Apple CEO Steve Jobs was open to the idea of making a smaller tablet, a senior executive said in a 2011 email, fanning speculation it plans to make a mini-iPad to take on cheaper gadgets from Google and Amazon.
A mini-version of the market-dominating 10-inch iPad could counter increasing inroads made by tablets such as the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, but the company has never confirmed the intensifying talk of such a launch.
Vice president Eddy Cue urged then-chief operating officer Tim Cook in January 2011 to build a 7-inch tablet, according to an email from Cue that Samsung presented as evidence in a US patent trial.
I found email, books, Facebook, and video very compelling on a 7-inch.
In an email addressed also to software chief Scott Forstall and marketing head Phil Schiller, Cue said he believed there was a market for a 7-inch tablet and that "we should do one."
Cue's brief email was introduced on Friday as part of a high-wattage trial that will play out in a San Jose courtroom this summer and is expected to transfix the technology industry.
"There will be a 7-inch market and we should do one. I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time," the executive wrote in the email.
"I found email, books, Facebook, and video very compelling on a 7-inch. Web browsing is definitely the weakest point, but still usable."
Cue had previously forwarded an article entitled "Why I just dumped the iPad (hint: size matters)". He wrote: "Having used a Samsung Galaxy, I tend to agree with many of the comments below (except actually moving off the iPad)."
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