The iPad, Re-invented

(Earlier today, we posted an analysis of Apple’s event for Tech.pinions Insiders but we wanted this snippet from our full note to subscribers to be seen by a wider audience. If you’d like to read more or want to become a Tech.pinions Insider, please click here)

Unquestionably, a new era for the iPad has begun. I admit, I was skeptical a larger iPad would do much for sales declines but, after seeing the iPad Pro and experiencing it first hand, I think I’m changing my mind.

The iPad is first and foremost larger. Some may look at it and say, “It’s just a larger iPad!” That is exactly the point. Larger means you can do more with it, plain and simple. What strikes me as monumental with the iPad Pro is the new A9X processor. Apple spent ample time explaining how the new A9X was designed specifically for iPad making it more powerful than most PCs on the market. This statement of processor performance is extremely telling about the iPad Pro’s positioning and upside. It is, in fact, a full-blown personal computer. If there was every any doubt the iPad was a PC, the iPad Pro puts that to rest. Let this statement sink in: The iPad Pro is more powerful than most PCs, yet as easy to use as an iPad.

That statement encompasses what I feel is Apple’s vision for the future of personal computing. PCs are hard to use. They have a learning curve. Smartphones are easy to use, but limited in screen size. Steve Jobs positioned the iPad best when he first announced it. He said:

“The iPad is more intimate than a notebook and more capable than a smartphone.”

I fully believe the iPad Pro is the manifestation of that vision. Here is where this gets interesting. There has been a great deal of consumer software innovation in mobile phones. There has not been much consumer software innovation in PCs. Windows simply doesn’t have a robust consumer thinking/focused developer community. Apple, on the other hand, does. Ask any developer and they will never tell you they have enough performance. They always want more. This is why Apple’s positioning of the iPad Pro as having as much and, in many cases, more performance than many PCs is key. They are hoping to get developers to re-think personal computing software and create software experiences for the iPad not found anywhere else.

The keyboard cover is a natural accessory. Keyboards have high attach rates to larger iPad sales. The new Pencil is interesting. I was able to try it and it was by far the most accurate and natural feeling stylus solution I’ve ever used. It will be very interesting to see where developers go with Pencil integration.

Overall, the iPad was a cornerstone of this event. After spending time with it, I’m extremely optimistic there is something here but it really does depend on developers to carry it forward and break new ground.

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Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio

130 thoughts on “The iPad, Re-invented”

  1. What do you think the implications are for Macbook and Macbook Air? My instinct is that the Air will be discontinued (the lack of a meaningful update in the last year is telling) but what about the Macbook?
    iPad Pro would have definitely been in the works when the Macbook was introduced, and they both serve the same ultra-portable productivity market (as Macbook Air also does). Its unlike Apple to have multiple products serving the same function and also unlike them to hedge their bets. If they think iPad Pro is the future of portable computing, why introduce the Macbook?

    1. “My instinct is that the Air will be discontinued (the lack of a
      meaningful update in the last year is telling) but what about the

      I think you’re dead wrong on this. Macs and Ipads are, I think, targeted at very different task sets and different markets. For instance, the biggest capacity ipad has as much storage as the lowest capacity mac. And every mac can access infinite storage via all kinds of standard USB devices. Giving an ipad access to extra external storage is possible but kludgy.

      The Mac is for people who need to work with all the paraphenalia of the PC ecosystem — external drives, USB devices, file systems, scads of storage, external monitors, pixel-precise pointing devices, etc. It doesn’t matter what form factor the device is in, if it’s a mac, it runs OS X and it can do all those PC-type things.

      The Ipad makes a clean break from that 30 year old PC ecosystem. On the one hand, that’s liberating, it enables new paradigms of usability and new types of UI, which lets you do tasks easily on a tablet that *cannot* be done, or done as well, on a mac. On the other hand, it’s confining and limiting, making it harder, slower, and more difficult to do *other* tasks that are simple to accomplish on a Mac.

      Professionals who buy an ipad pro will be buying it in addition to their PC running OS X or Windows. Consumers who buy one might be getting it as an easier-to-use replacement for a traditional PC, but I don’t see very many people doing that when a regular ipad provides all the same benefits in a much more comfortable and affordable form factor.

      One interesting question is what will Apple do when it comes time to refresh the regular size ipad (they seem to have switched to an every-other-year refresh rate for the Ipad line, which given flattish sales makes sense). Obviously it’s going to get 3d touch. Will it also get stylus support? That huge screen is an advantage for doing multitasking and for using it as a drawing pad, but at a significant cost in weight and bulk. I suspect there’s a significant number of people who would jump at the chance to buy an ipad that can be used as a sketchbook/notebook, but who are reluctant to buy something that’s so big and heavy as the ipad pro.

      1. “The Mac is for people who need to work with all the paraphenalia of the PC ecosystem — external drives, USB devices, file systems, scads of storage, external monitors, pixel-precise pointing devices, etc.”

        You are confusing my point… I’m not talking about Macs or even the Macbook Pro, but specifically the little under-powered Macbook introduced early this year.

        Most people’s primary device is likely to be a Macbook Pro or similar. The Macbook is not designed to be a primary device (as lack of power and single USB-C connector show), and neither is iPad Pro (for the reasons you express above). Both Macbook and iPad Pro sit in the ultra-portable but secondary (b/c of compromises) device niche. So again… why has Apple got both?

        1. I agree with points of both of you.
          * External drives and such – I have unlimited storage on my iPad, it’s called the cloud. I’ve seen some expensive USB keys for iPads and iPhones, do these actually work?
          * External monitors – I can cast my iPad to external monitors or I can get the HDMI attachment. But then I lose the finger input. I think the Touch UI of a pad is a big part of the value. It’s something that Microsoft doesn’t have. Win 10 still feels like part touch, part keyboard, and part mouse UI.
          * The MacBook is the Apple competitor – I almost bought one this year to replace my almost broken PC, but then I figured out how to fix my PC
          * Lots of PCs in the iPad Pro price range – At the same time I looked at PCs. The ones with the MacBook features were in the iPad Pro price range.
          About the only thing, for me, that’s missing on the iPad Pro is bootcamp for those times when I have to run Windows.

