is best done with mockups and actually holding the device to find the best feel and fit after you experience it in your hands.

Oh, I don't doubt there aren't dozens of different mockups - many of which are probably fully functional. In fact as thorough as Apple is, I would be shocked if it weren't so since as you point out, unless you have something to hold and really play with it's impossible to thoroughly test it out.

What I find ridiculous is the assertion that because they may or may not have a working prototype, and because competitors are release 7" tables, that Apple will therefore be releasing a 7" tablet.

Don't bank on it. Especially right now! They have the hottest product in consumer electronics history - there is no way they are going to complicate their ecosystem with a new model right now. None what so ever. As I said, we are three years later and the only variation in iPhone models are that they continue to sell the previous years models.
post #14 of 92
Besides, an 8.7" iPad at the same resolution as the current model would be lighter, which would be great. And the screen would still be BIG. Just shave off an inch and the iPad would be "perfect".
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post #15 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Probably because it's an ideal size? Big enough from the iPhone/iPod touch to be distinctive, but not so big as to be unwieldily?

I don't get the "demand" for a 7" tablet. Even at 7" its still too big to put in a pocket, and not that much smaller than a 10". I don't expect a 7" any time soon, if ever. If 7" tablets take off on other platforms, I could see Apple maybe doing it - but it offers another layer of complexity from hardware supply side management to software questions of handling another resolution that I don't see Apple in any hurry to address.

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

If true .... it would tell me two things. Apple determined the larger one was a better bet. Also should they ever need to release a 7" they have it ready to go. I only wonder what happens to apps, would they scale up or down or update SDK to create another set for the store.


The current resolution of the ipad isn't spectacular. It is completely possible that the 7" tablet can have the same resolution but just higher ppi. Even at that, I don't think it will make it a retina display.
post #16 of 92
The 9.7 inch iPad is just more uniquely "magical" because no one else can get the battery life of the iPad from a 10 inch tablet.

Apple develops a lot of things, but that does not mean they're gonna release them.

Time will tell.
post #17 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

If true .... it would tell me two things. Apple determined the larger one was a better bet. Also should they ever need to release a 7" they have it ready to go. I only wonder what happens to apps, would they scale up or down or update SDK to create another set for the store.

It also tells me that few companies are so thoroughly prepared when they bring a new product to market.
post #18 of 92
I think most current iPad usage is in the home. A 7" model would definitely put it on the road. Most commuters, male and female, are caring bags, briefcases or back packs of some sort. The large iPad doesn't fit very well, at least not for my toting gear. 7" will fit in almost any bag/purse.

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post #19 of 92
Those anonymous sources are always such a reliable source for news
post #20 of 92
The next iPad will not be a 7-inch. Instead it will be lighter compare to the original iPad. That way people can hold it with one hand for a while and not complain that it's to heavy. Oh yeah and some other hardware upgrades too
post #21 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Probably because it's an ideal size? Big enough from the iPhone/iPod touch to be distinctive, but not so big as to be unwieldily?

I don't get the "demand" for a 7" tablet. Even at 7" its still too big to put in a pocket, and not that much smaller than a 10". I don't expect a 7" any time soon, if ever. If 7" tablets take off on other platforms, I could see Apple maybe doing it - but it offers another layer of complexity from hardware supply side management to software questions of handling another resolution that I don't see Apple in any hurry to address.

If everybody else is doing a 7" device as their response to Apple, it seems to me that Apple has an advantage in that the extra screen real estate does have its advantages.

What Apple needs to do in response is keep the cost down and reduce weight. Really, wouldn't a lighter iPad get it done? I mean there isn't likely to be many pockets suited to a 7" design. No real market for it. If there is a need for a larger screen, it makes more sense to make a future version of the Touch somewhat larger and, as I noted already, reducing the weight of the iPad. There's no reason why the iPad has to be committed to a 9.7" screen, either. It could be a future version will sport a 9" screen or 8.6" screen, something along those lines. That would certainly be a way of reducing weight without making the more drastic move of reducing the screen down to the 7" range.

Apple has a hit in the iPad because it did something I never expected, namely bringing in a first-generation device with a starting price below $600 yet sporting a significantly sized screen.

Of course if market conditions require it, it's not cast in stone that a 7" model is not going to happen. But right now, it certainly doesn't appear to be necessary.

