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_WHAT JOBS THOUGHT: Apple’s late CEO made a rare appearance on an October 2010 earnings conference call to launch a tirade against the 7-inch tablet Samsung Electronics Inc. was set to launch as the first major challenger to the iPad.

“The reason we wouldn’t make a 7-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit a price point, it’s because we don’t think you can make a great tablet with a 7-inch screen,” Jobs said. “The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.”

He said the resolution of the display could be increased to make up for the smaller size, but that would be “meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present 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. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps,” he said.

Jobs failed to mention Apple’s success developing apps that use taps, flicks and pinches on the iPhone, with its 3.5-inch screen.

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Peter Svensson can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/petersvensson