Can The iPad Mini Reset 7 inch Market?

Brooke Crothers of CNET says what I believed some time ago, which is that Apple can reset the 7 inch market with their new iPad Mini.   You can read his article here.

Back in July of 2011 I wrote the following:

The seven-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.

Steve Jobs, Apples Earnings Call, October 18, 2010

I love Apple.  Steve Jobs inspires me.   I am not alone in these two sentiments.  My devotion to Apple and the creative genius of Mr. Jobs does not extend to the 7 inch tablet.  Here they simply lack vision.

Apple will regret their failure to develop a 7 inch tablet.  This decision provides an opportunity for a smart and clever competitor.  It is an opportunity to develop the digital paperback to Apple’s digital hardcover.  A new paperback revolution for digital times.

Clearly times have changed for Apple.   The important question is have Amazon and Google established market leads capable of withstanding the upcoming release of the iPad Mini.  Brooke Crothers article created significant doubt in my mind.

I still believe the 7 inch will be the paperback of tablets (although the Galaxy Note has given me pause).  The question is who will best leverage this form factor to dominate digital the way paperbacks dominated print?