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Apple CEO Cook: ‘We will never do a 7-inch tablet’

“We don’t think they’re good products,” Cook tells analysts. Meanwhile, the iPad Mini is a 7.9-inch tablet.

But seriously, Tim Cook, how do you really feel about smaller tablets?

The Apple CEO let loose on 7-inch tablets during a conference call with investors, insisting that the company would never build one.

“We would not make a 7-inch tablet,” he said today. “We don’t think they’re good products.”

Cook, of course, is staying true to the late Steve Jobs’ proclamation that a tablet that’s smaller than the original 9.7-inch iPad was too uncomfortable, and that consumers would have to shave off parts of their fingers to actually use it.

But Cook is splitting hairs a bit here. Yes, the recently unveiled iPad Mini is a smaller tablet, but isn’t the 7-inch tablet that Jobs referred to. No, it has a staggeringly larger 7.9-inch display instead.

Cook argues that the extra size gives it a much larger viewing area, and isn’t cramped like smaller devices such as the Nexus 7 from Google and Kindle Fire HD from Amazon.

Cook on the iPad Mini relative to the competition: “It’s in a whole different league.”

Cook defending the premium price of the iPad Mini, which can be significantly higher than the competition. He added that the iPad Mini is significantly less profitable than other products in its lineup.

Apple, meanwhile, sold 14 million iPads in the fiscal fourth quarter that just ended, although it was below what Wall Street had expected. Apple as a whole reported mixed results with earnings disappointing iPad sales and higher costs.

The smaller tablets weren’t the only targets of Cook during the conference call. Microsoft’s Surface got a negative shout-out when he compared it to a car that can both float and fly, saying it was a “compromised product” that probably couldn’t do either things that well.

Fittingly, Microsoft is launching its Surface tablet tonight.

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