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Jobs rules out 7-inch iPad

Apple CEO goes on the offensive against recent tablet releases

By MARK JONES

Published: 20 October, 2010

READ MORE: US | Apple | Tablet

Apple fans hoping for the iPad mini will be disappointed as Steve Jobs has firmly ruled out the possibility in a conference call this week. While acknowledging the sudden slew of tablet offerings which have become available, he criticised them for their small screen and deemed them "practically useless". Rather than highlight what makes the iPad worth getting, Jobs saw fit to highlight exactly why other tablets aren't.

"It's meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size" said Jobs.


As well as the screen size he had several other bullet points up his sleeve as to why other tablets aren't as good as the iPad. Of the tablets recently released Jobs feels that only a few are credible devices.

His third point may have been slightly more valid as he suggested that anyone with a tablet was also a smartphone user so an over sized handset was unnecessary, delivering neither the convenience of a mobile phone nor the functionality that comes with a larger tablet screen. Next, unsurprisingly, came a dig at Google telling tablet manufacturers not to use the current release of Android for their tablets.

"Almost all of these new tablets use Android software, but even Google is telling the tablet manufacturers not to use their current release-Froyo-for tablets, and to wait for a special tablet release next year. What does it mean when your software supplier says not to use their software in your tablet, and what does this mean when you ignore them and use it anyway?" he said.

With Android 3.0 just around the corner this looks like an argument which won't hold water for very long.

Other criticisms included the lack of apps on the tablets - as Jobs put it "nearly zero". It shouldn't take long to catch up to 35,000 apps though considering the amount of ground Android managed to gain on the iPhone with apps on smartphones running Android.

Finally pricing came under fire, which may well be the most valid point he made as the Galaxy Tab is generally regarded to be overpriced compared to similarly spec'd iPads, though again this is likely to be a short lived criticism.

With RIM's PlayBook falling under the 7" banner co-CEO of the company has responded to Jobs' comments in the official BlackBerry blog: "For those of us who live outside of Apple's distortion field, we know that 7" tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience."

The general tone of irritation that can be felt throughout the comments from Steve Jobs suggests that while the new tablets might not be a swarm of deadly mosquitos, they are still giving the iPad a nasty sting.

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