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Apple viewed as unlikely to launch 7-inch iPad in 2012

post #1 of 91
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Though Apple is believed to have built prototypes for a 7-inch iPad, and rumors of such a device launching persist, one Wall Street watcher doesn't believe Apple will release a 7-inch tablet in 2012.

Analyst Brian Blair with Wedge Partners said in a note to investors this week that he doesn't think Apple will release anything with a 7-inch screen size in 2012, whether it's an "iPad mini" or a jumbo iPod touch.

"Jobs was emphatic in his view that 7-inch tablets were dead on arrival," Blair wrote, "and we believe it would be unlikely to see the company test the waters in this category anytime soon."

Instead of a new screen size, Blair thinks it's more likely that Apple will keep its current iPad 2 on the production line after the launch of a third-generation iPad. This would allow Apple to reach a lower price point and address demand at the mid-tier range.

"We believe iPad 2's price drop could drop to the $349 to $399 range with Apple offering a single 16GB model," he said.

As for the third-generation iPad, Blair expects that to arrive in the late March or early April timeframe. He sees key features being a retina display, 4G compatibility and Siri functionality, along with higher-resolution cameras in a 1-megapixel front-facing camera and a 3-to-5-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Blair's prediction that Apple will expand the iPad lineup was shared earlier this week by another analyst. Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray said Apple could increase its sales if the company were to offer the iPad at both higher and lower price points.

And last month, still another analyst predicted that Apple will sell a third-generation iPad with a high-resolution Retina Display in addition to a faster "iPad 2S." Ben A. Reitzes said he believes Apple's "iPad 2S" could have the same screen resolution as the current iPad 2, but sport a faster processor and Siri integration. He also suggested Apple will continue to sell the current iPad 2 at a lower price, much like the company already does with the iPhone 3GS.



As for the rumors of a 7-inch iPad, they have persisted for years, and a new claim surfaced as recently as last week. A story from the Far East said that Apple is "likely" to launch a smaller iPad several months after the next-generation iPad, at some point in 2012, in order to fend off increasing competition from Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet.

Jobs slammed 7-inch tablets that compete with Apple's iPad in a surprise appearance on his company's quarterly earnings conference call in October of 2010. Jobs said Apple would not make a 7-inch tablet because the company did not feel the need to hit a lower price point, and he felt the smaller screen size was "too small to express the software."

He even quipped that the manufacturers of 7-inch tablets would need to ship sandpaper with their hardware, so users could file down their fingers to the point where they could hit smaller targets on the screen.

"We know developers aren't going to deal well with these different sizes and they have to change their software every time the screen size changes," the late Apple co-founder said. "When we make decisions on 7-inch tablets it's not about cost, it's about the value of the product when you factor in the software."
post #2 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Analyst Brian Blair with Wedge Partners said in a note to investors this week that he doesn't think Apple will release anything with a 7-inch screen size in 2012, whether it's an "iPad mini" or a jumbo iPod touch.

Hmmmm... all this does is increase the likelihood of a 7 inch device appearing from Apple...
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post #3 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Hmmmm... all this does is increase the likelihood of a 7 inch device appearing from Apple...

I doubt they will. I just don't see it doing anything but cannibalizing the regular iPad sales. Apple would need a strategic reason for going down that path, and I just don't see one other than cost to the consumer.
post #4 of 91
The 7" inch screen if for an infotainment system Apple is making for the VW Group. It will debut in the 2013 Audi A3. It will include Siri, Apple Maps and Directed Audio for private calls. Audi has been chompin at the bit for years to have a partnership with Apple. Another industry changer.
post #5 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post

I doubt they will. I just don't see it doing anything but cannibalizing the regular iPad sales. Apple would need a strategic reason for going down that path, and I just don't see one other than cost to the consumer.

Agreed. And they can achieve that reason with the idea that the analyst suggested. Following in the footsteps of the iPhone by retaining the lowest model of the current line at a reduced price.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #6 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post

I doubt they will. I just don't see it doing anything but cannibalizing the regular iPad sales. Apple would need a strategic reason for going down that path, and I just don't see one other than cost to the consumer.

The game is this...

For every analyst that says that a 7 inch device will be released you put a "1" in the negative column (will not be released).

