Samsung's big zinger in patent case: Apple exec liked 7-inch Galaxy

Trial reveals Apple admired rival Samsung's 7-inch Galaxy and commented "we should do one".

Apple is forever accusing other companies of stealing its ideas and designs but in its current case against Samsung its South Korean rival submitted evidence that Apple watches and even wants to replicate what competitors are doing.

In court on Friday an internal Apple e-mail was submitted as evidence in which Apple executives discussed interest in a smaller version of the iPad, an interesting development considering late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' disparaging public comments about smaller tablets after Apple released its first iPad.

[See more: iPad Mini: What We Know So Far.]

The submission was part of a cross-examination of Scott Forstall, Apple's head of iOS software at Apple.

The Jan. 2011 email, written by Eddy Cue, head of Apple's Internet software and services, to Forstall, marketing chief Phil Schiller and current Apple CEO Tim Cook, mentions a conversation with then CEO Steve Jobs and cites a GigaOm story titled "Why I just dumped the iPad (Hint: Size Matters)".

Cue's email reads:

"Having used a Samsung Galaxy, I tend to agree with many of the comments [in the story] (except moving off the iPad). 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."

With the email Samsung was trying to make the point that Apple watches and wants to emulate the products of other companies--a zinger considering Apple is accusing Samsung of "slavishly" copying the iPhone and iPad.

At the center of the case is the question of whether Samsung too closely copied Apple's iPhone and iPad designs when making its own mobile phones and tablets. Other arguments involve the design of on-screen icons on Samsung products and whether Apple used technology to which Samsung holds patents.

Apple wants $2.5 billion in damages, and has asked the judge to triple the award due to willful infringement.

Apple and Samsung have been arguing for weeks in court over what should and shouldn't be included in the trial. The two companies are back in court Monday--check back at PCWorld for ongoing coverage.

Follow Christina on Twitter and Google+ for even more tech news and commentary and followToday@PCWorld on Twitter, too.

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Christina DesMarais

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