iPad Mini: Steve Jobs Was Receptive to a 7-Inch iPad

An iPad 1 and an iPad 2.

While rumors have swirled about a smaller iPad (or iPad Mini) over the last couple of months, one thing has given many some pause: Steve Jobs always seemed to hate the idea of a smaller tablet (On an Apple earnings call, Jobs said a 7-inch tablet would be "dead on arrival.").

But thanks to Apple and Samsung's heated intellectual property trial we're learning that the former Apple CEO might have changed his tune.

"I believe there will be a 7-inch market and we should do one," Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, wrote in an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook and other senior Apple executives on Jan. 24, 2011.

"I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time. I found email, books, Facebook, and video very compelling on a 7-inch. Web browsing is definitely the weakest point, but still usable," Cue said in the same email.

The email was submitted as evidence in Samsung's cross-examination on Friday, said technology website AllThingsD.

Rumors of a 7-inch iPad have gained in traction over the last couple of months. Bloomberg reported last month that Apple would release the smaller tablet before October. iMore, an Apple-focused news site, has said it will have a 7.85-inch screen and also believes it will be introduced at an event on Sept. 12. Over the weekend, photos of the purported tablet appeared on a Chinese social media site and other technology sites.

Recently, Google released a 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet for $200. It is rumored that the smaller iPad would be around that price. Apple has declined to comment on the iPad Mini rumors over the last couple of months.