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Did Steve Jobs Pick the Wrong Tablet Size?

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the nobody's-perfect dept.

Displays 433

An anonymous reader writes "During the 2010 Christmas shopping season, Steve Jobs famously dissed the 7-inch tablets being rolled out by competitors, including Samsung's Galaxy, as being 'tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the [9.7-inch diagonal] iPad,' adding that 'the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA — dead on arrival.' A year later Jobs was dead, and the iPad Mini, with a 7.9-inch diagonal screen, was rolled out under his successor Tim Cook in October, 2012. Looking at industry-wide tablet sales numbers for January 2013, which show that the iPad Mini surprisingly outsold its larger sibling by a substantial margin (as did 7-inch Android tablets from competitors), Motley Fool's Evan Niu thinks that the 7.9-inch form factor was the correct size all along, contrary to Jobs' pronouncements (which, of course, was partly marketing bluster — but he chose the larger size in the first place). Of course the Mini is cheaper, but not by much — $329 vs. $399 for the larger iPad, for the baseline model with WiFi only and 16GB storage. Had Apple introduced the iPad with the smaller size to begin with, Niu argues, competitors would have faced a much more difficult task grabbing market share. While the Mini is currently available only with 'Super VGA' resolution (1024x768), rumors are afloat that Minis with the Retina display (2048x1536) are close to production."

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16KB storage (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43059973)

16KB storage: Apple is really screwing with the customer now.

Re:16KB storage (4, Funny)

skirmish666 (1287122) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060005)

I'm waiting for the 128K model.

Re:16KB storage (3, Funny)

OolimPhon (1120895) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060201)

640K ought to be enough for everybody!

Re:16KB storage (2)

ninlilizi (2759613) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060265)

You need to think in Applese:
16KB is the perfect size!

Re:16KB storage (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060493)

640K ought to be enough for everybody!

Yes, I do agree...hearing this fucking joke 640,000 times ought to be enough for everybody...

Re:16KB storage (4, Interesting)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060231)

It's the oblivious mistake, there's one in every summary, just /. editors doing some subtle trolling to get the comments going.

Re:16KB storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060335)

Well there's two errors since SVGA == 8x6 - the iPad non retina is XGA. I'd really rather the comments discuss the issue rather than the errors in the summary so I hope that's never the intent of the editors (/. has editors?), but even I'm talking about the errors too

Re:16KB storage (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060437)

Wow, the SVGA displays only had 48 pixels? :-)

Re:16KB storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060507)

In a move of sheer engineering genius, apps will now be installed onto the storage space inside the new Lightning cables.

Heh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43059975)

>16KB

Does it matter? (5, Insightful)

deergomoo (2689177) | about a year and a half ago | (#43059979)

Now there's two iPad sizes. And lots of sizes for Android tablets. A fair amount of choice for Win 8 too. Everyone's happy!

Re:Does it matter? (-1, Troll)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060087)

No, because I still won't by apple.

Re:Does it matter? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060311)

I here they make a really good spill chucker.

Re:Does it matter? (4, Insightful)

Rosyna (80334) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060155)

I'm not quite sure why it matters since 7.9 inches does not equal 7 inches.

Size might not matter... (3, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060259)

...but what you want to do with it does.

I'm not normally one to leap to Jobs' defence, but IMO he was right about the preferable size. However, I'm prepared to accept that since my acuity of vision is quite a lot less than 20/20 (I hope this is the only characteristic I share with that man - though I wouldn't object to having as much money), this might affect my perception. My Android phone is adequate for its purposes (actually, I'm very happy with it), but I struggle to use it if I don't have my glasses handy. But if I want a device that's small enough to carry in my pocket, I want it to be small enough to carry in my pocket *comfortably*, and a 7"-plus device doesn't qualify.

Re:Size might not matter... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060401)

Exactly. I don't have a tablet but I'm really thinking about getting one. I really want a 10 inch tablet. Neither 7 inch nor 10 inch will fit in your pocket. So to carry it around you need some kind of backpack or messenger bag or whatever. So you might as well have the bigger tablet. I find that even my 4 inch phone is quite large. Next time around for a phone I'll just get the smallest thing that will do tethering, and use my tablet for mobile internet.

Re:Does it matter? (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060271)

Now there's two iPad sizes. And lots of sizes for Android tablets. A fair amount of choice for Win 8 too. Everyone's happy!

I think it does matter. Jobs was even right about the big size being needed, though his explanation given was wrong (and who knows if he even told the full truth). If tablets had initially come at 7" then they would have been far too close to phones. There would have been almost no application that you could do on a tablet that couldn't be done reasonably on a phone just a bit worse. There wouldn't have been a reason to keep the two separate and development of tablet interface programs would be much slower. In the end people would have just called the iPad a "too big phone which you can't call from" and it would not have sold as it did. I think Android is only just managing to break through this barrier and Apple wouldn't have had nearly the success they have had first mover advantage.