For every analyst that says that a 7 inch device will not be released you put a "1" in the positive column (will be released).

If it's either Munster, Huberty or Wu you have to add "2" to whichever column.
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post #7 of 91
My personal opinion is that Steve Jobs was right all along. The seven inch tablet is too small and not much better for viewing than a standard smartphone. One of the consumer coimplaints about the Kindle Fire is that the screen is too small. Seven inch tablets have not sold all that well either as Dell has dropped the Streak recently.

I personally don't see Apple coming out with a seven inch iPad anytime soon. I know I wouldn't buy one no matter what the cost was. But Tim Cook might see things differently and he's running the show now.
post #8 of 91
The headline should read:

Apple viewed as unlikely to launch 7-inch iPad in 2012 by one Wall Street watcher

Kind of puts the 'rumour' in perspective
post #9 of 91
Sounds like some pretty cool stuff. I hope its true. It would be nice if Apple did iPad's like they do iPhones, with different models and price points.
post #10 of 91
No~. Re~ally.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #11 of 91
When did an "Apple watcher on Wall Street" become a "Wall Street watcher"?
post #12 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by HyteProsector View Post

The 7" inch screen if for an infotainment system Apple is making for the VW Group. It will debut in the 2013 Audi A3. It will include Siri, Apple Maps and Directed Audio for private calls. Audi has been chompin at the bit for years to have a partnership with Apple. Another industry changer.

Given that this is a rumor site, I'll go along.

I think something like this - don't know if it's Audi, BMW or both - is most certainly on the cards, and will be massive. Do tell us more if you know more.

The living room, followed by the car!

Hang on to your AAPL.....
post #13 of 91
no real need for it. I think the current size is pretty close to ideal, though making it a bit wider would make for a better movie watching experience. The only reason to release a smaller version would be to compete on price with Amazon, say 7 inch for 349 but that is not something apple would or should do.

I say spend some energy on a matte ipad, that would boost sales for sure.
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post #14 of 91
I want a 7.85" iPad. I want it, I want it, I want it. Kindle Fire sucks, but it's the perfect size for moi. I would not line up to buy iPad Mini, but as soon as the heaving throng of rabid morons - which would include many proclaimers that a 7" model would never happen - dissipated, I would waltz into an Apple Store - and I mean that, I would put Strauss on my iPod and waltz in - and snap one up.
post #15 of 91
The 8" (7.85") mockups that MR had created look like a usable size but I see nothing but trouble from that size when you have a 10". Note that Apple still only a 3.5" smartphone after 5 generations despite the apparent winning from Android with larger displays.

PS: Speaking of Android, this is just pathetic: http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/23/2...and-galaxy-tab

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post #16 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... still another analyst predicted that Apple will sell a third-generation iPad with a high-resolution Retina Display in addition to a faster "iPad 2S." Ben A. Reitzes said he believes Apple's "iPad 2S" could have the same screen resolution as the current iPad 2, but sport a faster processor and Siri integration. ...

This (iPad 2s), is the dumbest idea I've heard all week.

As for the 7" iPad, I don't see Apple doing it unless it's a special use device. A 7" iPad with stylus integration for use as a sort of digital steno pad might sell, but then why wouldn't they just add the stylus integration to the baseline iPad? It's really hard to see any good reason for a smaller iPad other than price and Apple doesn't design it's gear around the sale price and never has.

Possibly the faltering sales of the iPod touch might encourage them to make a slightly bigger gaming focussed touch but if that's the case then 7" is too big. Something more like the 5" Dell streak would be the upper limit there IMO. But then you have to consider that the Dell streak was a dud and didn't sell at all.
post #17 of 91
1. So Apple did months of internal testing of all different sizes of iPad and they came up with 9" being the perfect size.
2. When they released the iPad competitors start blathering about 7" tablets that will rule them all and they say that in internal testing 7" tablets were too small and they think they're basically dead on arrival.
3. 7" tablets finally come out, but nobody buys them.
4. Everything Apple thought was true, turned out to be true.

Now they think Apple is going to come out with a 7" tablet? On the surface, that sounds mentally retarded. Maybe there's some crazy plan to make developer's lives more difficult while providing no value to the customer, business, or developer. I just find that highly unlikely.