          1. So you believe iPad Pro could be a primary PC replacement? That would put it in direct competition with Macbook Air, or even the cheapest Macbook Pro (based on price). Which once again comes back to my central question… since when has Apple had two different devices serving the same market?
            If I had $1000 to spend, which should I buy? There never used to be a question.

          2. “If I had $1000 to spend, which should I buy? There never used to be a question.”

            There still isn’t. If you need a physical keyboard, or desktop apps, or access to the PC ecosystem of accessories and add ons, then get a Macbook Air. If you need a touch-based device, a stylus enabled digital sketchbook, or IOS apps, then get an Ipad. If you need the lightest possible ultraportable and don’t care about anything other than having a typing machine that weighs next to nothing, get the new Macbook.

          3. “If you need a touch-based device, a stylus enabled digital sketchbook, or IOS apps, then get an Ipad. If you need the lightest possible ultraportable and don’t care about anything other than having a typing machine that weighs next to nothing, get the new Macbook.”

            Both those segments are pretty niche, and the use cases are not constant. Chances are you’d need the ultra-portable at times, but once back at the office you’d need the full power of a Pro. If you’re not rich enough to buy both, what do you do?

            I think this gets to my fundamental concern. Apple is starting to get away from what Jobs did in 1997 – slashing dozens of different models each aimed at niche segments to a simple four market segments that suit everybody.

          4. Lots of Doctors are using iPads for its mobility ( ward rounds, consultations, strategy and planning sessions) and then switching to desktops for other things. It’s not a either or situations. To borrow a painting analog you: Some situations you need a roller, at other times you need brushes.

          5. Steve Jobs himself abandoned that four segment approach later on so let’s not get carried away and treat what was basically a desperation move dictated by scarce corporate resources as if it were some bedrock religious tenet.

          6. Its not the 4 segment approach that I have a problem with Apple is getting away from, but what it embodied – a clarity of purpose that made it easy not only for the company but also its customers. And by customers I mean the general public, those people who have barely even heard the terms iOS and OSX and think that Bill Gates still runs Microsoft.
            I agree that each product has its place, but for the uninitiated, choosing the right one is becoming ever harder – and that’s a problem.

            Here’s an example of what I’m talking about…
            Imagine a tradie who needs to replace his laptop. He’s all set to go get a Macbook but then reads a newspaper article about about the iPad Pro. It says that the Apple CEO called it ‘the future of personal computing’ and that it has an attachable keyboard and runs Office. He thinks perfect – I’ll get that instead of a Macbook… I’ll use it for my business then I can watch Netflix on it in the evening as well! Then he gets it and starts trying to work on his accounts spreadsheet. He finds it a bit harder to do it without a mouse. Then he tries writing up a new project plan and finds the attachable keyboard isn’t quite as good as a real one. Is he going to blame himself for getting the wrong product? No – he’s going to blame Apple because he expected it to ‘just work’. He tells his friends that the iPad Pro is crap, and slowly but surely Apple’s reputation is eroded.

            The key here is clear positioning of each product, and the iPad Pro announcement didn’t do that (and the Tech press hasn’t helped either). By having Microsoft present, and making the keyboard a Pro accessory (instead of making one for every type of iPad), it positioned the Pro as a PC replacement, which takes it into Macbook territory.

          7. The difficulty in using the device has a lot to do with age and preconceived ideas, habits. My kids have always used iPad 2s in keyboard cases (with a basic stylus) as their primary PC. They are touch wizards, they would have no issue with your use cases and in fact prefer working on their iPads.

          8. I think the iPad Pro can be a primary PC replacement for SOME people. Just as the iPad is for SOME people. My wife hasn’t used a PC since I gave her my iPad 3. The occasions that she needs one, she just has me do it. And most of those cases have been based on some peripheral that we don’t have at the house.
            The only other thing is making backups of her iPhone and/or iPad during the upgrade process. Everything works without a PC except saving passwords and the like. I believe I have her setup during the next upgrade event that even that’s covered.

          9. They are different approaches to jobs people need to be done with different set of priorities and compromises. Most people need one or the other and some will require both

          10. How far in the future are you thinking? If local wireless (i.e. bluetooth) bandwidth becomes fast enough, if cellular data bandwidth becomes fast enough and ubiquitous enough, then wired peripherals and local storage becomes obsolete and yes the iPadPro successors and the MacBook successors just might be merged into a single form factor. But who knows, the technology will dictate what Apple, and all other manufacturers, will do.

          11. “I have unlimited storage on my iPad, it’s called the cloud.”

            Limited for most people to 100kb/s upload speeds, compared to 100mb/s speeds for copying to a USB key or external drive.

            To restate my point: IOS and OS X/Windows have completely different, only partially overlapping models of how computing is done. Which means they fill different niches and do different jobs. Both are able to do all the computing necessary for ordinary day-to-day internet use. But for doing your office work, trying to give up your PC and switch to using just your ipad strikes me as a quixotic quest, sort of the tech nerd equivalent to climbing mount Everest.

          12. Exactly. You should buy the computer for the job, not try to force the job to the computer you have.
            I haven’t found slow upload / downloads to be much of a problem for office work. But when you go to media consumption, a fast pipe is better. Although I find Netflix usable in most random hotel rooms. You just have to be willing to wait a few seconds occasionally for the person in the next room to stop using torrent.