One has to think, though, that if the original iPad is such a polished product, Version 2 is going to be absolutely outstanding and perhaps even impossible for competitors to challenge. As long as Apple holds the line on price, the competition is SOL.
post #22 of 92
Even though I have little interest in the iPad, I'd be more tempted to by a 7" model because it would be lighter and easier to hold, but only if the resolution was at least 1024 x 768 like the current one.
post #23 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Theyd have to create a new UI and SDK to go along with new display I/O. This isnt like a desktop OS UI.

That's why I mentioned the SDK.
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post #24 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

The current resolution of the ipad isn't spectacular. It is completely possible that the 7" tablet can have the same resolution but just higher ppi. Even at that, I don't think it will make it a retina display.

Before one can say it will have a Retina Display they need to define what that means. Do they mean at least the minimum resolution for a person with 20/20 vision at x inches away, do they mean the 326ppi of the iPhone 4, or do they mean a doubling of the pixels (4x the total pixel count) jump like the 3GS to the iPhone 4?

If they mean the last one then the iPad will still not be a Retina Display unless you move the recommended or average viewing distance to about 16 inches* as 9.7 2048x1536 display has a 264ppi. Based on the iPads growth rate, the competitions efforts in this area lacking, LGs current issues with producing enough of the current panels, the cost on battery life to push 4x as many pixels for a 2048x1536 9.7 display, and Apples precedence of only upping the display panel resolution in a major way when its the 'right time', not because of a 'perceived threat, even after the current panel is woefully outdated for its class.

Now a 7 panel at 1024x768 would be 183ppi and quite nice. Still need a new UI and SDK. It seems too soon to differentiate the line just yet, however, the iPad is unique in many ways and there are reasons why theyd want to differentiate ASAP.


* Estimating as I dont care enough to do the math to get an exact distance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

That's why I mentioned the SDK.

Gotcha. I was agreeing with you and adding to your post. I should have been more clear.
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post #25 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

... Don't bank on it. Especially right now! They have the hottest product in consumer electronics history - there is no way they are going to complicate their ecosystem with a new model right now. None what so ever. As I said, we are three years later and the only variation in iPhone models are that they continue to sell the previous years models.

You talk in absolutes but don't offer any real evidence. Why not just state things as your opinion (which is all it really is) instead of making out like you know something when you probably don't.

Apple would release a 7" iPad (or iPhone), if there is a product niche for it. If it can be differentiated from both the current iPhone and iPad on features or utility, then they would obviously do it. What that differentiation might be is not known right now but just because you personally can't envision it, doesn't mean someone at Apple can't.

Given that we were *all* pretty much taken by completely by surprise (and by "all" I mean all of us here on the forum and all of the tech pundits out there writing blogs), by both the iPhone and the iPad, standing up today and saying (product x, y, or z) "won't happen evah!" is just foolish. Hubris is one thing but you're taking it much too far IMO.
post #26 of 92
Retina display is awesome, but I think it'll be a long time before it's on the iPad. The whole reason for retina display was higher res iPhone apps that scale well to the iPad. That way if iPad app adoption was slow, then the up-res'd iPhone apps would fill the void. My theory anyway. The devices help each other.
post #27 of 92
I know I'm a bit late to the game and even though I have iBooks on my iPhone 4, I only recently tried reading an ebook on it. Reason being I just assumed the screen was too small to be practical.

I was quite pleasantly surprised and actually enjoyed reading an eBook on the iPhone 4. The screen was crisp and the sepia option was very nice.

I could see doing this in a pinch on a plane or at a restaurant.

Having said that I could see myself with a current iPad model and a 7" too. Yes, there is overlap but if I'm going on vacation, I would carry the 7". if I was working I would carry the large iPad for minor updates to charts, and presentations.

Best

Chris
post #28 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Before one can say it will have a Retina Display they need to define what that means. Do they mean at least the minimum resolution for a person with 20/20 vision at x inches away, do they mean the 326ppi of the iPhone 4, or do they mean a doubling of the pixels (4x the total pixel count) jump like the 3GS to the iPhone 4?

If they mean the last one then the iPad will still not be a Retina Display unless you move the recommended or average viewing distance to about 16 inches* as 9.7 2048x1536 display has a 264ppi. Based on the iPads growth rate, the competitions efforts in this area lacking, LGs current issues with producing enough of the current panels, the cost on battery life to push 4x as many pixels for a 2048x1536 9.7 display, and Apples precedence of only upping the display panel resolution in a major way when its the 'right time', not because of a 'perceived threat, even after the current panel is woefully outdated for its class.

