Apple CEO Steve Jobs has dismissed previous rumours that the company is working on a 7 inch iPad and said a 10 inch screen is the ‘minimum size required to create a great tablet'.
Following Apple's sales announcement, Jobs gave analysts a list of reasons of why Apple will not be making a tablet with a smaller screen than its current 10 inch offering, rendering rumours of a 7 inch iPad that will be ready in time for this Christmas untrue.
According to MacWorld's transcript of the briefing, Jobs said a 7 inch version of the tablet would only be 45 percent as large as Apple's current iPad's screen size and he believes the smaller size "isn't sufficient to create great tablet apps".
Jobs reportedly said: "There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touchscreen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps."
He also recognised that most tablet users also own smartphones, which are smaller and more portable, therefore downgrading the UI of a tablet for the sake of size "is clearly the wrong trade-off".
Jobs was keen to stress that Apple is not making a smaller iPad to avoid hitting a lower price point. "So when we make decisions on 7 inch tablets, it's not about cost, it's about the value of the product when you factor in the software," he reportedly added.
He also couldn't resist having a dig at the competition, calling their various 7 inch tablets "tweeners - too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad."
Jobs reportedly described the raft of cheaper and smaller tablets about to hit the market as ‘not exactly an avalanche,' admitting there appear to be just a ‘handful' of credible competitors and predicted that the current crop of rivals will be ‘dead on arrival'.
As well as smaller iPad rumours, many commentators and analysts have been debating whether the arrival of the tablet has cannibalised netbook and laptop sales.
Jobs reportedly said: "The iPad is clearly going to affect notebook computers. I think the iPad proves it's not a question of if, it's a question of when and there's a lot of development and progress over the next few years."
He said that Apple had not pushed the iPad particularly hard for business use, but there has been a lot of interest.
"So the more time that passes, the more I am convinced that we've got a tiger by the tail here and this is a new model of computing. It lends itself to lots of different aspects of life: personal, educational, and business. So I see it as very general purpose, and I see it as really big," he reportedly added.