The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series in which senior technology analyst Eric Bleeker and Chief Technology Officer Jeremy Phillips discuss topics across the investing world.
Steve Jobs notably once called seven-inch tablets "dead on arrival" and stated that the 9.7-inch iPad design was as small as tablets should go. However, The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Apple is working with Asian suppliers on an 8-inch design. The usual caveats aside that these reports don't signal any kind of imminent 8-inch iPad, any launch would be a dramatic change for a tablet size the company continually has derided. Eric notes that while tablets like Research In Motion's 7-inch Playbook did end up being dead on arrival, so did HP's 10-inch Touchpad. The end differentiating factors are price and the software behind the tablet. In Amazon's case, the company succeeded not because of the tablet's form factor, but mainly on price. By cutting the iPad's size, Apple could save maybe $30-$50, and could achieve other savings through other measures, such as limiting storage and using an older processor. Still, that level of pragmatism would be out of Apple's character. In the end, Eric says the noise surrounding a smaller iPad isn't in line with the results it could deliver to Apple's business.