By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 04, 2012 02:00 PM EDT
Apple and Samsung are currently battling it out in a high-profile patent case, granting Silicon Valley an unprecedented peek behind the stage of Apple's secretive design and culture. One of the highlights of the giants' day in court (on Friday, Aug. 3) was the release of internal e-mail in which Apple executives discussed a smaller version of the popular iPad, which bolsters iPad Mini rumors.
The e-mail was introduced as part of a cross-examination of Scott Forstall, Apple's head of iOS software. The 2011 e-mail revealed during the trial further amplifies recent speculation that Apple is working on an iPad Mini to take on competitors such as Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire. Apple, however, has not confirmed such plans.
Samsung Electronics presented the e-mail from Apple vice president Cue as evidence in the U.S. patent trial, aiming to prove that Apple also monitors its competition.
In the e-mail dated January 2011, Cue urged then-CFO Tim Cook to consider building a 7-inch tablet. The correspondence started with Cue forwarding an article in GigaOm, entitled "Why I just dumped the iPad (Hint: Size Matters)."
"Having used a Samsung Galaxy, I tend to agree with many of the comments below (except moving off the iPad)," wrote Cue in the e-mail addressed to software chief Scott Forstall and marketing head Phil Schiller. "I believe there will be a 7" market and we should do one. 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". Web browsing is definitely the weakest point, but still usable."
Apple and Samsung are currently engaged in a patent dispute reflecting the struggle for industry supremacy between two tech giants that dominate more than half of the world's smartphone sales. Apple claims that Samsung copied the design and some features of its iPad and iPhone and is demanding billions of dollars in damages, as well as a sales ban on Samsung's products. In return, the South Korean company is claiming that Apple infringed some of its key wireless technology patents.
By introducing Cue's e-mail as evidence during the trial, Samsung was aiming to prove that Apple keeps an eye on its competitions' products. In this case, the e-mail shows that the competition's smaller tablets may not be as undesirable as Jobs once said.
With Apple claiming that Samsung "slavishly" copied its devices, the South Korean company is using this exhibit as proof that Apple snoops on rivals. The two tech giants are back in court Monday, Aug. 6, with more testimony from Apple.
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