Now a 7 panel at 1024x768 would be 183ppi and quite nice. Still need a new UI and SDK. It seems too soon to differentiate the line just yet, however, the iPad is unique in many ways and there are reasons why theyd want to differentiate ASAP.


* Estimating as I dont care enough to do the math to get an exact distance.




Gotcha. I was agreeing with you and adding to your post. I should have been more clear.


It's not just a matter of producing the device itself. If you build a display with that resolution then the content has to be scaled accordingly. Do this and it becomes a ridiculous mess. Huge downloads eating up a lot of RAM. Major headaches all around.

On the other hand, something with a little more resolution would be viable. A retina display, though, on a 9.7" device is many years away. Not at all viable with today's technology.
post #29 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Probably because it's an ideal size? Big enough from the iPhone/iPod touch to be distinctive, but not so big as to be unwieldily?

This is an entirely odd statement and demonstrates a lack of understanding. A tablet by its very nature is distinctive with respect to IPhone because iPhone is a PHONE! It takes a pretty corrupt imagination to believe that people can't see the difference between a 5 or 7 inch tablet device and a cell phone.
Quote:

I don't get the "demand" for a 7" tablet. Even at 7" its still too big to put in a pocket, and not that much smaller than a 10".

I've repeatedly have suggested that people wander out of their cellars and hike over to the localelectronics shop and look at the variety of GPS unit available. Many of the under 7 inch models do fit into pockets. Beyound that you can get a feel for how such devices would function in real portable use.

The other option is to find a book store, if you know what a book is, and look at the variety of sizes available in such a store. Sometime the same book is available in different size from a compact paperback to a nicely bound hardcover. Why because people have different needs. One of those needs is portability.

Beyound that the aspect ratio is all wrong for smaller devices, a wider device would fit into far more pockets. IPad in its current configuration isn't bad but it is far from the perfect device some in these forums want to believe it is. That is due to the fact that one size seldom fits all. One of iPads biggest issues is its size, it simply isn't the portable device many need.
Quote:
I don't expect a 7" any time soon, if ever. If 7" tablets take off on other platforms, I could see Apple maybe doing it - but it offers another layer of complexity from hardware supply side management to software questions of handling another resolution that I don't see Apple in any hurry to address.

I will give you another thought. In order to sustain Apples very high stock price they have no choice but to add more products. That means devices outside of the categories they have now, but more importantly they will need to fill gaps in the product line ups. Gaps that are often due to demand from customers. Filling these holes is a no brainer, what is more interesting is to see where Apple goes outside of its current devices.

By the way when I say 7 inches in my posts, I'm talking about a device in the 5 to 7 inch range. The whole point in such a device is the ability to keep it on your person throughout the work day. That might mean a lab coat pocket or carried like a Day Timer in ones hand. I know a lot of people can't grasp the demand here because they are coming from a different perspective as the casual user. Rather differently this could be seen as a tool for the professional user.

In this regards a bigger iPhone might pick up some of that demand but there is no making up for screen real estate. IPad of course has plenty but it is also huge. About the only other possibility would be a folding screen device to fit in even smaller pockets.
post #30 of 92
Oops, wrong thread.
post #31 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

I'd buy the 7" model. Sometimes two inches is a lot.

As we see here, some people would like a 7" model. So the "Who" or "Why" questions are answered.

Personally, I can see this going either way. Waht we have here are competing "interests."

I can see the point of not wanting to cannibalize with a cheaper model, and also keeping the product line simple. These are two valuable goals.

On the other hand, The way to market dominance so to satisfy as many people in the market place as possible - within reason of course. Releasing a 7" model, probably not a whole lot cheaper, would answer one objection that many would have. Apple may not be willing to cede the 7" crowd to the competition the way it did the Verizon crowd up until now.
post #32 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

The 9.7 inch iPad is just more uniquely "magical" because no one else can get the battery life of the iPad from a 10 inch tablet.

The physical size of the battery of the iPad is quite big, I wonder what consumers would think if the 7 inch tablets had a shorter battery life than the iPad with the larger screen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I think most current iPad usage is in the home. A 7" model would definitely put it on the road. Most commuters, male and female, are caring bags, briefcases or back packs of some sort. The large iPad doesn't fit very well, at least not for my toting gear. 7" will fit in almost any bag/purse.

