... may be different from what would be more apparent in the long term strategy of Apple.
Remember when Intel was part of the Wintel enemy camp? That was true, until Apple decided to use intel chips. When Apple saw more appropriate technologies for its products, Apple did not think twice to use non-Intel chips.
Apple may just be doing it at its own pace, not simply because it is possible to create a device.
That may be the case with a 7-inch iPad. Now, if it is indeed the case that Apple will never ever enter the 7-inch tablet; then I would disagree with Steve Jobs.
Dedicated vs Multifunctional Use.
It is true that the multifunctional use of the iPhone and iPod Touch, and this year the iPad have made them more useful for the diverse uses of average consumers. Add the ecosystem developed and nurtured by Apple to support these devices, and it would explain why the iOS mobile comouting devices were such successes, even if many professional analysts and bloggers did not grasp the utility of the iOS devices to the average consumer.
However, consider this: The iPad does not have the full functionality of what many consider as essential for a computer. It is still selling like hotcakes, and even more so,
Now, let's cripple the iPad further, and remove its use for reading newspapers, websites and other large materials. What are left?
- internet Radio
- iBook reading (the iBook technology allows resize of the iBook to conform optimally in both portrait and landscape views Thus, likely to be adaptable to smaller (and larger) sizes iPads
- Tabloid style eNews reading
- Casual gaming device that is even more portable but with a larger viewing screen than the current iPad
Everything that you can do with the iPod touch but using a larger screen. More portable than the iPad. And, with the smaller screen size, all other things equal, it will be much lighter and more "sturdy" than the larger iPad.
There might be a logarithmic difference in price also because smaller screens, a significant cost in the iPad may be serveral fold cheaper.
All the above makes a 7-inch tablets, or whatever is optimal for a smaller tablet. become more affordable to the average consumer. The same reason why some people buy an iPod touch, and a non-smartphone, instead of the iPhone, Androids, etc.
Then, there are the non-consumer uses of tablets that are even more dedicated than the enumerations of features above, for the consumer iPad. Just like the OS software and components of the personal computers, the non-personal (not consumer use of the PC dwarf the number actually sold to consumers. I can think of their dedicated use in mail and parcel carriers, factorues, hospitals, offices, etc.
Maybe Apple have such more dedicated gadgets in mind already in development.. And, call them by other names, as opposed to the concept they built for the iPad.
If one followed the "All Things D" interview this year, Steve Jobs shared that Apple years befoire 2007, the tech team started by developing what was to become the iPad. Along the way, a spun off of their Research and Development was what became the iPhone, almost three years before the iPad.
Prior tablets did not sell well before the iPad; but now Apple has shown other companies that the iPad is indeed useful to consumers. Many cosumers (and companies) have now been indocrinated that the tablet, like the iPad. may have a niche purpose in their lives. There is less "familiarization" needed by the consumer to consider buying tablets, including smaller size tablets.