        2. “Both Macbook and iPad Pro sit in the ultra-portable but secondary (b/c
          of compromises) device niche. So again… why has Apple got both?”

          Sorry I misunderstood you. To re-answer your question better: Because they serve very different purposes.

          Calling the new Macbook “underpowered” is to fundamentally misunderstand the purpose and role of ultraportable laptops (go there and read the opening section). Like the original Macbook Air, the new Macbook is designed to compromise on all fronts except lightness, thinness, and having a good screen and a usable full size keyboard. It’s the perfect typing machine for journalists on the go, traveling sales reps, note taking students, and the like. It doesn’t pretend to have any other puirpose than to be a typing machine that you’ll barely notice in your carryon.

          The Ipad pro, on the other hand, is designed to be the most powerful, most utterly uncompromising IOS device Apple makes. Sure, you could use it like the new macbook if you bought a keyboard case for it, but like Microsoft’s surface, using it that way is a kludgy and sub-par experience compared to a real clamshell laptop with a real keyboard and trackpad.

          Let me close with Apple’s new product matrix, modified from Jobs’ original 2×2 matrix:

          Uncompromised powerDesktop replacementBig tablet
          Simple AIOGeneral purposeStandard tablet
          TinyUltralightOne handed tablet

        3. The MacBook is enough for a lot of people. It is all about jobs to be done. OSX is more suitable for some jobs than iOS, different approaches and within both sytems there will be different levels of complications needed. There can’t be one OS/hardware configuration to rule it all. For argument sake, I need a 8 core i7 based computer with Atleast 32GB of RAM and SSD for my work(lots of realtime processing involved) and nothing less will do, does that mean that anyone with a less powerful computer is not doing work, because I can’t do work with their set up? Or is the work they do, less important or valuable than mine?

      2. “bviously it’s going to get 3d touch. Will it also get stylus support?”

        I actually think, this time next year, we will see an iPad Air 3 with those features.

  2. Ben,

    I may be wrong, but I believe Apple’s claim is that the iPPro is faster than 80% (or 90%???) of most PC laptops. I believe he excluded desktop PCs. He also called the A9x ‘desktop class’.

    The benchmark testing on the iPPro will be very interesting and significant.

    1. If their 1.8x processing performance is anything to be believed, its single core performance on Geekbench should be the same as the i7 in the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (that’s only in the $1600 Surface Pro). It’s multicore performance higher, because it is a 3-core processor.

        1. But it is what I got right now. You have to remember that i7 is partly a marketing term. The i7 in the Surface Pro is not the same as the i7 used in a MacBook Pro or on the desktop. The i7 in the SP3 is clocked at like 2.2 GHz, while I imagine the A9x in the iPad is clocked slightly slower than that.

          1. I don’t think clock speed has a lot to do with performance. The i7 performance is driven more by the interface to the system memory and other peripherals. And the need to keep the thermal mass from storing too much heat. Since, I don’t believe the SP3 has a fan, you have to kick down performance to keep the processor from melting. If the MBP has a fan, that would be big performance improvement.
            My general question is how much performance do you really need?
            The real difference between the MBP / SP3 and the iPad Pro are in the User Interface experience. The iPad Pro is a true touch device. All of the apps and interfaces understand touch. I use a normal PC, a Win10 tablet, and an iPad. The usage difference between the three is huge.
            I thing the iPad Pro would provide just about enough for me to use it in my daily life. The only questionable thing missing is the ability to manage the 40+ GB of outlook folders that I have. So far, the iPhone / iPads that I have don’t allow that. So I wouldn’t be able to move off my PC.
            But I’d be willing to give it a try.

          2. I’m not sure I like it myself but Apple seems to think that in the future, that 40 GB of outlook folders is something that you will access directly from the cloud without any sacrifice in performance (compared to local storage).

          3. This. Most people just jump on Apple’s claim without giving it a lot of thought and setting up strawmen to fight over.

  3. “If there was every any doubt the iPad was a PC, the iPad Pro puts that to rest. Let this statement sink in: The iPad Pro is more powerful than most PCs, yet as easy to use as an iPad. ”

    Let it sink in on who’s basis? Apple’s claim alone? That requires faith.
    Performance is not an indicator of what a PC is, it’s only a spec. “Personal” is who controls it.

    Edit: ” Some may look at it and say, “It’s just a larger iPad!” ”
    And others may say that it’s an even bigger iPod Touch, but I do see adding the Stylus as a compelling feature. About time.

    1. Most PCs sold are the lower end specced ones, so Apple’s claims are nothing spectacular. The smartphone is enough PC for the vast majority of people, so for them the iPad pro is more than enough

      1. While I totally agree with the notion that the PC has been oversold, I don’t consider tablets and smartphones (especially lock up units) as PCs.

  4. The stylus is a nice addition for niche users.

    But the real story here is the keyboard. IMO part of the size increase decision comes from the amount of size you need to fit a properly sized keyboard.

    This is the first serious Apple foray into laptop usage for iOS, and IMO the future is bright for iOS in laptops.

    I am not a fan of floppy keyboard covers, but there will be more rigid alternatives and they can now have proper key spacing (unlike regular iPad keyboard cases).

    I could see Apple eventually releasing a touchscreen laptop powered by iOS, something like a Lenovo Yoga.

    What real need for OSX is there in the laptop space for most people. The benefits to Apple building an iOS/ARM laptop are many.

  5. I agree that the iPad Pro could open up a new era for the iPad, but I also think there is a huge amount of confusion. I am confused myself, but I think that the following points need clearing up;

    1. Who is the iPad Pro for?

    Many people who argued that iPads were destroying the PC market noted that the iPad was sufficient for most tasks like viewing the web and writing emails. The interesting thing is that the iPad Pro does not seem to be targeted to users with “simple” needs. Instead, it seems to be targeted towards creative professionals in music, design and art. At least, these were the apps that were demoed (of course there was an MS-Office demo as well). The wonderful thing is that while email and Office are things that one can do equally well on a PC, many of the creative tasks, especially the ones using Pencil, look like ones that couldn’t be done as satisfactorily before with any device. My take is that the creative professionals are the ones who are going to most appreciate this device, but at the same time, I’m not sure if the rest of us with simpler needs will need it so much.

