Those who have been paying attention to Apple over the years remembered one thing when the company revealed the iPad mini earlier this week: Steve Jobs' outspoken criticism of the 7-inch tablet form factor. Current CEO Tim Cook has just addressed those comments, saying on Apple's earnings call that "we would not make one of the seven inch tablets." He continued on to say that the iPad mini "is not a compromised product like the seven inch tablets. It's in a whole different league."
As the Apple CEO points out in his comments (audio above), the company took quite a bit of time out of its keynote on Tuesday to compare the Nexus 7 to the iPad mini, with Phil Schiller saying that "The iPad mini has a third larger display area." That all comes down to the iPad mini's 7.9-inch display, which Tim Cook clearly believes is significantly different than the seven inches offered by the Nexus 7. That's a good thing, too: otherwise Apple may have taken Jobs' advice and included "sandpaper so users can sand their fingers down to a quarter of their size."
The comments that I think you're referencing are comments that Steve had made before about seven inch tablets. And, let me be clear, we would not make one of the seven inch tablets. We don't think they're good products, and we would never make one. Not just because it's seven inches, but for many reasons. One of the reasons, however, is size.
I'm not sure if you saw our keynote, but the difference between just the real estate size between the 7.9... versus 7 is 35 percent. And when you look at the usable area it's much greater than that... The iPad mini is a fantastic product. It is not a compromised product like the seven inch tablets. It's in a whole different league.