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Apple exec liked 7-inch iPad, Steve Jobs reported open to the idea

January 2011 email sent from Eddy Cue to Jobs expressed a willingness to create a smaller version of its hit tablet.

Samsung sells a 7-inch tablet, so why can't Apple? CNET

While Steve Jobs may have famously said a 7-inch iPad was too small, others in his camp were more open to the idea.

The trial between Apple and Samsung has yielded a number of juicy bits, the latest being that Eddy Cue, head of Internet software and services, was interested in the idea of smaller iPad. Cue thought the idea of a 7-inch tablet could work, he wrote in an email sent to Steve Jobs.

The email dated January 24, 2011 with Cue's thoughts was disclosed during Samsung's cross examination of Scott Forstall, head of iOS software at Apple. Samsung was arguing that Apple keeps benchmarks against other companies.

Samsung had launched the 7-inch Galaxy Tab in 2010, and had continued to push the smaller tablet even as it expanded into several other different sizes.

In his email, Cue wrote he had approached Jobs with the idea of a smaller tablet to Jobs on a number of occasions after Thanksgiving and that Apple's CEO was receptive "the last time."

Apple is widely believed to be preparing its own smaller iPad Mini to be unveiled later this year. The device would compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire, as well as the successor product, and Google's Nexus 7, both of which are 7-inch tablets priced at $200.