For this to make sense, Apple would have to be thinking that the reason these 7" tablets aren't selling is because they have Android on them instead of iOS. I actually do buy that, but Apple knew before the 7"'ers ever came out that they were too small in their internal testing. So they would have to forget the past to make that reasoning stick.

I'm just not buying it. The nav system for Audi has been a rumor for several years now. I think that use of 7" displays makes way more sense than them making a 7" iPad to sell alongside a 9" one.
post #18 of 91
Thia is what I don't get about these threads, do people really think this is the end of iOS device innovation?
post #19 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by HyteProsector View Post

The 7" inch screen if for an infotainment system Apple is making for the VW Group. It will debut in the 2013 Audi A3. It will include Siri, Apple Maps and Directed Audio for private calls. Audi has been chompin at the bit for years to have a partnership with Apple. Another industry changer.

that's the second time you've said the same thing with no source for the claim. Is this an opinion or do you know something for a fact that others here are unaware of. There's been rumors of a partnership for years but I've never seen anything concrete. If you have, please reference it.
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post #20 of 91
When the next iPad gets released, the iPad 2 will be cheaper and only a moron would choose an Android 7" tablet over a 9.7" iPad 2.

I see no use for 7" tablets, and I couldn't care less if Apple makes them or not. I think that it would be a waste. If somebody wants portability, there's the iPod Touch or iPhone.

7" is too big to fit into somebody pocket, so it's not like people are walking around with 7" tablets in their pocket, and if somebody is going to put their tablet into a bag, then the 9.7" is far better, as it's more than double the display size and far better to use.

So in conclusion, screw all 7" tablets. People who buy them are too poor to afford the real deal.
post #21 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by iluomo View Post

I want a 7.85" iPad. I want it, I want it, I want it. Kindle Fire sucks, but it's the perfect size for moi. I would not line up to buy iPad Mini, but as soon as the heaving throng of rabid morons - which would include many proclaimers that a 7" model would never happen - dissipated, I would waltz into an Apple Store - and I mean that, I would put Strauss on my iPod and waltz in - and snap one up.

How can a 7.85" 1.33 aspect ratio iPad and a 7" 1.71 aspect ratio Kindle Fire both be the perfect size?


Kindle Fire. . .iPad mini
.w = 3.53". . . w = 4.72"
.h = 6.04". . . h = 6.27"
.a = 21.35". . .a = 29.60"

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #22 of 91
As others have said, I see no actual reason for Apple to produce this product in the first place. What would it benefit them?

I am somewhat surprised (ok, not really) that this rumor continues to persist. The only reason ever given, really, is "to compete with the Amazon Fire." Huh? I don't care how much added profit Amazon makes on the back-end through content, they are selling the things at a loss. Apple is making billions of dollars from selling the iPad.

In what way does Apple need to "compete with the Fire" at all?
post #23 of 91
Some people are simply turned off by the iPad's starting price of $499... so they will be drawn to the Kindle Fire at $199

If Apple had a 7" iPad at $299.... that might cause those people to re-consider Apple.

Plus... Apple has margins to manage. The iPad has $330 worth of parts for the 16GB model (prices from March 2011... they might have dropped a little by now)

The 9.7" screen is the most expensive part of that. Selling the current iPad at $349 or even $399 probably wouldn't give Apple the kind of margins they are used to.

But a 7" screen might cut costs enough to make a $299 7" iPad possible.
post #24 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

Some people are simply turned off by the iPad's starting price of $499... so they will be drawn to the Kindle Fire at $199

If Apple had a 7" iPad at $299.... that might cause those people to re-consider Apple.

Plus... Apple has margins to manage. The iPad has $330 worth of parts for the 16GB model (prices from March 2011... they might have dropped a little by now)

The 9.7" screen is the most expensive part of that. Selling the current iPad at $349 or even $399 probably wouldn't give Apple the kind of margins they are used to.

But a 7" screen might cut costs enough to make a $299 7" iPad possible.

I'm not seeing a 7" or especially this new 7.85" display being much cheaper than the 9.7". We're probably talking the same resolution so there is some uniformity but if not, we're still talking a denser display.

And is $300 really a competitor to the Kindle Fire since it's 50% more expensive? The 3.5" iPod Touch is $199 and by all indications it's outselling the Kindle Fire by about 5x (though that may drop this quarter because of the Fire, Vita and no update to the Touch before the holiday season).