    One thing to keep in mind is that Steve Jobs said at the unveiling of the first iPad that new category devices have to be significantly better than previous ones at key tasks. It’s easy to see the iPad Pro being significantly better at creative tasks. Not so much though on Office tasks.

    This is very important if we want to understand how well the iPad Pro will sell.

    2. Is Pencil a stylus?

    Compared to a traditional pencil, styluses have been pretty bad. It is very possible that the Pencil is so good that it completely changes how we thing about styluses. Which bring up the question, is it still “copying” when the newer product is so vastly better than the old one to the extent that it changes how we use and interact with them? I think not. Similarly, is it copying to say Apple has copied the MS-Surface?

    3. Is it a PC or a mobile device?

    If you buy an iPad Pro with a keyboard cover, is that a 2-in-1? Is it a PC? Or is it still a tablet? I think it is now officially ridiculous to draw a line between PCs and mobile based on the existence of a physical keyboard and a large screen.

    4. Will it legitimise the MS-Surface?

    The iPad Pro could end up legitimising the Surface and actually helping sales of that device. Will that happen, especially in corporations.

    1. I don’t see it designed for any one specific person. It’s designed for the person who simply wants to enjoy / consume content all the way up to the person that wants a powerful tablet to create content.

      This is not a 2-in-1 like the Surface. The essence of a 2-in-1 is that you can run classic / desktop apps AND tablet / touch-optimized apps. The iPad Pro is a tablet, there is no doubting that. The keyboard and pencil are just supporting casts. You don’t have to use them to get the benefit out of using this device. The Surface is trying to be both, a laptop and a tablet.

      1. No way this is going to be for professinal’s the software is just no where close to what’s found on a PC or Mac. No one is going to edit serious video or pictures on this device. So who exactly is this device for? Because at $800 (not including any keyboard or pencil) there are much better options. This new iPad is not going to change the declining iPad sales. I doubt it will even Have any effect. Apps are just not there for it to be considered anything useful for the demographics stated above.

        1. Considering that the device isn’t officially for sale yet and developers just got their hands on iOS 9.1 Beta 1, obviously there won’t optimized software for it yet. Let it release first and give it a year for the software to trickle out.

          The iPad Pro has enough horsepower to give the rMB and even possibly the 13 rMBP a run for its money.

          1. Don’t just take apples marketing buzz words and turn it to fact. The fact is software based on arm have always been behind the Intel chip sets which is why laptops and desktops are still around and why professionals still have to use them in most cases. Software isn’t on the same level yet compared to desktop apps.

          2. No way that PCs will ever replace mainframes. They are never going to do real work. No way will the car replace horses. They are never going to do real work. No way that computers can replace people. They are never going to do real work. Never, never, never will things progress…

            Life will always stay static… for you.

          3. This. I remember those great days when Macs were not for “real work” but just for lazy creatives. It’s always reassuring to hear these criticisms of Apple products. I would have been worried if the critics thought it would be a success just as they thought the iPhone 6 was to expensive to succeed in China and Samsung will kill off the iPhone……

          4. I guarantee you ask 100 people what real work is and you’re gonna get 100 different answers. The people who grew up during the 80’s and 90’s immersed in Office software need to realize that there is more to real work than just Word, Excel, PowerPoint.

          5. Laptops and desktops get mains power and fans and even climate controlled rooms. Arm chips except the earliest, which did outperform Intel, are designed for a compleatly different environment. The fact that Intel can’t compete in in the market ARM serves shows your claim for what it is.

        2. There is a wide spectrum of professionals that will be best served by it. There are lots of Doctors, Artists, Musicians, business people who currently use IPads and who would love a more souped up one. Are they not professionals in your opinion? Also even high powered users also prefer lesser tools for more less intensive tasks

      2. I understand your point. Maybe I should have framed the question the other way around; who is it not designed for? I see a lot of commentary suggesting that the iPad Pro is for people who would have otherwise bought an entry level PC (a consumer PC). It is this assertion that I have issue with.

        Whether it is a 2-in-1 is also related to this. I see 2-in-1s as primarily PCs, and the commentary I have read to date suggests that is how customers are using them. Confusing the iPad Pro with 2-in-1s may be the reason people suggest (wrongly in my opinion) that iPad Pro competes with entry level PCs.

        1. I’ll put Naofumi’s question in a bit more inflammatory mode. As an iPad user, I don’t see how Apple endorsing a keyboard and stylus by releasing their own shows the iPad to be anything but a failure. It’s admitting it should have had a physical keyboard and something other than a finger for input. And everyone who is a regular here should know I am a huge admirer and owner of Apple and Apple products. They’ve undermined the revolutionary part of the iPad.

          It’s one thing for Apple to let their products receive niche functionality from third party developers and vendors. It is something entirely different for them to tackle it head on.

          Now, does that mean it won’t be enough of a hit to help flagging, or at least flat lining, sales? No. But Apple bloggers are already talking about these two products trickling “down” to the rest of the iPad line. So iPad Pro is not a new iPad segment, but a glimpse of things to come for more of the iPad line.

          Why? I don’t know. Maybe developers just weren’t as imaginative as Apple thought they would be by now. The new power for the iPad is great. But it seems no one was doing anything new with user input to keep it more iPad like and less PC like. Apple has effectively validated the Surface, even if it isn’t the Mac OS on the iPad.