The iPad is its self almost exactly the maximum reasonable size for a tablet for most people. Even a tiny bit heavier than the heaviest iPad and many people can't hold it in one hand it for long. It's already big enough that it has to have a special split keyboard for some people to be able to type on comfortably. Also the iPad is close to the limit which fits comfortably into your personal space in economy class (no; a laptop is not "comfortable") and feels spacious elsewhere. On the other hand; the size is a limitation for some applications such as a full screen magazine spread. The battery is a limitation as a replacement for a book. For photo editing, a thing which a tablet could be good for the screen is still very much on the small side. You can see why really big people with big hands and their own private jets might like a bigger tablet and you can also see why Microsoft made the mistake of making the surface too big and heavy. If you were designing the iPad from scratch and you could make it fold and add anti-gravity and had no cost limts then you would probably end up with an even larger device with more inertia and much higher resolution (I wouldn't call it more "weight").

An iPad mini makes sense now; however that's only because the iPad went before it and defined the category of a tablet. If that hadn't happened people would just be complaining that it's a too heavy phone. Me; I have multiple android devices and I find myself switching sizes; however I definitely prefer a tablet to a phone for plenty of stuff. I'm even wondering if it wouldn't be better to just have a dumbphone and a tablet instead.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060411)

I'm even wondering if it wouldn't be better to just have a dumbphone and a tablet instead.

That's... fucking brilliant, actually. That's probably the most ingenious yet simple idea I've seen on /. in years.

Hat tip to you, sir.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060475)

I've got an iPad, two sizes of Android tablet, and a Galaxy Note. The latter means I rarely use the others. I think the "phablet" is going to win in a "Take two bottles into the shower?" contest. Having my phone, SMS, email, apps, media, etc all together, with one contract, is a great piece of convergence, Now, if they can reduce the bezel to almost nothing but keep the size of the device the same or a tiny bit bigger for the Note 3, it could have a similar screen size to a Nexus 7. And when the boffins can get foldable tech working, then it would be a no-brainer.

It is the lower price sherlock (2)

ruir (2709173) | about a year and a half ago | (#43059983)

The mini is still inside what people perceive a "lower" budget. Price both the same and came back with this "study"....

Gb not kb (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43059989)

I think you mean GB not KB

Not just a giant iPhone (5, Insightful)

Bongo (13261) | about a year and a half ago | (#43059991)

Glossy fine print magazines are horrible on anything less than a 9.7" retina display. The 10" is for the sofa. The smaller tablets are for everywhere else, so they have more usage scenarios. But I wouldn't give up the 10" form, as it is well suited to the sofa.

Perhaps it was also a better size to kickstart the market. Obviously not a phone, nor a netbook, nor a laptop.

Re:Not just a giant iPhone (2)

Adult film producer (866485) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060085)

10" is not very convenient for one handed usage on the bed though..

Re:Not just a giant iPhone (3, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060211)

I find ten inches perfect for one handed use in bed, but going back to tablets you may have a point - VHS won over Betamax (in part) because Sony licensed the technology for porn and Betamax refused to - a parallel with Flash today perhaps?

Re:Not just a giant iPhone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060295)

VHS won over Betamax (in part) because Sony licensed the technology for porn and Betamax refused to

Betamax was Sony

Re:Not just a giant iPhone (4, Funny)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060379)

You really should have thought carefully before writing the beginning of the sentence. Or maybe you did given the rest of the sentence.

Re:Not just a giant iPhone (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060095)

I think you have something, but the fact is a lot of people use these on the bus. I used the bus for a while, and while you see kindles, phones, tablets are also there. And 10" on the bus is to big. For couch, I can see it. But my thought, is why not get one that does more? As more companies come out with tablet/laptop/dock at home/Hook to TV models, a tablet alone won't work. I guess they have all those peripherals all ready though? I really don't know as I personalty don't like apple, but understand those who do.

Re:Not just a giant iPhone (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060223)

That's a problem with the magazines. Reading magazine style content formatted for a 7" screen, like Google Player magazines or Flipboard or Currents or Pulse or any of the many others out there, is fine. The problem only surfaces when magazines try to throw out a PDF of the print version, in which case even a 10" display is inadequate unless you like zooming a lot.

7" is easier to hold, easier to read full width sentences on and easier to take with you without having to switch to another device. They are not bad to type on either, for a touch screen.

$399 for 16kb (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43059993)

$25 per kilobyte.. bargain

Re:$399 for 16kb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060125)

Right, in the 1970's. Perhaps Steve should've stayed in his basement.