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #25 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

Some people are simply turned off by the iPad's starting price of $499... so they will be drawn to the Kindle Fire at $199

If Apple had a 7" iPad at $299.... that might cause those people to re-consider Apple.

Apple has standards and there is a threshold which they will not go below in order to please those sorts of people. LIke Steve Jobs once said, Apple won't ship junk.

Apple doesn't need to accommodate every bum and poor person in the world. Those people should look elsewhere besides Apple for their tech products. Let them all buy Kindles.

$500 is not expensive for a tablet. If somebody thinks that it is, then they have no business being an Apple customer.
post #26 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

When the next iPad gets released, the iPad 2 will be cheaper and only a moron would choose an Android 7" tablet over a 9.7" iPad 2.

I see no use for 7" tablets, and I couldn't care less if Apple makes them or not. I think that it would be a waste. If somebody wants portability, there's the iPod Touch or iPhone.

7" is too big to fit into somebody pocket, so it's not like people are walking around with 7" tablets in their pocket, and if somebody is going to put their tablet into a bag, then the 9.7" is far better, as it's more than double the display size and far better to use.

So in conclusion, screw all 7" tablets. People who buy them are too poor to afford the real deal.

You might want to see how big that proposed iPad mini actually would be before making misstatements (a 7" screen Nook color does fit in a lot of pockets).
There's a link here that would let you print a full-size mockup. After looking at it you may change your opinion. . .

or not.

http://cdn.macrumors.com/downloads/i...i/iPadMini.pdf

Another view on this over at 9to5:
http://9to5mac.com/2011/12/23/analys...know-and-love/
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post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The 3.5" iPod Touch is $249 and by all indications it's outselling the Kindle Fire by about 5x (though that may drop this quarter because of the Fire, Vita and no update to the Touch before the holiday season).

The iPod Touch (lowest version) is only $190. I know because I bought one for X-Mas as a present for somebody.
post #28 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You might want to see how big that proposed iPad mini actually would be before making misstatements (a 7" screen Nook color does fit in a lot of pockets).
There's a link here that would let you print a full-size mockup. After looking at it you may change your opinion. . .

or not.

http://9to5mac.com/2011/12/23/analys...know-and-love/

Yeah, I know. I saw the comparison picture on macrumors earlier.
post #29 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Yeah, I know. I saw the comparison picture on macrumors earlier.

So you printed it out and tried the keyboard size for yourself?
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post #30 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

$500 is not expensive for a tablet. If somebody thinks that it is, then they have no business being an Apple customer.

Remember when $999 was expected and everyone had to scramble after the iPad was announced


Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The iPod Touch (lowest version) is only $190. I know because I bought one for X-Mas as a present for somebody.

You're right. I meant $199. Was thinking of the Nook for some reason when I wrote the price. Point still holds.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #31 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

So you printed it out and tried the keyboard size for yourself?

No, there's no need for me to print anything out.

They had an actual size PDF that can be viewed on an iPad, and that's exactly how I saw it, on my iPad 2. It looks tiny, and the icons are too small and the text also too small. As for putting it in a pocket, there's no way that I would ever walk around with that 7.85" thing in my pocket.
post #32 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Remember when $999 was expected and everyone had to scramble after the iPad was announced

That's true. When I was watching the keynote for the first iPad, I wasn't even considering getting one. But when I saw the dirt cheap price, I knew that it would be mine soon enough.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You're right. I meant $199. Was thinking of the Nook for some reason when I wrote the price. Point still holds.

Yeah, it's $199 from Apple. I ordered one from one of those Mac retailers, so I get free shipping, no tax, and the total was around $190.
post #33 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You might want to see how big that proposed iPad mini actually would be before making misstatements (a 7" screen Nook color does fit in a lot of pockets).

A lot of pockets? Front pockets that can take a 5" x 8" device? Back pocket that take a 5" x 8" device? These aren't exactly iPad thin either! the only common pockets that will work are cargo pants pockets, but it's still sticking out of your cargo pants unless it's 8" deep so you can secure the device. That pretty much leaves lab coats but that's an occupation based use and I'm not sure the Nook is being used in that capacity.