          1. Thanks for the extra warmth. 😉

            About a year ago, Steven Sinofsky, the guy behind the Surface of all people, wrote a blog post about exactly how different mobile OSes are compared to PCs.

            In his list of 10 paradigm shifting innovations, Touch is only one item. Others include ARM, Security, App store, battery life, always up to date, etc. Although I naturally view his opinions with a healthy grain of salt, given his involvement in the project that we all like to ridicule, I think what he says is very true. I think focusing on the UI as the revolutionary part of the iPad is much too narrow.


            So my point is, I don’t think the keyboard and Pencil undermine the revolutionary part of the iPad. Maybe a bit, but not very much.

            In the long arc of time, I find it absolutely self-evident that the iPad is the future. It is so obvious that we will be directly drawing on a touch screen all the time, but as of yet, the experience of drawing with your finger feels like either we’ve gone back to the stone age, or that I’m desperately writing my farewell to the world with the blood on my finger. I think Apple has done a great job of doing what needs to be done to make the ultimate stylus that would actually be a pleasure to use.

            It’s also so obvious that we (or our IT departments) will not have to babysit our PCs anymore.

            Of course, short term sales are a totally different matter.

          2. “In the long arc of time, I find it absolutely self-evident that the iPad is the future”

            I agree. I just think Apple just ceded that future.


          3. I see the iPad Pro and Apple Pen as iterative progress. Apple never does everything all at once, they slowly build and add. The goal here is to replace my paper/pencil sketch pad, and they’re getting close.

          4. I agree. But this is not iterative progress. Apple is not bringing anything new to the table. This is Watson-Sherlock all over again.


          5. Iterative progress is not always about new things, it can often be about improving existing ideas and features. As a business user of an iPad 2 in a ZAGG keyboard case (with a stylus) I’ve long thought Apple would release a larger screen iPad, expand multitasking, and do something interesting with a stylus as well as adding a keyboard. Apple had a keyboard option for the first iPad as well though.

            The iPad Pro feels very much like a natural evolution. My own use of my iPad 2 made this evolution obvious. At its core it is the pure iPad, but now we have well integrated accessories that expand capability. I expect more of this in the future. I don’t think Steve Jobs was actually against a stylus, Jobs was always about doing things that were useful, that made sense, and doing them at the right time when the feature was fully baked.

          6. Well, I didn’t say new “things”, but certainly something new in at least ideas. Iterating on a stylus is not really iterative _progress_, “progress” being the operative word.


          7. But most progress isn’t new, rather it is slowly improving existing ideas. A pencil is a great idea. My guess is the Apple Pen still isn’t good enough and requires more improvement yet. And I bet we’ll see more interesting pen devices from third parties as well.

            I’m reminded of a quote from Ray Bradbury: “Put me in a room with a pad and a pencil and set me up against a hundred people with a hundred computers – I’ll outcreate every goddamn sonofabitch in the room.”

            Paper and pencil is the right idea, we don’t need a new idea on that front, what we need is to reach the goal of digital paper and digital pencil. We’re not there yet, but we’re moving in the right direction.

          8. At the risk of repeating myself (which is where I usually try to stop commenting) “progress” is the operative word. Pencil (and even iPad Pro) fails at just about every example or illustration of iterative progress you’ve provided, much less iPad reinvented.


          9. Since I consider you an online friend, I feel compelled to warn you that you’re drifting into “klahanas iPad hatin'” category. 😉

          10. I’ve only said that progress is often about improving existing ideas. For me the iPad Pro and the Apple Pen have done that. We can disagree, that’s fine.

          11. Although I have obviously not yet used one of those Pencils, the way the Adobe folk use it in the videos suggests that it is way better than the styluses that came before it. Unfortunately, that isn’t saying much. Using styluses has never been as natural as a pen and paper.

            I think we should give it a bit more time. I’m eagerly expecting rave reviews of it.

          12. Yes, that Adobe video of the guy sketching looks amazing. I’ve moved some of my creative process to my current iPad 2 using Paper and a stylus, but the experience needs improvement. It needs a larger screen and a better stylus. I need a digital paper/pencil sketchbook. This looks close. For me this is progress. Of course I want an even larger iPad screen. Since using my iPad 2 as a MacBook replacement I can clearly see the value in more screen space. Touching the screen directly is so great. The mouse/pointer on my iMac feels old and clunky in comparison.

          13. Better is new, I agree. The iPad Pro marks significant progress towards true digital paper/pencil. I am perhaps as excited by the iPad Pro as I was when I first saw the original iPhone. I immediately understood the iPhone was a Mac in your pocket. Most people didn’t see that, they saw an underpowered feature-poor device. And they weren’t wrong, they just failed to see the future. I could be wrong of course, but in the iPad Pro I see the future.

          14. Wouldn’t one be transported in reading the words of the Poet in its original, soul-inspired calligraphy…?

            Doesn’t the signature asymmetry, the trembling…shaking…ink-spilling hand, give the Poet even more genuine of an identity than the mere contours of the Poet’s fingerprints…?

            Wouldn’t one acknowledge the ‘crayon’ as the universal yardstick, literal and figurative, for endpoint creativity…?

            I’ve been dying to be read, by genteel people like you in particular. In the meanders of my ‘long form’ vulnerability. Bless therefore the dawning, grayish November day when Apple releases the nervy handle on my keyboard-trapped soliloquy…

            A responsive pencil, an inspired one, draws Life in its most barren, natural state. In the future-perfect-tense form.

            Weep, my friend, for Apple’s lost its way… But then rejoice. Out of this ghost-defying, crutch abuse amnesty, I’ve gained the power, from a mighty…for…most unruly stroke of the pencil, to e-handwrite your sorrows away…


          15. “It’s also so obvious that we (or our IT departments) will not have to babysit our PCs anymore.”

