Tim Cook Explains Why There’s No Seven-Inch iPad (Even If His Math Stinks)


Back in 2010, Steve Jobs commented on the idea of seven-inch tablets, and was very dismissive of the idea, raising concerns that such a size wasn’t large enough to run decent tablet apps. Now that the iPad mini is here, those old statements are being dragged up again, and Apple’s Tim Cook took a moment to respond.

Cook defends what Jobs said then, noting that Apple still has no desire to make a seven-inch tablet. Specifically, he points to the size advantages that the iPad mini’s 7.9-inch screen has over smaller devices, which he believes makes the tablet large enough that those earlier size concerns don’t apply.

We’ve got to take some issue with Cook’s math, though. He explains, in comparison to a seven-inch tablet, “the difference in just the real estate size — in the 7.9, — almost 8 — is 35 percent. When you look at the usable area, it’s 60-to-70 percent.”

That just doesn’t quite add up. Presumably, a theoretical seven-inch iPad would keep the same 4:3 ratio as its larger cousins. That means it would have a screen that measured 4.2 x 5.6 inches, with a total area of 23.52 square inches. The iPad mini’s screen is about 4.74 x 6.32 inches, with an area of 29.95 square inches.

Any way you cut it, that’s not a 35 percent difference. You can either say that the 7.9-inch model is about 27 percent larger than the 7.0-inch, or that the 7.0-inch model is a little over 21 percent smaller than the 7.9-inch. Either way, it’s less of a difference than Cook claims.

The only way Cook’s math makes sense is when compared to a widescreen tablet like the Nexus 7; the iPad mini, indeed, has a screen that’s about 35 percent larger than the Nexus 7’s. But Apple was never going to make a widescreen seven-inch device, so the comparison seems out of place here.

Source: 9to5 Mac

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!