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iPad Mini? Apple's Steve Jobs Was Open To The Idea, Said Senior Exec

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* Eddy Cue lobbied for mini-iPad, Jobs was "receptive"
* Apple reveals billion dollar ad-spend for iPhone, iPad
* Judge warns attorneys against 'theatrics'

By Poornima Gupta
SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug 3 (Reuters) - Steve Jobs was receptive
to Apple Inc making a smaller tablet, a senior
executive said in a 2011 email revealed on Friday, fanning
speculation it plans to make a mini-iPad to take on cheaper
gadgets from Google Inc and Amazon.
An Apple mini-version of the market-dominating 10-inch iPad
could counter increasing inroads made by tablets such as the
Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. But the company has never confirmed the
intensifying talk of such a launch.
Vice President Eddy Cue urged then-chief operating officer
Tim Cook in January 2011 to build a 7-inch tablet, according to
an email from Cue that Samsung Electronics presented
as evidence in a U.S. patent trial.
In an email addressed also to software chief Scott Forstall
and marketing head Phil Schiller, Cue said he believed there was
a market for a 7-inch tablet and that "we should do one."
Cue's brief email was introduced on Friday as part of a
high-wattage trial that will play out in a San Jose courtroom
this summer and is expected to transfix the technology industry.
"There will be a 7-inch market and we should do one. I
expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he
seemed very receptive the last time," the executive wrote in the
email. "I found email, books, Facebook, and video very
compelling on a 7-inch. Web browsing is definitely the weakest
point, but still usable."
Cue had previously forwarded an article entitled "Why I just
dumped the iPad (hint: size matters)". He wrote: "Having used a
Samsung Galaxy, I tend to agree with many of the comments below
(except actually moving off the iPad)."
Apple and Samsung are going toe-to-toe in a patents dispute
mirroring a struggle for industry supremacy between two rivals
that control more than half of worldwide smartphone sales.
The U.S. company accuses Samsung of copying the design and
some features of its iPad and iPhone, and is asking for billions
of dollars in damages and a sales ban. The Korean firm, which is
trying to expand in the U.S. market, says Apple infringed some
of its key wireless technology patents.
Cue, who rose to prominence overseeing the iTunes and Apps
stores, became the company's senior vice president of Internet
software and services in September. His email was introduced by
Samsung during a cross-examination of Forstall on Friday.
In the email dated Jan. 24, 2011, Cue said he had broached
the idea of a smaller tablet to Jobs several times since
Thanksgiving, and the co-founder was receptive "the last time."
That appeared to run counter to Jobs' famous dislike of
smaller tablets. In 2010, Jobs told analysts on a conference
call that 7-inch tablets should come with sandpaper, so users
could file their fingers down to a quarter of their size.
"There are clear limits of how close you can physically
place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably
tap, flick, or pinch them," Jobs, who died in October after a
years-long battle with cancer, said at the time.
"This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen
size is the minimum size required to create great tablet Apps."
Apple still dominates the global tablet market, but rivals
are closing in. Google unveiled the Nexus 7 in July to strong
reviews. And Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet, with a price tag about
half the iPad's, has encroached on Apple's market share.
Analysts say smaller, cheaper tablets entice cost-conscious
buyers unwilling to spend $500 or more for an iPad.


COURT FIREWORKS
The trial began this week and has already granted Silicon
Valley an unprecedented peek behind the curtain of Apple's
famously secretive design and marketing machine.
Forstall described the early days of the iPhone's top-secret
inception. The smartphone that went on to revolutionize the
mobile industry was developed in a building engineers nicknamed
the "purple dorm." Security was so tight employees sometimes had
to swipe their badges four times just to get in, he said.
Earlier on Friday, Schiller told a packed courtroom that
Apple's strategy in maintaining its market momentum is to "make
the product the biggest and clearest thing in advertising."
The 15-year Apple veteran told the jury the company has
spent about $647 million on advertising for the iPhone, launched
in 2007, and over $457 million for the two-year-old iPad.
Dressed in a dark suit and yellow tie, Schiller -- who
favors blue jeans and is among a handful of executives reporting
directly to CEO Cook -- said Samsung's copying of Apple's
designs has hurt its sales and disrupted its marketing.
"I was pretty shocked at the appearance of the Galaxy S
phone and the extent it appeared to copy Apple products," he
told the jury, adding that he was even more shocked when he saw
the Galaxy tab. "I thought they've done it again, they're just
going to copy our whole product line."
Justin Denison, Chief Strategy Officer for Samsung
Telecommunications America, took the stand after Forstall,
stressing that the world's largest technology company by sales
was also no slouch when it came to design and marketing.
Denison told the court Samsung spent $1 billion on U.S.
product marketing in 2011 and employs over 1,200 designers.
Before Schiller took the stand, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh
rejected Apple's request for severe sanctions against Samsung
over the conduct of one of the Korean firm's attorneys, though
she said such conduct risked tainting the jury.
A Samsung statement this week contained links to documents
Koh ruled could not be admitted at trial. Attorney John Quinn,
of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, acknowledged he authorized
the statement but said it was not designed to sway the jury.
Apple had asked Koh to punish Samsung by ruling that Apple's
phone design patents were valid, and had been infringed. Koh
rejected that request but said there may be a post-trial
investigation.
"I will not let any theatrics or any sideshows distract us
from what we are here to do," Koh said.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of
California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al,
No. 11-1846.

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