            A truly wonderful thing, until we can’t do what we used to do on our PCs anymore…

          16. I really am starting to believe that Apple is suffering from lack of “Customer Zero”. Not that it has to be Steve Jobs and I don’t think Apple is lost without Steve Jobs. But it clearly is not either Cook nor Ive. And not that Apple wouldn’t still get things wrong or that people wouldn’t still be asking “Who is this for?” type questions as they did even under Jobs. I just think having a customer zero helped Apple focus a whole lot more than they seem to be focusing right now. It’s almost like Apple is turning into a more traditional tech company! :-/


          17. Am I correct in thinking that you are mainly disappointed about the iPad Pro? Or are you also dismayed at the Apple Watch?

            I personally think that the iPad Pro was clearly positioned as a professional’s device. I think the problem lies in how some pundits assume that it is a replacement for consumer PCs. That is where the confusion is, and that is why some people see it as a 2-in-1, which it is not. I see it as a professional’s device that can do things that no other computing device could previously do, or at least nowhere near as conveniently. Hence the name, “Pro”.

            I don’t see confusion on Apple’s side. Only on the analyst/pundit side.

            Of course, regular PC users might like the iPad Pro and buy them in large amounts, but I don’t really think that this is the plan. The way they presented the device on stage was clearly targeted at creatives.

            Looking into the future though, when technologies like the Pencil trickle down to the iPad Air and mini, that’s where the real challenge and opportunity is.

          18. As a “pro” device, let’s compare it to Apple’s other “pro” lines. Whether you are talking Macbook/Macbook Pro, or iMac/Mac Pro, one isn’t even just talking power, one is also talking about expandable functionality. iPad Pro doesn’t bring any additional functionality that didn’t already exist form 3rd party vendors. This is not a “pro” device in Apple’s traditional thinking of “pro”. Ontologically speaking, there is nothing “pro” about it except it’s name.


          19. Literally, “Pro” simply suggests that those who need extra capability for professional requirements would want to consider this device. Whether it means more power or more expandability, depends on how that device fits into that users’ workflow. In the case of the iPad Pro, the ability to draw smoothly and precisely with the Pencil, the ability to run CAD software and sophisticated photo-editing functions with ample power and a large screen, etc. are the requirements that creative professionals would be delighted to have.

            The “pro” requirements for a PC and the “pro” requirements of a tablet can and most likely will be different.

          20. Sure, which why I framed it from how Apple has shaped “pro” products, not mentioned but including software. Which is why I said this is a worldview shift for Apple.

            [edit, written as a creative professional]

          21. If you are talking creative professionals, I’m not sure that is a group of people who need it. Creatives have already been using iPads for creative purposes, like visual art, audio, and video. Or if it really is the power of a desktop/laptop in a tablet, Apple really is overlapping with laptops as mentioned elsewhere in this conversation.

            If the project is such that I need a stylus or keyboard, a full laptop or desktop is still a better option. Even my 24″ 4k monitor is often too small for drafting, much less a larger iPad. For all the stuff I need to do onsite the regular iPad is sufficient. I just need developers to figure out decent software. That’s why I think Apple is ceding that developers are actually fairly unimaginative and, sadly, renewed their interest in a stylus and keyboard for iPad.

            But I think even Apple has admitted creative professionals is not a very large market. So I get back to your question, who is the iPad Pro for?

          22. Although I do think that there is significant new value in the iPad Pro for creative professionals, I do agree that it is not a very large market.

            That was the point of my original question.

            At this point, the iPad is trying to find new uses in corporations, in education and in taking care of the elderly. There won’t be a sudden home run that suddenly appeals to the mass market. It will take time. I view the iPad Pro as a part of this. Like the other initiatives, it is taking a focused approach.

          23. Who is it for? If I can believe my teenagers (which I can), it’s for them. They’re very excited about the iPad Pro (see my recent comment about the Adobe hands on video).

          24. Pro here implies the processing power and the 12.9″ screen that will, knock on wood, hopefully give birth to apps that are just not capable on previous iPads or tablets for that matter.

          25. To answer your other question, regarding the Watch, I am pretty agnostic about it. It doesn’t excite me nor do I think it is a bad idea. I do think it is an inevitable device. I just don’t think anyone is really driving interesting technology with it yet. I don’t think anyone has any philosophy driving why it should exist, much less whether or not I agree with said philosophy.


          26. You’re right. It is not a 2-in-1. It is not trying to “merge” a desktop UI and tablet UI onto one device. This is a tablet. Full Stop. A very big and powerful one, more powerful than 80% of PC’s (so says Apple).

          27. “In the long arc of time, I find it absolutely self-evident that the iPad is the future.”

            Going by what Tim Cook said on Wednesday during the iPad’s introduction, I think he agrees.

            “”The iPad is the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing.”

          28. Having had Note devices for a few years, drawing isn’t a replacement for a keyboard, same a touch is not a replacement for a mouse. I type faster; for extended sessions a keyboard+screen I can both position the best way for their respective use (looking at and touching) is a lot more comfortable than being hunched over an half-obscured slate. It is more precise. It lets me ctrl-s and alt-tab through things. The pen is a lot more handy than touch or a keyboard in a few very specific cases, but I use my tablet with a keyboard and mouse more often than I use it with a pen.

            Trying to solve this conundrum does mean unifying touch and non-touch use cases, several ways forward are possible:
            – go on as now, with different ecosystems. That puts a lid on tablet sales because a PC will still be needed in many cases.
            – evolve the mobile OS to support a desktop use case. I don’t think that needs to compromise the mobile side (Android is considered equivalent to iOS on Mobile, and does Desktop a lot better)
            – do schizophrenic hardware that runs 2 OSes. That’s pretty much what Windows is doing (not 2 OSes, but 2 ecosystems), or tablets that run Windows + Android.
            There needs to be some will on the hardware side too, to build more I/O, and release a storage server.

