Without Jobs at the helm will we see a 7 inch iPad or QWERTY iPhone?

Without Jobs at the helm will we see a 7 inch iPad or QWERTY iPhone?

Summary: Steve had some strong feelings about design alternatives at Apple and now that he is no longer the CEO I wonder if any of these hardware strategies and designs will change.

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The news of Steve Jobs resignation is all over ZDNet, links provided below, but as I was thinking about his departure I started dreaming about devices that Steve killed and now wonder if we will see any changes in mobile strategy. I think Jobs was an amazing visionary and no one can, or should really try, to fill his shoes, but that doesn't mean everyone of his ideas and thoughts was the final answer. Will we see a 7 inch tablet or a QWERTY keyboard iPhone in the future from Apple with Tim Cook as CEO?

7 inch iPad

Back in 2010 after Apple released the Apple iPad, Steve was asked about a smaller 7 inch form factor and said it was "DOA" and that ”The manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small.” We have not seen a lot of 7 inch form factor tablets, primarily the Samsung Galaxy Tab and RIM BlackBerry PlayBook. The Tab did OK in the market and it is still too early to rule out the PlayBook. I personally have the PlayBook and an HTC Flyer and find the 7 inch form factor is much better for usage on the go and I would love a 7 inch iPad.

I thoroughly enjoy my 10 inch iPad 2, but imagine many people use it like I do as a device for the couch, on the airplane, or in the office and not so much for those times when you are walking around the mall, visiting a friend's house, or on the go away from a WiFi connection.

QWERTY keyboard iPhone

We have often heard that Steve Jobs does not like physical QWERTY keyboards and I think the current Apple virtual keyboard is second only to the one found on the new Windows Phone 7 platform. While I get by just fine with a virtual on-screen keyboard, there are still many people who like and need a physical QWERTY keyboard. They may have jobs where a touchscreen keyboard is not practical, they may just like the feel of a physical keyboard, or they may just not want to even try out a virtual keyboard. In any case, I think there are millions out there that would love to see an iPhone with a QWERTY keyboard and if Apple can design one as well as it designs the iPhone then it could be the best physical QWERTY keyboard ever and there would be a lot more people who would jump on an iPhone.

Do you think either of these will ever come out from Apple? Is there anything else that Apple may consider now that Steve isn't leading the company?

BTW, I want to thank Steve Jobs for the iPad and truly do enjoy using it. I pray that his resignation doesn't mean his health is failing and that he just realized he needs to take more of a break and care for himself and his family. Thank you Steve for the great work at Apple and even if I thought some of your statements at press events were too arrogant, your work set the bar for many others and will go down in history forever.

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Topics: IT Employment, Apple, Hardware, iPad, Mobility

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36 comments
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  • RE: Without Jobs at the helm will we see a 7 inch iPad?

    The market already has too many 7" tablets, and I think that the best thing for Apple to do is to make an iPad with a larger HDD, and give it two quad core processors, so that developers can create programs.
    cmccain810
    • Maybe too many, but no iPad

      @cmccain810 There may be a few 7 inch tablets, but none has been incredibly successful and I truly believe an iPad in this form factor would do well. It would be great for gaming, ebook reading, and pocketable to boot.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • I think Tim Cook learned from John Sculley's mistakes

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)

        Apple has a winning business strategy, keeping their product line simple and uncluttered of offerings that meagerly try to fill every whim of every person who wants "product x plus feature y bolted onto it". Seriously, ask yourself, if you were Tim Cook looking at the massive success of iPhone and iPad, why would you f--k it all up by trying to fix something that isn't broken.

        If you want to know what Tim Cook will do as CEO of Apple, just look at what he has already done as acting CEO of Apple. That is, kept the winning strategy in place, growing into an even stronger company despite a severe economic troubles.
        RationalGuy
    • Personally, I think Jobs was right about both products

      @cmccain810 : To me, a 7" form factor is too big to be a phone, too small to be a clipboard. The 10" size is an almost perfect allegory to the 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper on a hardboard plank with a spring clip at the top. It's relatively easy to write on (and I still believe handwriting recognition is coming--as soon as they can offer near-100% accuracy) and perfect for use as a checklist and note pad as well as carrying things like flight maps for pilots and quick-and-dirty edits for documents and RPG character reference sheets. (Please don't tell me I'm the only one to have thought of that.) 7" is simply too small for real productivity for most people.

      The same holds true for a phone; a physical keyboard isn't really needed unless you're just a texting fool with an unlimited texting fee on your account. Yes, I do know some people have trouble with the virtual keyboard; that's why at least one iPhone case manufacturer has created a case with a built-in keyboard for those users. But why make 40 different styles of phone all over the pricing spectrum when one or two styles that cover the most popular classes can sell so many more? At $200-$300, the iPhone 4 sells more than any other single model by any other brand. At $49, the iPhone 3G(s) sells as much or more than any other single (cheap) Android phone. The only advantage Android has is a dozen or more manufacturers flooding the market with so many different models that few people can even make an informed decision any more.

