An anonymous reader writes: During the 2010 Christmas shopping season, Steve Jobs famously dissed the 7 inch tablets being rolled out by competitors, including Samsung's Galaxy, as being "tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the [9.7 inch diagonal] iPad", adding that "the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA — dead on arrival." A year later Jobs was dead, and the iPad Mini, with a 7.9 inch diagonal screen, was rolled out under his successor Tim Cook in October, 2012. Looking at industry-wide tablet sales numbers for January 2013, which show that the iPad Mini surprisingly outsold its larger sibling by a substantial margin (as did 7 inch Android tablets from competitors), Motley Fool's Evan Niu thinks that the 7.9 inch form factor was the correct size all alone, contrary to Jobs' pronoucements (which of course was partly marketing bluster — but he chose the larger size in the first place). Of course the Mini is cheaper, but not by much — $329 vs. $399 for the larger iPad, for the baseline model with WiFi only and 16KB storage. Had Apple introduced the iPad with the smaller size to begin with, Niu argues, competitors would have faced a much difficult task grabbing market share. While the Mini is currently available only with "Super VGA" resolution (1024x768), rumors are afloat that Minis with the Retina display (2048x1536) are close to production.
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