Kevin Tofel Inspires Apple To Build Smaller iPad


As you’ve probably heard, Apple and Samsung are going at it via a variety of legal challenges across the globe. And, while litigation generally bores me, I was pretty stoked to discover my buddy Kevin Tofel cited in evidence.

Kevin’s the biggest 7″ tablet evangelist I know. In fact, he recently penned an article declaring small tablets will replace smartphones… and believes it. While I have my doubts, Kevin routinely carries a 7″ tablet with him — here I am holding his Nexus 7 loaner while we wandered around Vegas last month and he recently “called” me from his yard, given the video, from another tab using Google Chat.

So it’s amazingly acknowledging to see Apple execs literally sharing Kevin’s interest in this particular form factor as you can see from the email (below) that Eddie Cue sent to Tim Cook, Scott Forstall, and Phil Schiller.


I’m more interested in moving to a larger iPhone, rather than acquiring a smaller iPad, and I’m not sure the iPhone 5 will be sufficient. But if a smaller iOS tablet is you thing, when the 8″ iPad hits this fall, you’ll have Kevin to thank. Sort of. ;)

19 thoughts on “Kevin Tofel Inspires Apple To Build Smaller iPad”

  1. Interestingly enough, it was Kevin C. Tofel who also initially inspired the time/temperature display on all mobile platforms.

    Some folks say that Kevin C. Tofel initially inspired the hyperlink, but I believe such folks have their info wrong.

  2. “..In fact, he recently penned an article declaring small tablets will replace smartphones… ”
    Why would I ever want to replace my smartphone with something so large? If it can’t fit in my pocket then I’m not going to carry it with me. Probably a 5″ screen is about the max size for me for a smartphone. A coworker just got the new Samsung Galaxy phone that has a 4.8″ screen. That can still easily fit in my pocket. But there no way a 7″ tablet could do that.

    I can see having a 7″ tablet as well as a smartphone. I currently have a Kindle Fire that I use at home. But I can’t see either one replacing the other. To carry a 7″ tablet with me i would have to have some type of bag to carry it in. Now if I were a woman I guess you could fit it in some purses, but I have no idea how I would carry one around.

  3. Kevin lives in the future… where they equip clothing with very large pockets. I just want a bigger iPhone, but not sure Apple’s going to cite my comments, tweets, or posts and develop one sufficiently large. Not sure what my next plan is, but I’m in no rush since I just dropped $150 on my replacement.

  4. “Kevin lives in the future… where they equip clothing with very large pockets.”

    You think linearly, Dave, not exponentially like Kevin C. Tofel.

    They’re actually planning to do mass gene splicing to make humans part marsupial. Clothing will remain as is, but the large pockets will be a bit more eXistenZ-ish. Of course, Kevin C. Tofel initially inspired the idea.

  5. (And for any luddites out there with paranoid concerns about the march of progress, beware. The terms of service you clicked “I agree” to when you signed up for an Apple ID entitles Cupertino to perform remote gene splicing on you with no further consent on your part.)

  6. That’s a bummer… as I’m (exponentially) thinking more cyberpunk — jacking in and Google Glass orbs to replace these myopic pieces of wetwear.

  7. I wonder if Apple middle-managers try to push their projects these days by explaining to the group that Steve-o came to them in a dream and told them that he was receptive to their idea…

  8. One of the things I haven’t seen discussed much is the difference between the 7″ tablets everybody is looking at and the 7.85″ 4:3 iPad that we’re all assuming Apple will be introducing this fall. If you look at the mock up:

    The iPad Mini is a VERY different beast with respect to portability. While you might be able to squeak a Nexus 7 into a jeans pocket or jacket pocket in some cases, you would NOT be able to do that with the rumored Mini.

    Which could be BAD, depending on how people use these things. If its just a smaller slightly more portable, lighter, more reading than creating iPad then great, the new 8″ iPad Mini would be fine.

    But if Toffel is right and these are going to take over the world and we’re going to carry them everywhere, then Apple would be building the wrong thing…

  9. Why are they going to stay with an old aspect ratio? My pictures have been in the 16:9 aspect ratio for many, many years. And I’ve been recording HDTV content, which is in the 16:9 ratio, since 2001. Just from using that old aspect ratio, it would prevent me from even thinking about getting an Apple tablet.

  10. Every TV, Monitor, laptop, and netbook I use is either a 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio. Why is Apple stuck in the 20th century with a 4:3 aspect ratio? Isn’t it time they pulled themselves into the 21st century. They have in most other ways but why are they not doing it with their display sizes?

  11. “The iPad Mini is a VERY different beast with respect to portability. While you might be able to squeak a Nexus 7 into a jeans pocket or jacket pocket in some cases, you would NOT be able to do that with the rumored Mini.”

    Apple is planning on buying the Gap ahead of releasing the iPad Mini, and substantially enlarging the pocket sizes on all Gap (and subsidiary branded) clothing, including jeans, jackets, and more.

    John Gruber will run daily posts about how 7″ tablets are too small for the Brave New Pockets, generally causing discomfort, and sometimes even injury.

    And who initially inspired the Gap acquisition? I think we all know the answer to that…

  12. I have to say, as someone who is on multiple planes a week, my Nexus 7 has replace my iPad as my travel companion. It’s easier to throw in and out of my bag, the size is perfect, and at 199, if I drop it, I’m not going to lose a ton of sleep.

    I’m a 7″ tab convert.

  13. @aaronwt,

    While I want a smaller tablet myself, I’m not sure that watching video on it would be my primary concern. I would mostly use it for reading the web in portrait mode (where the 9 in 16:9 might be a bit narrow), reading books (again, books aren’t 16:9), reading comic books (not 16:9), playing games (apps already coded for 4:3 1024×768 iPad resolution), etc.

    You can say ‘new’ all you want, but the 16:9 thing only appllies to video.

    Personally I liked my laptop displays better when I could get 16:10 1920×1200 displays. But those aren’t available anymore and now I’m stuck with 1920×1080 since laptops can reduce their costs by sharing glass with small TVs or something…

  14. BTW Dave,

    Looks like the Samsung/FiOS thing has gone live:

    Looks like my Living Room TV would support the service (if I were in a FiOS area and only needed a few channels), but the older 2010 bedroom Samsung wouldn’t. Currently I’d only find this interesting for a secondary TV given the limited channels available, but presumably the support will improve as time goes by…

  15. Yah, I tweeted it out a few days ago. Not sure why Verizon didn’t contact me about it. Hm. Maybe once we get settled at the new place, I’ll pick up a Samsung Blu-ray — cheaper over time as a set-top in say a guest bedroom. Hmmm.

  16. @Glenn

    16:9 also applies to pictures. It’s been many years since I’ve taken a picture in the 4:3 format. I have tens of thousands of pictures I’ve taken over the years in the 16:9 format.

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