          29. That’s very interesting. If I understand you correctly however, you seem to be bullish on the idea of combining a mobile OS with a desktop OS, or make one support the other use case as well.

            This assumes that combining two products which both are declining in sales, will create a new type of device which will magically increase. Not only is not very logical, but sales to date don’t support this idea either.

            I doubt that the solution to declining iPad sales lies in combining tablets and PCs, but rather in finding new ways to use computers. The key, I think, is to find those situations where computers are not being used, but where computers could contribute, but only if they solved a certain hurdle.

            The Apple-IBM partnership aims to lower the hurdle (lack of specialised business apps) for corporate adoption. The Pencil aims to lower the hurdle for creative professionals who currently sketch their designs or illustrations using a pencil and paper. The Apple – IBM – Japan Post partnership aims to lower the hurdle for IT adoption by seniors. These are the initiatives that bring computing to new use-cases.

            On the other hand, combining tablets and PCs can only cater to a shrinking market. I don’t think this is what the iPad Pro is about. Followers in the market may still target these opportunities, but market leaders tend to have a broader view.

          30. Several things:

            1- I’m not sure the computer market is declining, depending on how you look at it. If we include desktops + laptops + tablets + phablets, a rough look at the figures seems to say it’s actually up. Plus I think the Windows 8 misfire has had a noticeable effect on sales, especially once MS signaled they’d have a do-over. We’ll see if things perk up now on the xtop side.

            2- the overall size of the market is one issue, but how that pie is split is the bigger issue (unless you can create other pies). I don’t think most users want/can cost-justify 3-4 computers in the long run, especially with hidden costs (several UIs to learn, apps to learn+buy, systems to admin, data to synch and convert…). Wouldn’t you love to leave home each day with your Mac in your backpack, use it on the train, then plug it back in at work ? I have $1,000-1,500 waiting for the first OEM to offer that, and that’ll put paid to other computer purchases for a while (well, not really, but they’ll be nerd toys). Surface is close, but I need to be able to run Civ5, and 2 screens.

          31. As I said, the followers in the market tend to think about how to increase their share of the pie.

            On the other hand, market leaders think more about how to make the pie larger.

            It’s easy to note the similarities between the iPad Pro and conclude that Apple is following the ideas already put down by Android and Microsoft. It’s also easy to say that Apple’s approach seems to be lacking and that what has already been done by their competitors is better.

            In terms of getting a larger share of a fixed or declining pie, the convergence approach does make some sense, even though the market hasn’t yet really responded positively.

            If you look at the iPad Pro from this angle, then you correctly find it lacking. If Apple really wanted to replace PCs with this device, then yes, maybe they should have added a mouse.

            From this point of view, it would look as if the iPad Pro is a flop. That it fails to be what the market demands.

            I think that’s the wrong view. Apple is acting as the market leader. It is trying to redefine what personal computing will be in 10 years. It is trying to make the pie bigger.

            That’s where I think the confusion is. People have very different opinions on what the iPad in general is trying to achieve.

          32. Hopefully you’re right.
            But for the record, making a bigger tablet with a pen is not particularly forward-looking. Apple are actually the last ones to the party, emphasizing the risk of being locked-in to a single supplier for hardware and software.

          33. Respectfully, I don’t understand you any of this impacts what the iPad means to you. Don’t want the keyboard and stylus, don’t use them.

          34. Okay, but doesn’t each individual have a different worldview? This kind of stuff makes the device more accommodating. (Though IMO still “wanting”, for the price).

            Seeing this as an admission by Apple that “the iPad is a failure” is more of a partisan point, since none of the benefits to the traditional iPad fan are impacted. The keyboard and stylus are just another mode of use, already popular by third party providers. Hopefully the new screens will provide far better stylus use than the capacitive styli prevalent until today.

            My Note 12 gets used both traditionally, and with stylus, though I almost never use the optional keyboard. But it’s there…. Why should it bother me?

          35. I do not believe that the new iPad will be a big deal in the professional sector, or the content creation as many suggested here , because these sector are driving by specialize APP and services, not by Hardware which does not play well with the Apple close Hardware culture that is not very friendly to developer

          36. So those hundreds of thousands (or is it millions now?) of apps that tens of thousands of developers (including major developers like Adobe, MS, IBM, etc.) have written for Apple devices is incontrovertible proof that Apple culture is not very friendly to the developer?

            This is how a developer thinks: “The platform that makes me the most money is the friendliest platform.” Stop pretending you didn’t know this.

          37. you conflate IPhone scaling value to Developer to IPad or Apple TV low scale value, not the same thing

          38. If, as you yourself said, it’s specialized apps and services, then you’re talking of a prof sector that is a much smaller scale than the iPhone. Microsoft and I presume, IBM are developing apps for the iPadPro. So you think you know more than they do how well the prof sector will receive the iPadPro? Do you have your own internal sales and customer data and are they better than what MS, IBM and Apple have combined?

          39. In the presentation, we saw Adobe demonstrate an rather sophisticated image editing app working together with a desktop publishing app. As far as I can tell, these are apps for professionals. And I can tell you, that DTP app worked far smoother than how Indesign works on my iMac.

            It will be interesting to see if this is a trend. It’s possible that the iPad apps become the tools that professionals actually prefer to use instead of the their desktop counterparts. In really looking forward to the reviews in the apps, in particular, how joyful they are to use.

          40. What do you mean Joe? That Apple should keep banging its head against the wall and keep trying to grow iPad sales under the original configuration (no stylus, no keyboard) that Steve envisioned? You say they are undermining the ‘revolutionary part’ of the iPad. In the end, the market decides what’s revolutionary, not one person, not one blogger, not one company. When you declare this is the revolutionary part that they should not abandon or undermine, you’re talking religion now, you’re talking sacred cows that should never be desecrated, no matter what. That’s suicidal talk for any company.

