Originally Posted by Tallest Skil
Apple cares about the user experience more than anything. From a usability perspective, a 7" tablet is worse at everything than a ~10" one.
This is just like the netbook craze five years ago. Companies made 7" laptops. No one actually wants a 7" laptop, since they're unusable. So netbooks got bigger. They made 8" and 9", and finally netbooks settled around 10" before becoming completely worthless. Let's ISOT Apple away in… 2007. I figure netbooks would have only gotten even bigger until they weren't even netbooks anymore, but rather very cheap, very poorly hardware'd laptops.
Yes, a 7in, 16:9 tablet is awful. Which is why Apple wouldn't make one.
Apple may however make a 7.85", 4:3 tablet. Practically twice the screen area as current 7in tablets on the market. That alone would keep it from being too much of a "me-too" product.
The hypothesis from John Gruber (http://daringfireball.net/2012/07/this_ipad_mini_thing
) and others is that Apple would use the same screen material as on the 3GS and just cut it larger, to 1024 x 768 pixels. At its ppi density, that apparently comes out at 7.85" diagonally. That would help the profit margin.
The UI would be just about as good as iPads 1 and 2, with the elements only slightly smaller, as they are on the iPhone 3GS and iPod touch anyway. Touch points at same 44pixel recommended targets would be physically larger than iPhone 3GS or iPod touch elements, and developers have already got many 1024 x 768 assets from iPads 1 and 2. This would look sharper on the smaller screen -- rather than using iPhone elements and doing the 2x button thing.
My daughter, who was saving up for an iPod Touch for school, would love it if Apple came out with a 7.85", 1024 x 768 tablet: it would be a great reading size to conveniently take with her to school, and would be great for homework planning apps. I would imagine that lots of industries would opt for a smaller iPad... industries that have just adopted the iPad in droves for specific use cases because it has revolutionized their industry might actually be better served by a smaller one: how about menus for restaurants, and Point of Sale for store clerks? (Apple Store employees used to use iPod touches).
As I think Gruber notes, this would be closer to 8 inches than the current iPads are to 10 inches. So, to keep talking up a 7 to 10 inch comparison based on the current iPad and current poorly-conceived 7in tablets in the market would be a little disingenuous.
Edited by krabbelen - 7/25/12 at 12:26am