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iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: inch makes all the difference, says Apple CEO

Tim Cook and the mild-mannered inch

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To Apple CEO Tim Cook, an inch is everything.

Apple’s iPad Mini has an 8in display - its closest Android-based rivals all have 7in screens. A big difference, says Cook.

"We would not make a 7in tablet," he told financial analysts and journalist eavesdroppers during a conference call last night. "We don't think they're good products."

Why? Because, he said, there’s not enough display space on the smaller tablets. That extra inch makes for a much more usable touchscreen, apparently.

We’ve argued that the larger panel’s 1024 x 768 resolution puts the Mini at a disadvantage to other tablets’ 1280 x 800 panels because it makes for a less pleasant reading experience, and reading - not just e-books but web pages, email, chat messages, magazines, game info screens - is the activity tablet users perform more than than any other.

Having that extra inch only serves to reduce the Mini’s relative display pixel density - its ‘retina-ness’, essentially - even further.

Cook also dismissed Microsoft’s Surface tablet as “a fairly compromised, confusing product”, though he admitted he hasn’t had played with one yet. But his take is that it’s trying to hard to be a PC and a tablet.

“I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats,” he said, “but I don’t think it would do all of those things very well.”

Tablets, he reckons, will outsell PCs, a claim he’s made before.

“It is already extremely compelling for many customers to choose a tablet, in particular an iPad, over a PC,” he said. “When you look at the PC market, there is an enormous opportunity for Apple there.” ®

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