16KB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060001)

I don't think I would ever buy an iPad with 16KB of storage :P

Yes he made am mistake. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060009)

He also stole form NorCal Scientists! Not to mention he was so stupid he only ate fruit, without doing research. The end result of this idiotic diet was increased toxin levels in his Pancreas, eventual Liver failure possibly due to the toxins in his system as well, end resulting in a rare for of pancreatic cancer. Thank god he is gone. I answered all the Genius Questions Correctly and never got a call back, even though I've stumped so many people at the Apple Store including the "Genius" who can't even do math or physics.

Re:Yes he made am mistake. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060057)

I answered all the Genius Questions Correctly and never got a call back

Gosh, that's surprising given your obviously masterful social skills.

Storage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060013)

16KB of storage?

Windows tablet has 640K! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060015)

Take that Apple!

Re:Windows tablet has 640K! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060495)

Windows tablet? As long as the tablet doesn't run DOS, I'm not going to buy it!

Hyperbole (3, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060017)

Naturally most of Jobs' public comments were marketing hyperbole. His job and his passion were designing and promoting Apple products. Only a fool would expect him to endorse something he didn't believe was right. This story, though, is a classic what-if. Before the iPad, the current tablet market did not exist. There is no way to know if the current market would exist if the first iPad screen was smaller than 9.7" diagonal. Thus, it is impossible to answer the question posed. We cannot know if Jobs was wrong.

Re:Hyperbole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060207)

moof! ;)

and you're absolutely right

Maybe he picked the wrong drug altogether (0, Troll)

rossdee (243626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060021)

and should have tried radiation treatment earlier
Cancer can be beaten if you get to it early enough, of course you might have other health problems afterward.

Re:Maybe he picked the wrong drug altogether (4, Insightful)

Stormthirst (66538) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060221)

And that's why a lot of people choose to go straight to palliative care. They might extend their life by 6 months to a year, but the side affects of the treatments are so horrible and you're going to die anyway they'd rather choose the easy path.

Re:Maybe he picked the wrong drug altogether (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060281)

You're absolutely right. There's no way his cancers would have progressed if he had stood right next to a nuclear bomb test.

wouldn't have made a difference (4, Insightful)

2ms (232331) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060023)

The majority of people who have bought Android tablets did so because they do not like Apple rather than because they wanted something with a smaller screen. Additionally, it is easy to forget now, but when the iPad first came out it was widely criticized as being too similar to an iPod Touch. It was only after quite a bit of time that it seemed to start to be taken more seriously despite having a screen with less than half the area of a "real computer".

Re:wouldn't have made a difference (2)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060115)

I agree with this. I don't think that there products are terrible, just not what I like. I gave away my iPod as I didn't like how it work. I also spent the extra money for the 8gig when it was still the big one. Everyone has what they like, and you will stick with that name brand. On /. everyone wants to call you a shill for what you like, but I respect others opinions on which you choose. I will get a windows version of something sometime. And am waiting for all the hate I get for liking MS. :)

Re:wouldn't have made a difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060345)

I disagree. I know several people who already owned a 10" iPad who also bought a 7" Kindle Fire just for the smaller size. They were definitely not Apple haters.

Re:wouldn't have made a difference (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060387)

I chose an Android tablet because I wouldn't have to buy another one if I ran out of storage. Sadly Google seem to think that Android users don't need much local storage too which is why it wasn't a Nexus 7.

Re:wouldn't have made a difference (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060539)

I chose my tablet because it came with a lot of SD Card slots and USB connectors and the possibility to load stuff I couldn't get from a walled garden shop.
I also chose it for the rootability(if I ever chose to) and the general goodness that comes from openness.
So I got a lot of choice to pick exactly what I wanted. Among my possible choices was an iPad. And it got discarded since it featured none of the above. And it just happens to be an Android tablet.

You pick the right tool for the task. And for what I had in mind an iPad would have fit as well as a 6' purple dildo: Hilarious to have but of no further use beyond the initial wow factor.

And since my initial decision my requirements have shifted slightly. Since I read a lot of comics on mine I could have used one of the high-res Retsina iThings(though why they name that after Greek wine is beyond me). Thankfully this is now so common I again have a lot of choice.

Re:wouldn't have made a difference (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060523)

. Additionally, it is easy to forget now, but when the iPad first came out it was widely criticized as being too similar to an iPod Touch.

I wouldn't go so far as to say "widely". I wouldn't even go so far as to say "noticeably at all". The iPod Touch is a PDA, something of an odball niche player, and nothing much at all like an iPad (despite the gross surface similarities).
 

It was only after quite a bit of time that it seemed to start to be taken more seriously despite having a screen with less than half the area of a "real computer".

Again, not so much... The iPad was wildly popular from very early on precisely *because* it half the area (and less the half the weight) of a "real [laptop] computer". Netbooks had already proven a demand existed at that size point, and in that price range.

