Has Apple redefined the tablet as an 8-inch device?

“Just before Christmas last year, I was speaking to a friend of mine who mentioned that their iPad mini was like their ‘backup brain,'” Matt Baxter-Reynolds writes for ZDNet. “For some reason, this statement was enough to make me go out and buy one.”

“I had planned to keep both the iPad mini and my normal, full-sized iPad. In fact, I sold my full-sized iPad within a day of taking delivery of the mini,” Baxter-Reynolds writes. “he mini just seemed to fit what I needed it for perfectly, whereas the full-sized iPad in comparison immediately felt faintly ridiculous… Whatever is happening out there, there seems to be drift in screen sizes towards devices with screens that are — for the sake of argument — around 6″ for a smartphone and around 8″ for a tablet. So why should the market like small tablets?”

Baxter-Reynolds writes, “On the smartphone side, people are caring less about making phone calls and more about being able to access their digital world regardless of where they are and what primary activity they’re engaged in. Smartphones and tablets both do that last bit well, but a larger screen is needed to gain higher utility… sizes are capped by the typical carrying capacity of a man’s pocket… If everyone in the world carried a purse every time they left the house, perhaps we’d be looking at smartphones and tablets both ending up around the 8″ size… Mind you, none of this explains why a smaller tablet makes sense at home and if you have no intention of taking it out of the house.”

Read more in the full article here.

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


  1. I’m convinced that the “mini” size is going to be the center of the consumer tablet curve, with 7 on once side and 10 on the other.

    Having said that, if Apple could lighten the 9.7, get rid of most of the bezel I could see going back to that size.

    And while I’m complaining about bezel, I’ve always wondered why no one talks about the 11.6 inch MBA and the wasted bezel space there.

    1. The 10″ iPad looks like it’s going to end up as the “iPad pro” in the product line. It’s an important size for content creation, but not as good as the mini for consumption.

  2. I bet Apple sold a bunch of the iPad Mini. We bought two. Great little device. I prefer it for reading and browsing, but I think the the larger iPad has a place depending on your usage habits.

  3. I hate that bezel on the iPad 3. Dumb. Makes it harder to find the controls and plug in the charger, especially with a cover on. On the iPad 4 the Lightning connector probably makes that easier but a bezel is just design for design’s sake and reduces practical considerations for artsy ones. In my opinion anyway.

    1. The ‘bezel’ is the area immediately surrounding the display on the user facing side of the iPad. It is either black or white, the glass covers both the bezel and the actual display.

      I believe you are referring to the Aluminum portion known as the main or rear “enclosure”.

        1. I was referring to peterblood71, not Truth. Since he’s complaining about where the 30 pin connector connects, I don’t think he meant bezel… and since the edge of the aluminum is a beveled edge, well…

          And I can’t imagine using my full size iPad 3 without the bezel…

    2. Just consider what it would be like to hold a device without a bezel on it. You would be constantly accidentally touching the display and need the ‘dead zone’ that the mini has. Many of the links or buttons you would want to push become inoperable. The user would become frustrated and curse Apple for designing such a crumby device.

      Cue the iPad mini lovers rebuttal in . . . 3 . . . 1 . . . 1 . . .

      1. I think the size and weight of the larger iPad is justification enough for the bezel for all the reasons you specified. It’s a necessary design feature. Likewise, the much smaller and lighter form factor of the iPad mini is justification for the greatly-reduced bezel size. I have no problem at all holding the mini in either orientation, but I don’t think that would be true of a small-bezel 10″ iPad.

        In short, they both work very well as they are for good reasons. It’s like Apple spent a lot of time thinking about these designs or something! 😉

  4. In love with my mini whilst my iPad gathers dust. And that’s true inside the house and out. I’d estimate only 20% or less of my choice has to do with screen size; 35% with thinness and 45% with weight. These are just estimates. If they could make a full iPad as thin and light as a mini, I’d be very intrigued.

  5. I’m so disappointed in this bunch.

    We’re 16 comments in, and a single comment about handling an 8″ device?

    No here is going to brag about preferring their own 10″ device?

    No one?

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