iPhone 5 Release Date: 7+ Inch iPad 3 Would Defy Steve Jobs’ View On Mini Tablets

In his lifetime, Steve Jobs downplayed the viability of sub-9-inch tablets, tacitly stating that Apple would never release a mini iPad. But new rumors of a 7-inch “mini” iPad 3 would be Apple’s first defiance of Steve Jobs’ vision for future Apple devices. Could a Spring iPhone 5 Release Date also include a mini iPad 3?

The “mini” iPad rumor has been kicking around the Apple rumor mill for well over a year now, with many sources along the way claiming that the iPad 3 would feature either a smaller screen, or a “mini” option to the standard 9.7-inch version. After unfounded rumors that the iPad 3 would be arriving alongside the iPhone 5 in October of 2011 proved to be false, little has been said about the prospect of new tablet dimensions for the 2012 iPad until recently.

An article today in the Korean Times claims that there are credible sources that Apple is planning on releasing a 7″+ version of the iPad 3 in the Spring of 2011. According to the article: “The Korea Times is reporting that Apple is developing a smaller iPad (being called the iPad mini) with a 7.35-inch display, and a 4 inch iPhone 5. Apple and LG are reportedly negotiating a $ 1.1 billion deal for long-term display parts for these upcoming iOS devices from 2012 to 2016.”

Of course, if Apple was to finally release an iPad model that is below the 9.7-inch mark, it would be a major departure from the will of Steve Jobs, who never believed that “mini” tablets were viable long-term designs for mobile computing. Likely the mini tablet to a device that doesn’t know if it is either a smartphone or tablet. He even specifically stated that “The seven-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad.” With this quote in mind, would new Apple CEO Tim Cook defy Steve Jobs this soon after his death and release a 7-inch iPad?

I am beginning to think that he would.

An article on BGR recently stated that, based on Cook’s recent comments about the success of the Kindle Fire, “Cook said he was confident with the products that Apple has coming down the pipeline. The ‘iPad mini’ could be one such product — one that may go toe-to-toe with the Kindle Fire. Rumors have suggested the tablet may be smaller, or at least cheaper, than the current iPad 2. If a cheaper iPad does debut next year, the fight between Amazon and Apple could come down to each company’s respective ecosystem.”

Now that Apple is out of the hands of its founder and visionary and in the hands of a hired hand who answers to the bottom line of a board of directors, Apple is bound to see some sort of divergence from what it has been while Steve Jobs was alive. In past, investors, executives, and customers could trust Steve Jobs and his vision — even in the face of evidence to suggest that he might be wrong — based simply on his track record for success and beloved creativity. But as the years pass without Steve Jobs at the helm, we will see Apple take action on product development that Mr. Jobs would have disagreed with. Over time, the “what would Steve do?” ethic will recede.

The question is, will Apple defy Steve Jobs’ views on the mini tablet less than a year after his death?

By Michael Nace



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