Public vs. inside information (4, Insightful)

MatrixCubed (583402) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060035)

It strikes me as odd that "only" a year after Jobs' death, the smaller tablet was released. It seems to me that it would take significantly more time for an executive board to come to an agreement on a new product, then design it, build it, put it through testing, establish a supply chain, etc etc. Jobs knew it was on the design table well in advance of his demise. What the public sees is far different from what takes place inside a company like Apple.

Re:Public vs. inside information (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060141)

The guy was a jackass, but a marketing genius, hell, considering how high his company reached, probably the best in the last 100 years. Since his death Apple is trying and failing to play catch-up on all markets. Kind of sad to see the worth of one of the most important IT companies in existence is a single person.

The investors figured it out, and that's why they're trying to get to the money fast, Tim Cook isn't up to it, and they know it.

Re:Public vs. inside information (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060257)

Except apple has grown under Tim Cook and they're making record profits.

Other than that you're completely right

Re:Public vs. inside information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060283)

All they do is grab hardware already in the silicon valley, mostly from my friends who work at Intel or nvidia and CNC a Case for it, LOL Ru kidding Me Apple is Trash. If I had a billion dollars I could skool Jobs and Musk. Wozniak was the only true hero everyone knows Woz did all the hard CE CS work and Jobs was just a tag along Shady Businessman , thanks to the internet we don't need those anymore

Re:Public vs. inside information (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060463)

Well, *I* LOLed.

Re:Public vs. inside information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060421)

Yes... a lot has changed since Jobs dies -- Record iPhone sales, increased iPad sales,... and Android has NFC now, whereas iPhone doesn't...

I ready this a lot; Exactly how is Apple trying to play catch-up? What compelling features do you see on the other devices?

The iPad mini was rumored, and planned for years.

Re:Public vs. inside information (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060225)

I imagine they prototyped them throughout the iPad's development, and continued to do so even after it was released. In order to determine that it is the wrong size you have to at least try it out. It would be interesting to know if their usability studies said that smaller tablets were no good, or if it was just Jobs' opinion.

Re:Public vs. inside information (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060341)

It shouldn't seem odd if you consider how little real innovation Apple has done over the last few years. The iPod was a stroke of genius in its time, and I guess the iRectangle(TM) was an obvious form of technology waiting to be invented. But since the first iPhone was released, Apple has done little more than tinker at the edges by changing that product's dimensions.

Re:Public vs. inside information (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060413)

Jobs was on a medical leave of absense for nearly a full year before his death and resigned formally several months earlier.

January 17th 2011 to November 2nd 2012 is more than enough time to develop a product which is not so much new but more of a simple refining from an existing product. Remember there's no fancy new feature or technology change in the iPad mini. It's basically just smaller hardware. The iPhone line has seen yearly release cycles despite some quite big changes such as the move to a higher resolution display necessitating quite a major software change (which wasn't required for the mini).

It's temporary (3, Insightful)

phayes (202222) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060043)

Narrowly looking at sales figures just after the mini was available & attempting to draw long term conclusions is extremely premature. The 7 inch iPad is selling better at present because of the people who wanted a smaller iPad but couldn't buy one.

Some people who had a 10 in iPad are now migrating to the 7s but the great majority are happier with the larger screen. Once the pent up demand is satisfied I expect the larger iPads will again be the better sellers.

Re:It's temporary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060303)

You have no clue what you're talking about. You're not an analyst.

Re:It's temporary (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060317)

Some people who had a 10 in iPad are now migrating to the 7s but the great majority are happier with the larger screen. Once the pent up demand is satisfied I expect the larger iPads will again be the better sellers.

As I read this I was thinking to myself "why not both". I guess the obvious answer is "cost", but that's never stopped Apple fans before. With an Android device you can have multiple accounts and keep most of your data "in the cloud" which makes it easier to share devices in a family. In that case I guess you would have a travel device (7") and a home device or two (~10"). The person who wants to travel just takes the smaller device.

I guess something like this might be the future? Enough devices that people pick and choose?

Re:It's temporary (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060521)

As I read this I was thinking to myself "why not both". I guess the obvious answer is "cost", but that's never stopped Apple fans before.

Uh, sorry, but with the advent of the Pixel, which costs significantly more than both put together and is far less functional than either, Google fans now wear the cost-no-object crown. iPad owners are downright frugal in comparison.

Yes and no. (4, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060045)

What he did wrong is: pick one size and anoint it The One True Size. Different people want different sizes for different uses. (Right now, I hear a lot of requests for larger tablets).

Jobs' ability to choose and decide was a blessing and a curse: it keeps the company hacks in line and Jobs was usually right... but he was also sometimes wrong, and, above all, sometimes "picked a winner" when there was room for more than 1 device.