      So no, I don't believe we'll see a 7" iPad or a Qwerty iPhone.
      But that's just me.
      Vulpinemac
    • Stay tuned...Updated daily

      <a href="http://www.sencart.com/" target="blank">
      Let's see to the stores.Stay tuned...Updated daily
      </a>
      sencartweb
  • I thank Apple for the iPad

    I thank the visionaries, the engineers, the project managers, the people who have actually been coming into the office and working for the last few years. I thank those people for the iPad.

    I don't thank the man who sat on a couch and said "one more thing" for the iPad. I can thank Steve Jobs for a sitcom catchphrase but that's it.
    toddybottom
    • I find that something of an enigma

      @toddybottom
      Many here are quick to blame a CEO for a company's failure, while never giving CEO's credit for a company's success.

      Except in the case of Apple, where success is attributed to the CEO, while failures attributed to others, or other circumstances supposedly beyond their control.

      :|
      Tim Cook
      • RE: Without Jobs at the helm will we see a 7 inch iPad?

        @Mister Spock
        People will ignore a failure here and there amongst many successes and vice-versa.
        anono
    • RE: Without Jobs at the helm will we see a 7 inch iPad?

      @toddybottom
      You seem to be privy to some inside information. Why not share the source? Can you post a link that shows that Steve Jobs just sat on the couch for the past few years and was not involved with Apple's success?
      Tigertank
  • RE: Without Jobs at the helm will we see a 7 inch iPad?

    Steve jobs's real talent is not in actually creating the devices. Hes the first one to give credit to the engineers. What he is good at is putting talented people together in a way that they can make full use of those talents. That is why he has been so successful as a CEO.
    nickswift498
    • And at telling them &quot;no&quot; ...

      @nickswift498 No, the engineers can't jam every little idea they may have into their devices. No, something that isn't quite right will not make the release. No, they won't make 15 or 20 different models of everything, the buckshot approach of trying to make something for everyone that winds up satisfying no-one.
      RationalGuy
  • Snicker...physical QWERTY keyboards!

    Young people don't use or prefer them, only some old-timers. Their ranks are thinning out. How about a nice floppy drive for the iPhone!
    keel
    • RE: Without Jobs at the helm will we see a 7 inch iPad?

      @keel Sorry, but virtual keyboards will always be inferior to a physical keyboard. On my Android phone, I don't really need a physical keyboard because the voice-to-text is ridiculously good. Apple needs either a keyboard or way better voice-to-text. I'm guessing they'll take the second path.
      Aerowind
    • RE: Without Jobs at the helm will we see a 7 inch iPad?

      @keel

      What about the blind?
      MajorlyCool
      • RE: Without Jobs at the helm will we see a 7 inch iPad?

        @MajorlyCool

        iOS has awesome support for blind and low vision users. It's arguably the best device out there for this market due to its accessibility features.
        THA1210
    • RE: Without Jobs at the helm will we see a 7 inch iPad?

      @keel ...well, keel, in the past 2 years i have taught and given lectures in high schools, colleges, and universities in 3 states. BB phones with QWERTY keyboards are actually rather visible among the young. (they like to text)
      and i am guessing you dont travel to lower income neighborhoods much either. BBs and androids are more popular there than iPhones because they are cheaper, and you can get them with either keyboard.
      (full disclosure: i am not a BB user)
      joe73072
  • To answer your two questions

    Apple's iPad form factor is extremely successful so I would not expect Apple to deviate from those physical dimensions and manufacture a 7" model.

    Since the over-riding consistent design theme at Apple has been to reduce the weight and thickness dimensions of their products over time, I would not expect Apple to increase those physical factors with the addition of a physical QWERTY keyboard.
    kenosha77a
  • RE: Without Jobs at the helm will we see a 7 inch iPad?

    You'll do anything for a few clicks on your page huh?! Stop beating this "dead-horse"! It's not going to happen, that ship has sailed! Jeez!
    SBMobile
  • Think it through

    A 7" screen presents a problem: The UI elements of existing iPad apps, if scaled down, would be too small to operate with fingertips, and existing iPhone/iPod Touch apps would just look silly scaled up to 7" (while not adding any value). Doing it right means that Apple would have to design APIs and UI guidelines specifically for the new tablet. Developers lives would be complicated by further fragmentation of iOS. (Android has this problem, and it's not pleasant)<br><br>While I don't deny that there is some demand for an intermediate tablet size, the iPad is selling well at its present 10" form factor.

    Apple would have to seriously evaluate whether there would be sufficient payoff to justify fragmenting iOS with a third form factor. I suspect they will leave well enough alone.
    immovableobject
  • RE: Without Jobs at the helm will we see a 7 inch iPad?

    There is no point to having a 7" tablet.
    CowLauncher