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Apple mocks Google Nexus tablet over screen size, app availability

At its San Jose event today, Apple draws unflattering comparisons between the iPad Mini and its rival.

Casey Newton Former Senior Writer
Casey Newton writes about Google for CNET, which he joined in 2012 after covering technology for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is really quite tall.
Casey Newton
2 min read
Phil Schiller compares the iPad Mini to the Nexus 7 tablet.
Apple's Phil Schiller compares the iPad Mini to the Nexus 7 tablet. CNET
See CNET's full coverage of Apple's iPad Mini event

Could it be the next front in Apple's "thermonuclear war" against Android? Just days before an event at which Google is expected to announce new Nexus tablets, Apple laid into its competitor, mocking the devices at its iPad Mini unveiling today in San Jose, Calif.

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president for marketing, devoted several minutes of the event to making unflattering comparisons between the Nexus 7 tablet and the new iPad Mini. He started by criticizing the Nexus' build quality, saying its plastic back paled next to the aluminum design of the Mini.

From there, he took aim at the Nexus' display, noting that the Mini's screen has 29.6 inches of screen space, compared with 21.9 inches for the Nexus tablet.

"There is a gigantic difference," he said.

In a demonstration, he pulled up the Web site of the Guggenheim museum and showed how much of the site could be seen on the two tablets. In portrait mode, the Mini's display showed 49 percent more than the Nexus; in landscape mode it showed 67 percent more.

The other big criticism Schiller had for the Android tablet, predictably, was the availability of tablet applications. He blasted Android tablet apps as being "scaled-up phone experiences" and said they could not compare with the 275,000 apps written for the iPad.

One thing Schiller couldn't mock: the Nexus' price. It starts at $199, compared with $329 for the iPad Mini. And the price for some models might fall to $99 shortly.

We've contacted Google for comment and will update this post if we hear back.

Watch this: Meet Apple's new iPad Mini