Re:Yes and no. (1, Insightful)

Stormthirst (66538) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060239)

This is Apple's (or was Job's) problem all over though - declaring anything the one true way. It's why you end up with a lot of die hard Apple fan boys, religious zealotry of a sort. Don't get me wrong, I'm a PC guy with an iPhone. I like my iPhone, but it's never made me want to go all Apple. That's partly because I believe a monoculture is bad for computing, and partly because I really, really, really, with a passion*, hate iTunes.

* So much so that when a time machine is invented I'm going for the retroactive abortion route on the creators.

Re:Yes and no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060393)

* So much so that when a time machine is invented I'm going for the retroactive abortion route on the creators.

You have my sword, which may or may not be laser-based at that point. But if you get access to a time machine, we can hop into the future a bit to get one if a conventional blade will not suffice.

As a relative fan (re: not drooling fanboy) of Apple, I want to punch every last frothing Jobsfelcher who snivels about iTunes in the face. It is perhaps the grandest turd to ever be shat into the slimy sea of pathetic excuses for media players.

No (1)

rainer_d (115765) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060051)

the iPad Mini is a shrunken iPad2. There first had to be larger iPads, to fine-tune the manufacturing.

I don't own any iPad - I'd probably buy an iPad4, rather than an iPad Mini because I currently don't want to carry anything bigger than an iPhone 4S in my pocket - and I see more usage-scenarios for me with the iPad4.

I hope there's still an iPhone 4S-formfactor phone from Apple in two years....

16KB storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060053)

$329 vs. $399 for the larger iPad, for the baseline model with WiFi only and 16KB storage.

Wow, I knew Apple products were overpriced but holy shit man

No, he picked the wrong casket size (-1, Troll)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060059)

Who the f*ck is criticizing the Steve Jobs after he's dead???

"wrong" tablet size??

WTF?

Re:No, he picked the wrong casket size (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060173)

I'm going to kill you and then criticize you !

Re:No, he picked the wrong casket size (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060275)

I'm going to kill you and then criticize you !

Steve Jobs, is that you?

Re:No, he picked the wrong casket size (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060371)

Who the f*ck is criticizing the Steve Jobs after he's dead???

Well, there was no shortage of good reasons not to like him. If I were Chris-Ann Brennan, for instance, I would probably have considered his behaviour to be unforgivable.

Maybe Bill Gates was right (0)

BuypolarBear (2713397) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060061)

If an iPad can get by with 16K, 640K is way more memory than anyone will ever need!

9.7 inches (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060071)

this entire story... 9.7" should be enough for everybody.

But I got Samsung Note, and it is a bit unwieldy as a mobile phone and it is a bit small as a tablet. However I primarily use it as a phone, watch some videos, listen to some sound (some talk shows) and also I read email on it and sometimes browse a few sites, that's pretty much all I do with it and it works.

The thing that bothers me about this device is the short battery life. I mean for the size of the device, they could have also made it a bit thicker but used a battery that would hold the charge for at least 5 days or something, the 2 days that I get with it is just very annoying.

Re:9.7 inches (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060101)

> 9.7" should be enough for everybody.

That's what she said!

Re:9.7 inches (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060127)

Who doesn't say that 9.7" is enough?

The real reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060073)

You really can't read the license agreement on anything less than 10".

He is being miss-quoted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060099)

Steve never said 7" was a bad idea, he just said it was an "in between" size that doesn't compete directly with apple's own smartphone or tablet offerings.

Wired also claimed steve said 7" is "too small for a pleasant touchscreen experience" but that wasn't a direct quoted and is obviously bullshit, since steve clearly thought 3.5" was big enough for a touch screen.

Having actually used various tablets, I think steve is right. The 7" tablets do not appeal to the same people who like the 9.7" tablets. And the 7.9" iPad is just a 9.7" tablet with slightly harder to read/tap on-screen elements, it's still big enough to compete directly with the iPad - that extra 0.9" makes a big differenec (especially when you consider the aspect ratio vs other "small" tablets).

I think steve's exact words are correct, the 7" tablets are crap if you try to use them the way an iPad or a Surface RT is used. But that doesn't mean 7" is a bad product, it just has a different target market - one that Apple still doesn't really target today even though they have a 7.9" tablet.

Maybe he picked the wrong drug altogether (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060117)

and should have tried radiation treatment earlier
Cancer can be beaten if you get to it early enough, of course you might have other health problems afterward.

http://dailyhacks.org

He was right (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060121)

During the 2010 Christmas shopping season, Steve Jobs famously dissed the 7-inch tablets being rolled out by competitors, including Samsung's Galaxy, as being 'tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the [9.7-inch diagonal] iPad,' adding that 'the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA â" dead on arrival.'

