Steve Jobs has loudly dismissed the notion of 7-inch displays being big enough for touchscreen tablets -- a shot across the bows of the companies producing rivals to his iPad.
The Jobster told investors on an Apple earnings call that 7 inches was not ideal for a touchscreen device, our
"It's meaningless unless your table includes sandpaper," Jobs said, "so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size." He said 7-inch screens were actually 45 per cent the size of an iPad, which wasn't sufficient.
"Apple has done extensive user testing and we really understand this stuff," he added. "There are clear limits on how close you can place things on a touchscreen, which is why we think 10 inches is the minimum screen size to create great tablet apps.
"No tablet can compete with a smart phone. And given all tablet users will already have a smart phone in their pocket, giving up screen area to fit in a pocket is a bad trade-off."
Samsung and RIM plan to launch their own 7-inch marvels, the Galaxy Tab and the BlackBerry Playbook. Dell also has one in the offing. It'll be some time until the iPad 2 is likely to make a debut, so these 7 inchers will be its principal competition this Christmas.
Steve Jobs is a master of pushing Apple's agenda and dissing the competition. But this is a loud and clear message that you shouldn't expect a 7-inch iPad next year, despite rumours circulating that a 7-inch iPad 2 was being developed.
But as far as your fingers being too fat for these displays, the Samsung Galaxy Tab will be out at the beginning of next month. Let us be the judge of that, ol' Jobsy.