Admitting iPad is perfectly sized, Acer delays 7-inch Android tablet

“First, Apple takes Acer to the woodshed over netbooks, now the PC maker takes a bruising for demanding a lady-sized 7-inch tablet,” Ed Sutherland reports for Cult of Mac.

“They’ve just figured out what Apple has known all along: the iPad’s the perfect size for a tablet,” Sutherland reports.

Sutherland reports, “The 7-inch Iconia Tab A100 won’t appear until August or September, insider reports suggest Wednesday. The problem, according to industry publication DigiTimes, is Android 3.0 doesn’t work with seven-inch tablets.”

MacDailyNews Take: They could’ve saved themselves a lot of time, had they simply listened to the guy who invented the device that all others are trying and failing to copy, Apple CEO Steve Jobs:

One naturally thinks that a 7-inch screen would offer 70% of the benefits of a 10-inch screen. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. The screen measurements are diagonal, so that a 7-inch screen is only 45% as large as iPad’s 10-inch screen. You heard me right: Just 45% as large.

If you take an iPad an hold it upright in portrait view and draw an imaginary horizontal line halfway down the screen, the screens on these 7-inch tablets are a bit smaller than the bottom half of the ipad’s display. This size isn’t sufficient to create great tablet apps in our opinion. While one could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference, it is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size.

Apple has done extensive user testing on tough interfaces over many years and we really understand this stuff. There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touchscreen 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.

These are among the reasons we think the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA. Dead On Arrival. Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the 7-inch bandwagon with an orphaned product.

Sounds like lots of fun ahead.Steve Jobs, October 18, 2010

“Acer plans to target its 7-inch tablet to women and won’t use the currently-available phone version of Android…. PC tablet makers see the 7-inch niche as a way to survive a market dominated by Apple’s 10-inch iPad,” Sutherland reports. “It appears Acer may be late to another party – those learning a tablet interface cannot be tacked onto an e-reader like display. Already, players like Samsung realize the problem with the smaller displays, offering their tablet in 10-inch, as well as 7-inch versions. Judging by Jobs’ previous negative comments about the smaller screens, we are not likely to see Apple introduce a smaller tablet. This leaves PC makers to be the Guinea pig and recalls the flame-out the tech industry witnessed with netbooks.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Opportun” for the heads up.]

21 Comments

  1. I don’t understand. Why would Acer place any credence of what that megalomaniacal Steve Jobs says rather than those two geniuses in RIM who said that 7″ would be perfect for everything under the sun.

    Perhaps those two geniuses weren’t so genius after all. Playbook DOA. Galaxy Tab 7″ DOA. The morgue at Cedars Sinai must be going roaring business interring those duds 6′ under.

  2. “Android 3.0 doesn’t work with seven-inch tablets”

    Are you f*ing serious?!? Google has significant partners who are already selling 7 inch tablets, yet it comes out with a tablet OS that doesn’t support the hardware?

    Yeah, sure, Android’s better — better at making sure you have an obsolete device before it even gathers dust.

  3. “Acer plans to target its 7-inch tablet to women and won’t use the currently-available phone version of Android….”

    ???!!!??? The glass ceiling has become a glass basement floor. What, women need a smaller, daintier tablet? They can’t handle the real thing? Is it because they make less money for the same job (if you believe that drivel)??

    If I was a woman, I’d run right over to the Apple store and get me a real iPad 2, take a picture of myself with it and mail it to Acer with an “in your face” message.

    Well, I don’t know if I’d really do that if I were a woman. I’d probably change my mind and go home and rearrange the furniture, and then ask my husband if my new iPad 2 makes my butt look fat….

  4. Peace of cake! just replace the OS with Windows Phone 7, the so called tiles are big enough for everybody’s thumb! Hey, Ballmer might be willing to pay 1 billion upfront like what he did to the finnish guys.. Great, you don’t even need any customer to buy it!

  5. quote of Jobs from MDN: “This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps…”

    I think the author of the original article is a little off by writing “perfect”. Jobs leaves the maximum screen size out of the conversation.

    I am sure there are a variety of parameters that made Apple choose the 10″ screen – weight, battery life, cost of screen, portability, etc. I suspect they could go up to 13″, gain plenty of screen real estate, but not affect the ability to hold the iPad like a book or throw it into a purse (as my wife so loves doing) as long as they could keep the weight down and still get the 10+h battery life.

