An internal email released in the ongoing court battle between Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc. has led to the release of an interesting nugget of information – Steve Jobs was nowhere near as vehemently opposed to a smaller 7 inch form factor for a tablet. That stance is most certainly unlike his posturing in public, where he was elaborate in dissing any tablet size that wasn’t the iPad’s.
The internal email in question was used as evidence during Apple Senior Vice President Scott Forstall’s testimony in the ongoing hearing. It was sent way back in January 2011 by Eddy Cue, an Apple VP. The mail contained a GigaOm article titled ‘Why I just dumped the iPad’, and the content of the article and comments led Cue to believe that the 7 inch form factor was definitely a valid option as an Apple offering.
Cue went on to say that he had spoken to Steve Jobs about the same matter, and the ex-CEO of Apple went on to be ‘very receptive’ to the entire idea. This is in stark contrast to his many statements about 7 inch tablets being dead on arrival (though, in all honesty, the Blackberry Playbook had just launched at that point and had proved to be an incredible disaster for RIM).
Eddy Cue went on to explain that 7 inch tablets could very well be a legitimate alternative to the 9.7 inch. He claimed that he had used a ‘Samsung Galaxy’ (Tab) and had no problems with absolutely anything apart from web browsing.
While this may not necessarily mean much, it does indicate two things – the first being that Jobs was busy playing the media while he was waiting and watching to see how 7 inch tablets would pan out, and the second being that the long rumored iPad Mini may just be an outcome of discussions such as this.