He was right - emphasis on "current crop". Despite announcing that they had shipped 2M Galaxy Tabs to stores in Jan 2011, they only managed to sell 1.4M by Q2 2012 [wikipedia.org] .

It was easier to make a decent small tablet later than it was earlier due to technology improvements. If the first iPad was 7.9" but otherwise used the same battery technology, you'd have seen a lot of people complaining about the battery life - the third generation iPad had a 70% greater capacity than its predecessor, and those improvements to the technology will have made a significant different to the utility of a smaller iPad.

Of course the Mini is cheaper, but not by much â" $329 vs. $399 for the larger iPad, for the baseline model with WiFi only and 16KB storage.

That's 16GB storage, not 16KB.

How to be off by a factor of 1048576 with 1 letter (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060145)

16KB - seriously? It's not like anything today is still measured in KB

steve to critizize your size (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060189)

nice story
but aint he die?

10" as 4:3 is the only choice for reading (0)

zerojoker (812874) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060197)

7" seems popular, and even more so a lot of displays are 16:9 or 16:10. That's nice if you want to watch movies. But for reading, both 7" and/or 16:9 are absolutely useless. A magazine page just fits on one page and reads nice if you hold an ipad 10" upwards. Same goes for PDFs, the ipad is imho the only tablet right now where you can read ebook-PDFs (especially technical documentation, like O'Reilly books) without zooming, scrolling etc. 7" tablets are for movies and surfing the web, but not for reading documents.

Re:10" as 4:3 is the only choice for reading (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060289)

Horses for courses. I prefer my Nexus 7 to my iPad for reading. It's the perfect size to take to bed to read ebooks and articles I've saved to Pocket before going to sleep. I find my iPad a little too unwieldy for some reason. It's not even like I have small hands or anything either.

Forget 4:3, 16:10 or bust. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060305)

7" seems popular, and even more so a lot of displays are 16:9 or 16:10. That's nice if you want to watch movies. But for reading, both 7" and/or 16:9 are absolutely useless. A magazine page just fits on one page and reads nice if you hold an ipad 10" upwards. Same goes for PDFs, the ipad is imho the only tablet right now where you can read ebook-PDFs (especially technical documentation, like O'Reilly books) without zooming, scrolling etc. 7" tablets are for movies and surfing the web, but not for reading documents.

That's your opinion; you should not state it as fact. As a counter-example, I have a 10" tablet (first-gen Thinkpad Tablet, the Android one) whose screen is 16:10 ratio, and I prefer it for holding and for reading. It feels more like holding a notebook, and I like the extra height when using it in portrait orientation -- which is how I normally use it. PDFs fit in the space fine, and there's still room for UI elements, too. Even better, 16:10 is great for viewing two pages side-by-side, as is sometimes intended with magazine layouts.

I think the 4:3 ratio is overrated and would hate being stuck with it. I do agree about hating 16:9, though. Too narrow for my taste, costs too much horizontal space.

Re:Forget 4:3, 16:10 or bust. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060497)

I think 3:2 is a good compromise.

Why did Steve Jobs think 10" was the right size? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060203)

There were numerous articles like this just before Apple released the iPad mini. In most cases the authors intent was to say Steve Jobs was wrong. He may have been, but he didn't have the benefit of hindsight the author endows himself with.

I don't recall any of the these articles asking why Steve Jobs (and Apple) thought that 10" was the right size for a tablet. What did they think people would use an iPad for? I think they expected people would do much more input than they actually do, that is they didn't see it as a consumption device. At the launch of the iPad no one knew if it would sell or what people would actually do with it. The builders of 7" tablets that came about a year after the iPad had some market research data about tablet usage which indicate the big phone, as opposed to the really big iPhone that the iPad is, would work. I also think the 7" form factor was also driven by price and component (screen) availability because they needed to deliver a product that was cheaper than the iPad.

Another reason for the iPad size are simple engineering constraints at the time of its development. Apple understands better than most that a mobile devices must be mobile. To be mobile its physical size and weight must small enough that you don't leave it on your desk because it is too heavy, while being large enough that it is still useful. Secondly the battery must last the entire working day, thats why Apple appear to target a 10 hour battery life. At the time the iPad was developed the availability of affordable screens and large enough batteries may have dictated the 10" size.

Its remarkable the iPad is very close to the DynaBook envisioned by Alan Kay at Xerox park in the early 1970's. While Kay couldn't build the DyanBook he did do some basic ergonomic studies (using card board models and lead shot to get the weight). Kay clearly saw the DynaBook as interactive device with at least a much creation as consumption - perhaps Steve Jobs had a similar vision for the iPad. It just turned out we are using it differently.

I have seen several people touch type on an 10" iPad in portrait mode faster than I type of a conventional keyboard. I don't think they would be able to do this on a smaller tablet. It did appear that editing on a tablet was a little clumsy.

