Email shows Apple did discuss a 7-inch iPad

A 7-inch iPad was considered and, according to the sender of an Apple employee's email, Steve Jobs was "very receptive" to the idea.

Here's another tidbit from the Apple versus Samsung court case. Apple execs have discussed a 7-inch iPad, CNET reports, fuelling rumours a smaller tablet will launch later this year.

An internal email from Eddy Cue, head of Apple's Internet software and services, touches on the matter of an iPad mini. Cue includes a link to a feature on a tech website about choosing a smaller tablet over the iPad, and says some of the opinions chime with his own. He even says he approached Steve Jobs about it, and Jobs seemed "very receptive" to the idea. Hang on, is this the same Steve Jobs who slammed 7-inch tablets?

"Having used a Samsung Galaxy, I tend to agree with many of the comments below (except actually moving off the iPad)," Cue wrote, in an email to Tim Cook, Scott Forstall and Phil Schiller. "I believe there will be a 7" market and we should do one.

"I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time. I found email, books, facebook [sic] and video very compelling on a 7" screen. Web browsing is definitely the weakest point, but still usable."

So there you go. At least one senior Apple bod is keen on an iPad mini.

Samsung produced the email to show that Apple uses other manufacturers' products, and takes inspiration from them.

Jobs famously slammed 7-inch tablets, saying companies would need to sell sandpaper alongside them so users could sand down their fingertips to a quarter of the size. He also -- ahem -- pooh-poohed smaller tablets as only suitable for use on the loo. Apple may reverse its position now it's seen the success of the Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7.

The last we heard was the iPad mini could be announced on 12 September, alongside the next iPhone. Just over a month to go to find out, then.

Will Apple make a smaller iPad? If so, how much should it sell it for? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook.

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