Tim Cook continues to bash Microsft Surface, 7-inch tablets, says iPad mini is in a different league

Tim Cook recently had some harsh words for the Microsoft Surface tablet, but he also addressed Steve Jobs’ comments on 7-inch tablets back in 2010. Jobs had this to say of 2010’s 7-inch lineup:

“Apple’s done extensive user-testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff….There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen 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 … The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad” said Jobs, in October of 2010.

To be fair, although he’d be wrong to say this about 7-inch tablets today, he wasn’t wrong in 2010. They were pretty much DOA.

“On your question about iPad Mini, the comments you’re referencing are comments Steve had made before about 7-inch tablets. Let me be clear, we would not make a 7-inch tablet, we don’t think they’re good products. One of the reasons is size. The difference on just the real estate size is almost 30 percent. When you look at the usable area, it’s much greater than that, it’s 50 to 67 percent. The iPad Mini has the same number of pixels as iPad 2 does, so you have access to all 275,000 apps that are in our App Store that have been custom designed to take advantage of the full canvas. iPad Mini is a fantastic product, it’s not a compromised product like the 7-inch tablets” Cook responded.

Cook also said that the iPad mini is in a “whole different league”, and with 275,000 curated iPad apps available, I get where he’s coming from. There are many examples of iPad apps that have been fully optimized, compared to Android tablet apps that have simply been scaled up. The majority of Android apps are not optimized for tablet use yet, and they are simply being scaled up, which is a huge waste of space and provides a less compelling experience. It remains to be seen what Windows 8 for the Surface RT and Surface Pro will bring to the table in terms of the app market, but I suspect they will fair better than Google in terms of optimization.

Twitter for iPad is tablet-optimized, whereas Twitter for Android tablets is scaled up.

On screen size, however, I just don’t think that 0.9″ really makes that much of a difference. To go by that logic, the iPhone 5 is providing a drastically inferior experience to the one found on the Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S III, and the litany of other large-screened Android phones. It seems like Cook is willing to downplay the actual specs – such as processor and pixel density – and go straight to screen size, as long as it suits his position. Are those Android phones better than the iPhone 5 simply because their screens are larger? In my opinion, no. I also do not believe the iPad mini is better than the Nexus 7 or other tablets due to its larger screen size.

The Nexus 7 has a faster processor, a sharper screen, and it costs $129 less than the iPad mini. Is 0.9″ of screen real estate really worth $129 more? Probably not. Apple’s massive library of tablet-optimized apps, however, may be worth a great deal to you.

What do you think about Cook’s comments? Do you think they hold any water, given the comparison between the iPhone 5 and competing phones? Let us know in the comments!

Via: CNet


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  • Guest911

    “On screen size, however, I just don’t think that 0.9″ really makes that much of a difference. To go by that logic, the iPhone 5 is providing a drastically inferior experience….”
    Comprehension is not your strength and neither is logic or writing. Great career choice!

  • Jellotime91

    It helps if you actually provide a counter-argument, rather than simple-minded insults.

  • jgscala

    Amen. They should put some effort into a logical response rather than childish insults. Insults are easy!! Real thought requires thinking.

  • TheiPhone7isoutdated

    The real issue is that they could not make a 7 inch tablet because of OS limits. Its why they couldnt make a 4 inch iphone until they pushed to optimize apps for that size, and still we have apps that are cropped. So they had to take a screen size that would work with existing apps and thats what they did. it has nothing to do with it being 7 or 7.1 or 7.2 , etc. Its just that they had to go with that screen size because that was within the limits of the OS. Otherwise they would have more cropping and wasted screen space.

  • v_shal

    Perhaps you missed some points Apple has made in their keynotes and advertising. An iPhone is designed to be operated by a single hand for almost all tasks. The tall 4″ form factor is designed keeping an average thumb radius in mind. Most professional iPhone apps are designed with that idea in mind.
    The iPad mini, though not designed for a single hand operation, fits beautifully in the palm or a jacket/jeans pocket. By reducing the bezels along the smaller edge, Apple managed to get the maximum screen real estate possible with this reduced form factor. This is the biggest small form factor that allows users to use their existing tablet apps without squinting or filing their fingers, and so IMO quite a clever and thoughtful design.
    I do feel however that even the base version should’ve had a retina display and GPS capability.

  • jfoxx

    Sadly, that screenshot is the old Twitter for iPad. The new one looks much more like the one on the right.