Just for fun, in August 2007 Total Telecom reported the apocryphal tale of a U.S. man who had had his thumbs surgically whittled down to enable him to use his iPhone's touchscreen better. The story appeared in the U.S. press just weeks after the first iPhone hit the shelves, and the fact it was picked up and re-reported worldwide served to illustrate just how much hype surrounded the launch of the first iteration of the Apple smartphone.
Three years later and the idea of touchscreen-related digital surgery is back… this time introduced by none other than Mr Apple, Steve Jobs himself.
At Apple's fiscal Q4 results announcement late yesterday, Jobs embarked upon a lengthy diatribe against makers of tablet devices with 7-inch screens, which he believes pale in comparison with the iPad's close to 10-inch screen and do not facilitate a comfortable touchscreen experience.
Manufacturers of 7-inch tablets should sell sandpaper along with the devices, so users can "sand down their fingers to around a quarter of their present size," Jobs suggested.
That may have been a joke, but Jobs' attack on rival device makers and the raft of new tablets scheduled to come to market later this year was serious. The Apple CEO is clearly keen to protect the market segment he could reasonably be credited with creating, and his '7 inches is not enough' rant suggests Apple is feeling the pressure.
See Apple's Q4 results here and look out for more from Jobs on the forthcoming tablet "avalanche" in this week's Friday Review.