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Do we have Tim Cook to thank for the iPad mini?

A new profile in the New York Times suggests that it was Tim Cook and not Steve Jobs who was the driving force between the creation of the iPad mini. According to the report — which doesn’t quote Cook directly — he was confident that a smaller device would prove to be a big success in the tablet market, while the man he succeeded as Apple CEO was less sure.

You may remember that the iPad mini was unveiled to the world in October 2012, nearly two-and-a-half years after the debut of the original iPad and just over twelve months after Steve Jobs’ death. That means the product would’ve been in development before Cook officially took the reigns, and the NYT suggests he was the man pushing for the smaller form factor.

According to Disney chief executive Robert Iger, who also sits on Apple’s board, Cook “thought the world would love a smaller and less expensive tablet” even though Steve Jobs wasn’t convinced. As we know, Cook got his way, and Apple produced a typically enthusiastic promotional video to talk up the many benefits of the smaller and lighter iPad mini.

The revelation doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, but it provides an interesting insight into Cook’s approach, particularly when you consider the rumors around new form factors for the iPhone. Apple’s CEO has repeatedly promised that there are some impressive new products in the pipeline, and if the iPad mini is anything to go by, he may be more willing to tweak a winning formula than Steve Jobs was.

There’s a brief mention of the iWatch, which will appear in the last quarter of 2014 according to the NYT’s sources. The article says Cook is taking a less ‘hands-on’ than Steve Jobs did, and is more interested in the iWatch’s broader implications for health than the finer details of its design, which have been almost entirely entrusted to other executives (including Jony Ive).

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