File this episode of the Reality Distortion Field Times for future reference; I think it’s inevitable that smaller-screen tablets/slates will be popular (consider, e.g., the iPod touch…) and that Apple will sell devices with screen sizes between the iPhone/iPod and iPad sizes before long, after the market reminds Steve Jobs that his personal preferences are not always highly aligned with mainstream market dynamics.
Jobs’ comments on 7-inch tablets pour cold water on rumors claiming that Apple was preparing to release a 7-inch iPad to compete with rivals. In response to the rumor, Apple watcher Jim Dalrymple explained that Apple had already made a 7-inch iPad at the same time as its available 9.7-inch model, and opted for the latter.
“Why did Apple choose to go with the larger model instead?” Dalrymple wrote. “Only Steve Jobs knows that for sure.”
Jobs appears to have answered that question during Monday’s earnings call. But take his word with a grain of salt — Jobs has been known to denigrate a product category, only to unveil a similar product later.