    Of course, I primarily use the iPad for watching video on long flights (my wife keeps tight reign on it otherwise), so I really only care about screen size and battery life. There are plenty of other users that probably find the 10″ screen to be “perfect”. Still, I’m going to think of it as the minimum size.

  6. I love my 10 inch iPad. Now I just need an OS that let’s me find an app I know i have but don’t remember the name, and while we re at it let’s get a big boy file system.

    1. So you want to find an App you know you have but don’t recall it’s name or what folder you put it….I’m not sure even OSX can help you there.
      Don’t get me wrong, I have also “lost” Apps after downloading because I put them in an odd folder (Never name one Misc) but I can usually recall the name.
      I would like to be able to download files though, from the web or a USB drive. Would make life that much easier.

    2. I don’t usually forget the name, but I often forget where I put it – which screen, maybe in a folder, etc. I just swipe to the search screen and enter a few letters and I can launch it from the results.

      1. Yeah I haven’t forgotten the app name, but I have forgotten the location. Search does allow you to launch the app, but now you’ll have to launch from search all of the time. If the search screen would show the location of the app, or, if you tapped it, instead of launching the app it would go to the app icon, that would be very helpful.

  7. 10 inches is indeed perfect. Not only that but screen ratio has to be taken into account as companies like Motorola introduced widescreen tablets that aren’t as versatile as the 4:3 iPad. So Apple got it right on both size and ratio.

    There is a part of me that wants to see what Apple could make out of a 7″ tab. Perhaps the rumored “big iPod touch” from a month or so back. I must admit that I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one. But for now all evidence says Steve and the gang just has to work on making the iPad as thin and light as possible.

  8. “Judging by Jobs’ previous negative comments about the smaller screens, we are not likely to see Apple introduce a smaller tablet.”

    Didn’t Jobs also say, for years and just as unequivocally, that Apple had no interest in selling books because “nobody reads anymore”?

  9. I think Apple WILL release a slightly smaller iPad (with the current 768×1024 resolution) at the same time Apple releases a slightly larger iPad (at 1600×1200 resolution). Both will have 163 pixels per inch (currently 132 PPI). NOTE: iOS on iPhone operates at 163 PPI; iPhone 4’s Retina Display only doubles it for displaying graphical elements and media.

    Steve Jobs says many things to misdirect and manipulate the competition. He said iPod would not show video on a tiny screen, until it did. He said no native third-party iPhone apps, until there was suddenly a fully-developed iPhone SDK and App Store. He said Apple was not interested in ebooks because “Americans no longer read,” until iPad had iBooks as a key feature.

    Who doesn’t believe that iPad will eventually come in more than one size? It needs to remain a “hand held” device, so the maximum usable size for a touch screen device is about 12 inches. The current iPad is too close to that size, so it will refined down to about 8 inches, without losing any screen resolution or functionality.

    1. I’m not sure why is the maximum usable size only 12″? A standard sheet of paper in America is called Letter Size. It is about 15″ diagonally. Most magazines published in America are in this format. Outside of America, standard sheet of paper is the A4 (210 × 297 mm), with the diagonal of about the same size. If that iPad is as light and as thin as was the original one, it would be as portable as any ordinary magazine.

      1. I’m considering weight (mostly from the screen itself and a larger battery that would be needed to drive a larger device for ten hours). Battery and screen tech will improve, but I’m talking about the next two years, not ten years from now. And a larger device will “feel” heavier, even at the same total weight, because the center of mass is farther from the point at which it is being gripped.

        There is also the increasingly long distance the hand and fingers would need to move to manipulate “objects” on a larger screen, AND constantly moving them out of the way so that they are not blocking the eyes’ view to the screen. On an iPhone, it is no problem (the movement is a few inches). Up to about 12 inches, it is manageable. Anything larger, and the effort needed to constantly move your fingers, hand, and arm to touch the screen and move it off the screen will become annoying. You don’t have any of that wasted effort with a paper magazine.

        Also, “multi-touch” gestures will increasingly require two hands to perform as the screen gets larger, and one of the hands is being used to hold the device.

        And that’s why I think a 12-inch screen is about the maximum usable size for a hand-held touch-screen tablet device.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.