San Jose: A senior Apple executive’s email statement revealed on Friday has once again started fanning speculation about the company’s plans to make a mini-iPad to take on cheaper gadgets from Google Incand Amazon.
As per the executive’s 2011 email revealed on Friday Steve Jobs was receptive to Apple Inc making a smaller tablet.
An Apple 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 Electronics presented as evidence in a US patent trial.
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)."
Apple and Samsung are going toe-to-toe in a patents dispute mirroring a struggle for industry supremacy between two rivals that control more than half of worldwide smartphone sales.
The U.S. company accuses Samsung of copying the design and some features of its iPad and iPhone, and is asking for billions of dollars in damages and a sales ban. The Korean firm, which is trying to expand in the U.S. market, says Apple infringed some of its key wireless technology patents.
Cue, who rose to prominence overseeing the iTunes and Apps stores, became the company's senior vice president of Internet software and services in September. His email was introduced by Samsung during a cross-examination of Forstall on Friday.
In the email dated January 24, 2011, Cue said he had broached the idea of a smaller tablet to Jobs several times since Thanksgiving, and the co-founder was receptive "the last time."
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Saturday, August 4, 2012, 10:47