When Steve Jobs himself was queried on the possibilities inherent in the seven inch tablet form factor, he replied that they were “dead on arrival” and declared them to be “tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad.”
Despite this, rumors have persisted that 2011 will see the introduction of a 7-inch iPad Mini… and now a famous Taiwanese celebrity and race car driver is claiming to own a prototype.
Steve Jobs’ disdain for the 7-inch tablet form factor embraced by the likes of would-be iPad killers like the Samsung Galaxy Tab couldn’t be any more dripping even if it poured in bilious rivulets out of his open mouth. At the last earnings call, he flat out dismissed them as “DOA – Dead On Arrival.” He even fantasized about customers sanding the meat off of their fingers until only the skeletal bone was left, since “sand[ing] down their fingers to around one-quarter of their present size” is the only way to type comfortably on one.
This contempt seems pretty unequivocal to me, but someone apparently wasn’t paying attention: according to Reuters, Asian manufacturing sources are telling them that Apple is putting together a 7-inch “iPad Mini” for shipment in early 2011.