Now lets consider a 7.85" iPad with a 4:3 aspect ratio. It's not only larger it also is closer to being square. Using similar bezel dimension we're talking about 1.5" of width on the short side. What pockets can accommodate a 6.5" device? Are we inventing new tablet compatible fanny packs that are actually stylish for all to wear?

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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post #34 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by HyteProsector View Post

The 7" inch screen if for an infotainment system Apple is making for the VW Group. It will debut in the 2013 Audi A3. It will include Siri, Apple Maps and Directed Audio for private calls. Audi has been chompin at the bit for years to have a partnership with Apple. Another industry changer.

Now if the VW group made cars that last with the quality of an iPad it would be a good thing.
post #35 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You might want to see how big that proposed iPad mini actually would be before making misstatements (a 7" screen Nook color does fit in a lot of pockets).
There's a link here that would let you print a full-size mockup. After looking at it you may change your opinion. . .

What the hell sorts of pants are people wearing that something like that fits in a "lot" of pockets?

The only advantage I see is that it would easily fit in a purse. Though, given the size of a lot of bags these days, so would an iPad.
post #36 of 91
No 7" iPad....but my guess is we'll see a 4.5" iPod Touch. This will effectively secure the mobile gaming market.

Secondary applications will see people incorporating this new larger size iPod Touch as a GPS for the car.

The iPhone 5 will grow to 4.3" with the same resolution by higher pixel density as this new Touch.
post #37 of 91
NOT, I repeat NOT going to happen....
post #38 of 91
Jobs was able to remind people that 7" screen is half the area of a 10" one. 49% using those numbers.

A 7.85" one is significantly bigger than a 7" - and to be more precise 10" was really 9.7"

That is actually much less of a reduction 65% in screen area.

I think Apple will go for this to counteract the only significant competitor - even if it's not a direct competitor - the Kindle. Large number of kindles sold (even if it's at a loss) = developers focusing effort on the Android Tablet market.

Jobs' "you have to file your fingers down" argument was always tenuous at best - after all, iOS works fine on a3.5" screen. His other argument was always far more compelling - we're sticking with 10" to keep the developer base with us. Let them develop for this size, without additional sizes to worry about.

If Apple stuck with the same 1024x768 for a 7.85" tablet, they'd get significant increase in pixel density - a better quality image because of the reduction in size. And then doubled resolution for a 10" retina tablet (as rumoured) it would be simple to develop for, and in smooth in transition as the iPhone 4 was. Pixels are just doubled until the higher res is exploited in updates.
post #39 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


As for the third-generation iPad, Blair expects that to arrive in the late March or early April timeframe. He sees key features being a retina display, 4G compatibility and Siri functionality, along with higher-resolution cameras in a 1-megapixel front-facing camera and a 3-to-5-megapixel rear-facing camera.






Retina display: No.
"4G": No!!
SIRI: Yes.
Decent cameras: Yes.
Speed Bump: Yes.
post #40 of 91
Apple has extensive guidelines on widget sizing, icon sizing, etc for both iPhone/iPod and iPad form factors. If they were to release an iPad mini with the same resolution screen, it would break all these assumptions that Apple has been recommending developers follow since day 1. There is no way Apple would do that. If you read through the full set of guidelines, it's obvious that Apple has spent considerable time and effort on them. You couldn't get less Apple than deciding what the "right" thing is, then break it just because of what the competition is doing.

If Apple were to release an iPad mini, it would have to become its own form factor with apps designed specifically for it. It would run iPhone/iPod apps using the same mechanism the iPad does now. Maybe it would be able to run existing iPad apps with reverse behaviour - either view them at full size with the ability to pan around, or shrink them to fit entirely on the screen. But that all depends on how intuitive they can get it to work. They already do have pan and zoom ability for accessibility so who knows. But regardless, IMHO Apple won't want to fragment the iOS ecosystem with a third form factor. Developers already have to write two completely separate UIs, I can't see Apple introducing a third.

Also, what kind of pants are you people buying?!? I know a 7" device is easier to carry around but can anyone seriously pocket that thing? As someone who is average build, 5'8", I find even a 4.3" screen device to be uncomfortable in my pocket. A 4:3 7.85" device wouldn't even fit in any of my pockets, let alone allow me to walk and sit comfortably. Maybe if you're 6'6" and 300lbs I guess...
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