Did Apple react to the market in introducing the iPad mini? Yes. To lose an iPad 10" sale to an iPad mini is a better proposition than to lose the same sale to Samsung - if the deciding factor in the sale is sizes. To think Apple doesn't or shouldn't respond to the market is to have really distorted view point.

Hold the press!!! (4, Interesting)

itsdapead (734413) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060213)

Brand new $329 product sells faster than $499 product with minor spec bump! Film at 11! (Comparison with iPad 2 is silly - it is an old product which, has lower specs than the Mini, has the same number of pixels as the Mini, still costs $70 more and will probably be discontinued soon).

Meanwhile, the first generation of 7", 16:9 tablets of which his Steveness was speaking didn't exactly sell like hotcakes. The format has since been popularised by Amazon and Google offering extra cheap 7" tablets firmly aimed at media consumption (which they may be treating as loss-leaders).

Its also worth bearing in mind that the Mini isn't a 7" 16:9 tablet, its a 7.9" 4:3 tablet with the same number of pixels as the original iPad. That's a non-trivial difference especially when (e.g.) you want to type in landscape format.

Hey "editors"! Typo of 16KB instead of 16GB (1, Insightful)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060217)

re:$329 vs. $399 for the larger iPad, for the baseline model with WiFi only and 16KB storage
.
Hey, "editors" of slashdot, you might want to edit the reference to "16 KB of storage" to the correct value. You know that 640K ought to be enough for anybody, but 16KB, well that just seems wrong! C'mon, people and so-called "editors", get to actually reading the blurb before posting it to the front page. And what's with all the idio-advertising-spam shit on the firehose. I stopped going in the last three weeks because 90-98% of the firehose entries are "come visit kerala india" (I even had a tourism-bot spam one of my posts with a spam reply, yikes) or "come buy clothes from this tailor" or other spam.

User dependent, but I agree he may have been wrong (1)

Borgmeister (810840) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060219)

I agree that he may have been incorrect. The iPad (version 1, 3G, 32gb) is the only (and will be the only, judging by the current lot) Apple product I own. I bought it because I was taken by the idea, and I have enjoyed it. However, having seen a lot of my colleagues reading their Kindle's on Fire's and Google Nexuses' I admit to being somewhat taken by the smaller form factor (7 or 7.9). However since if I wish to carry a tablet out and about I will still require a rucksack of some kind, so 7.9 or 9.7 or 10.1 or whatever, I can carry either. However I am fairly old fashioned in my media consumption habits when mobile; websites and books, maybe the odd show I have transferred a across. In the UK, hilarious "fair usage" (whereby it's apparently unfair to stream a single episode of House of Cards et cetera on Netflix as this depletes your allowance entirely, good job building that 4G superhighway and then only letting mopeds use it!) prevents me from doing "heavy media" whilst out and about, so I stick to reading. For me, I believe the smaller 7" tablets are better for this activity; they are lighter, cause less stress on the wrist and are consequently more comfortable to use for extended periods. When the iPad eventually dies, I will replace, most likely, with a Google Nexus (depending on the iteration they are on at that stage). I am a great fan of coffee table books - the big, well produced ones (I especially enjoy my one's about Transatlantic Liners and Concorde, as well as my classical music encyclopaedia) still haven't been threatened (I saw that 20" thing, but the price is absurd); larger screens are naturally more conducive to a more pleasurable experience with this type of material. I think my point here is that it's entirely subjective, but what is clear is this: iPad is the most successful tablet by a long way, the centre of gravity revolves around 9.7", and will do so for the next few years. I will probably go smaller on account of my usage, but as 4G gets opened up with meaningful usage caps (ideally from moped to articulated lorry, but I'd be happy with a small van) the larger tablets. For the record: in suburban/rural England, we don't have a perpetual bubble of wifi in an urbanised area; cellular networks are all we have outside the home. I'd like rural England to remain just that too; thank you very much!

Size does matter - mine is 20" a Sony Tap20 (1)

axonis (640949) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060233)

You are all getting ripped off in the size department, the only fondle slab you need today is a Sony Tap20 [sony.co.uk]

Re:Size does matter - mine is 20" a Sony Tap20 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060325)

Ahh... some one is calling it fondle slab again after all this time. Ty stranger.

Re:Size does matter - mine is 20" a Sony Tap20 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060459)

It weighs eleven and a half pounds! It's not a tablet, it's a table.

13" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060269)

Why not a bigger one? That is what I want anyway...

What's the definition of wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060287)

The choice for iPad's screen size was restricted, heavily, by what tech allowed at the time. It was Jobs' job to say it was perfection. Thus, what he said has no value.