As a Newton Messagepad 2100, iPhone 3GS and iPad owner I think you're wrong on this.
The Newton 2100 has a 6.1 inch screen, its size meant it was too big to put into a pocket and was best carried in a bag or briefcase.
If you need such a bag then you may as well carry something with a decent screen size.
The iPad wins as it has a large screen yet is still light and smaller than a bunch of A4 papers, a perfect size for briefcases or document folios.

Speaking from my experience and observation of commuting in London, if you're carrying a bag for your documents, (rucksack, briefcase) then there's no problem with the iPad size.
I've already spotted people using their iPads on the London Underground.

One criticism made of the Newton devices was that they were too big to fit in a pocket like the competing Palm Pilot, yet too small to show a full page.

Apple learned its lesson by offering the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.

Other companies are free to repeat the Newton mistake with their 7 inch tablets.
post #33 of 92
There's probably no one perfect size for a tablet. I'd be happy to have the choice of 7", 9.7" and something even bigger. Perhaps 13" at the high end.
post #34 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Please. The only people really interested in a 7" table are manufacturers who know they will get clobbered if the offer a 10" tablet matching the size of the iPad.

:

I don't know about that...
We've had an iPad since day one and when I asked my wife what she'd think of a 7 inch purse-able, her eyes lit up.
Just saying'.
post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I don't know about that...
We've had an iPad since day one and when I asked my wife what she'd think of a 7 inch purse-able, her eyes lit up.
Just saying'.

Are you sure she was thinking what you were thinking?

Just saying’.
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post #36 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Please. The only people really interested in a 7" table are manufacturers who know they will get clobbered if the offer a 10" tablet matching the size of the iPad.

If they get any sales they can claim "see! People really did want a 7" tablet after all!"

While I could see Apple maybe offering one in a year or so, it's far too soon for something as incremental as a 7" tablet. Three years later, the only variation in iPhone models are last years models.

I wonder which manufacturer or stock shorter started this rumor to build up the "disappointment" when the the 7" form factor fails to materialize.

Don't be so pessimistic. \

I know I'm interested in a 7", and two other family members. The 10" feels like you are carrying a laptop screen around. For my daughter (make that three other family members) 7" would be perfect. She is only 4. As of now, she is using apps on my old 3G iPhone, but if a 7" version of the iPad were available, I'd own at least one--probably two.

Surely I'm not the only one interested?
post #37 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiA View Post


Other companies are free to repeat the Newton mistake with their 7 inch tablets.

Are you insinuating the Newton had the resolution and clarity of today's screens? Surely not.
If the ability to show a full page were the only criteria for a successful device the iPhone would have been a fail?
post #38 of 92
7 in is spot perfect for lab coats sized pockets
and millions of students

maybe a large touch and a small pad would collide

7in is perfect


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post #39 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I know I'm a bit late to the game and even though I have iBooks on my iPhone 4, I only recently tried reading an ebook on it. Reason being I just assumed the screen was too small to be practical.

I was quite pleasantly surprised and actually enjoyed reading an eBook on the iPhone 4. The screen was crisp and the sepia option was very nice.

I could see doing this in a pinch on a plane or at a restaurant.

I found the same thing myself. I was showing someone some of the reasons why I prefer the iPad over the iPhone 4. I thought a book would be too small to be readable in the iPhone. Surprisingly, I found it okay. There's not a lot of text on the screen, but it's a decent size to read.

However, the Zinio app is too much of a pain to use on the Iphone. Reading PDFs is also not that great. There's not enough screen space and there's too much scrolling to see the full page.

I would be interested in a 7inch version of the iPad.
post #40 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

I'd buy the 7" model. Sometimes two inches is a lot.

I'd buy a 7" too.

Some of the arguments about which size is best are plain silly. After all, we don't feel the need to argue about whether a 13.3" MacBook Air is a better size than a 17" MacBook Pro - we just accept that Apple makes different sizes to suit different users.

Two inches is indeed a lot. 2.7" to be precise - it amounts to a 92% increase in the most critical measurement - screen display area. The 'Competition' are essentially ducking out of competing with Apple head to head and for the moment are going for tablets which are half the size of the iPad. Apple needs to compete at this size and price point.

3.5" iPod Touch, 7" iPad, 10" iPad would be a very strong iOS line up.
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AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPad › Apple developed 7-inch iPad alongside current model - rumor