Newer tech will provide us with much more interesting form factors. For example, a 300$, 15", 300+ dpi tablet would be amazing for glossy magazine content and it would sell even if its battery life would be half that of a general purpose tablet. Also, the 10" size of the general purpose tablet would very likely go up to at least 12" if the tablet could be bendable, 5 mm thick, ~400 g, 300 dpi and with a 10 h battery.

What was considered the perfect size at any given moment was actually a function of what tech allowed at that time. As tech evolves we'll certainly see people owning many different tablets, across different form factors and capabilities, each one suited to particular types of use.

File under... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060353)

...questions like: "Did Steve Jobs Pick the Wrong iMac CRT Depth?"

part of the overall strategy (1)

PieceOfShitAndroid (2538056) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060397)

Developing the original larger iPad was probably an order of magnitude easier to design and produce than the smaller iPad...the screen resolution is the same (original non-retina). It was also probably easier to develop the larger Retina iPad than it was to develop the smaller Retina iPad (should be out soon enough). By releasing the iPad's in this order, it allows people to buy multiple iPad's, resulting in more revenue, which allows them to use that revenue to develop the next version, etc. It was all part of the plan. It's just like how they would release the iPod in white and black, then colors.

Different Sizes, Different Purposes (4, Insightful)

tsj5j (1159013) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060403)

When the 9.7" came out, people were mocking it as simply a "bigger iPod touch" with no market. This problem would only be amplified with a smaller, 7" form factor.
The 9.7" made it clear that it was in a market of it's own - it's not simply a slightly bigger phone, nor a netbook without the keyboard.
Considering the iPad's success, I think that it's pretty clear they got it right (with profits) either way.

Now, with Steve bashing the 7" screen factor - but OF COURSE! He's a salesman - naturally he'll work hard to tell you why his product is better, and why you shouldn't buy other alternatives.
Then again, there's some truth to his opinion: having had an iPad for 3 years and moving on to a 7", I felt like the tablet wasn't offering me enough screen estate to justify bringing it out all the time - my 5" smartphone could do everything just as well. Nevertheless, I acknowledge that for some people, a 7" tablet is sufficient for their purposes.

With the rise of 5.5" and larger smartphones though, I personally think 7" tablets are becoming a smaller market. If I want something bigger than my smartphone, I'd be looking for a 9" and bigger device, not a 7" one. The only thing 7" has going for me is the price.

He did it to distinguish the iPad from competion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060445)

Jobs, probably picked the size because he liked it the most, but from a marketing point of view it was a also good idea. There were already smaller (unsuccessful) tables on the market, and Jobs obviously did want the iPad to be mistaken for those.

By picking a larger model, they could also increase battery size, screen resolution, CPU power. So it really was a good decision from a tech-point of view too.

The 8" might have been more difficult to compete with if they had started there... certainly they couldn't have started at the current price point.

So: No. He made the right choice. Tim Cook also made the right choice not to start with retina -- Because it would have required more power and more difficult production processes.

Finally, Apple often starts with one size/model and the expand from there. It enables them to continuously release new models with new features. E.g. everyone expects a retina iPad mini now. By that strategy it was better to leave a hole in the market between the iPod touch/iPhone and 10" iPad, and then fill it out later.

It's been so long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060469)

Ooo yes it's been so long since we've had an apple story that the fans here on slashdot were beginning to forget what Steve Job's semen tasted like. Please, bring it on! I'm your dirty little whore!

Wrong size again (1)

vectorious (1307695) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060471)

I think they have picked the wrong size again. The 7.9 inch does not fit in a jacket pocket, but the Nexus 7 does - the extra 1.3cm width stops it fitting. I also think that the ideal sizes are 7 inch for portability, and maybe as big as 12 inch for home or business - I would love to read an A4 (US letter roughly) document pretty much full size (trimming the margins). The 10 inch screen does shrink it a little too much. The 10 inch is too large to be portable, too small to represent documents full size.

Re:Wrong size again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43060533)

I have huge jacket pockets on my winter coat. I can fit a 10" tablet in those.

Facts are correct, conclusions are wrong (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about a year and a half ago | (#43060511)

Apple offered a compelling product that was different from everything else - and used it's app store to build a strong supporting infrastructure to create a market. At some point, that market starts to slow as demand is satisfied; even if you still own the largest market share it's not going to grow like you want it. At that point, you decide where to play next - the smaller tablet was a natural move since it builds on Apple's strengths and meets a different need. Sure, you'll cannabalize some sales of the other products but you've grown the overall market for your products and continue to grow revenues and profits. It's the same as P&G introducing a new variant of a laundry detergent - meet another consumer need and drag in new customers as well as some switchers - and make more money in the end. Had apple introduced the smaller iPad first and then the larger you'd be seeing analyst headlines saying they made a mistake and should have introduced the larger one first.
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