            The market has spoken and its message is this is as far as the iPad, in its previous configuration, will go.

            I don’t know about you but I do a little FCPX and Photoshop editing and the fingertip is just not ever going to work for pixel-level manipulation.

            Just be happy that what Apple did was it expanded the iPad’s original configuration, not changed it. If you choose not to get the keyboard or pencil, the iPadPro pretty much works like the regular, less capable iPad.

          41. I make no value judgement on what they should have done or should do or the business benefits of those actions, only the results of their actions and what I perceive as a shift in their worldview of technology.

            Based on this shift to stylus and keyboard importance as something Apple now offers and not just 3rd party developers, they are saying exactly what you have said, that they have been “banging its head against the wall and keep trying to grow iPad sales under the original configuration (no stylus, no keyboard) that Steve envisioned.”

            And that will have a direct impact on what developers see as what is important to Apple. Originally the implication was “Touch is the future, this is what you should focus on, even as other developers can offer solutions to traditional legacy systems and processes.”

            Now they are saying “Oops! Our bad! You really do need legacy systems and processes.” Whether or not that is because Apple or developers cannot conceive of how to use FCPX or Photoshop (or in my case CAD) without those legacy processes, I have no idea.

            Maybe this is Apple conceding developers need these crutches for whatever reason, lack of imagination for developers or users or even Apple without Jobs (since this was largely his brainchild), I have no idea. but this _is_ a shift in worldview for Apple.


          42. Or maybe Apple is conceding that their original vision for iPad isn’t as successful as they hoped it would be. And it’s a shift all right, as to whether it’s a shift in world view or just a shift in the implementation of their world view, who knows? I wouldn’t get into that discussion, that’s angels dancing on the head of a pin.

          43. I suppose if angels dancing on the head of a pin has an affect on the products Apple produces, then sure.


          44. Steve Jobs was never against a keyboard. He introduced a keyboard as part of the original iPad launch, saying “When you really need to do a lot of typing this is the way to go.”

            I think the whole Steve-hated-stylus-keyboard meme is overblown. Steve was against a device being heavily dependent on a stylus, but I don’t think he’d have an issue with the Apple Pen, if it works well and is useful, that’s the criteria.

          45. I’m wondering why tablets are not being steered more proactively the way laptops have spontaneously taken before: desktop (and, well, laptop in this case) replacement.

            Right now, most people still need a PC to have a comfy/powerful desk set up, run some apps… That’s mostly because of tablet OS limitations though: tablet CPU & storage are at par with mainstream PCs, the I/O limitations could be solved by USB3/Thunderbolt and a docking station (with a GPU-equipped variant). What’s missing is legacy apps, I/O and multiscreen support…

            Windows tablets do it today, but woefully lack tablet apps. Android and iOS seem much to shy in supporting desktop-mode hardware and features.

          46. I think that is exactly where Apple is taking iPad.

            The biggest plus for tablets that I have always seen is not just replacing legacy hardware, but by necessity replacing legacy workflows, processes, and systems. The keyboard and mouse (including to a lessor degree a stylus) interface, to me, intrinsically force any job to b done into using a keyboard and mouse regardless of whether or not that is the best way to do the task. It is the _only_ way a desktop/laptop PC can do it.

            In the beginning the PC was a natural fit for legacy workflows such as typing and accounting. Developers have also been pretty ingenious in the ways they have made that interface function for things that have been better served by other processes, e.g. drafting. But it is still extremely inefficient for a lot of processes.

            I had hopes that the tablet without that legacy baggage would open up new processes of doing old jobs (spreadsheets, for all their power, are an atrocious interface). At the same time make possible processes and workflows we have never thought of before, that were never possible before because of that legacy hardware.

            It looks like those solutions are going to have to come from developing nations that aren’t tied to legacy processes the way developed nations are.


          47. I remember History teachers telling us having to rebuild an industry after a war was a huge chance at progress, both on the technical side (you get to buy the newest machinery…) and in other aspects (you get to hire women…). That’s probably true when starting IT from scratch too, indeed.

            But there are also hard facts: a physical keyboard is better for entering lots of texts and numbers; a mouse lets you keep your hand near the keyboard, see what you’re handling, do an incredible number of UI interactions (left clic, middle clic, right click, mousewheel, combinations thereof…); large/multiple screens are.. just better ^^. Not for everyone for sure, but far from marginal ?

          48. I agree 100%. The problem I want solved is adequately illustrated with the adage, to the man with a hammer everything is a nail. The PC has become the hammer and everything we want to do with a computer has to be thought out from the perspective of the task becoming a nail, regardless of whether that is the best way to consider the task or not. When it actually is a nail, reach for the hammer (or actually maybe the PC is more of a saw-z-all). The tablet gave us the chance to reconsider whether the task is actually a nail and whether we really need a hammer. Now I see that opportunity lost.


          49. I’m wondering if we’re not going at it the wrong way around: looking at tasks, mostly IT tasks, and trying to move them to the most mobile form factor.
            What about the other way round: looking at our always full hands (and more generally, physical and eye position), and trying to build tools that free those up the most ?
            A tablet fits a very limited use case: requires 2 hands just like a PC, and mostly requires you to be seated just like a laptop (though can use them standing for a minute, say doing rounds in a hospital).
            I think that’s why one-handed smartphones get more use (especially with phablets mostly bridging the gap with tablets: 1-handed use for simple things, 2-handed when more involved), and I’m really anxious to try 0-handed (but non-voyeur, please) smartglasses + some hands-free input (or at most a finger ring).

        2. The IPad Pro is not a 2 in 1. There are professional tasks that a notebook or desktop are not suitable for as a result of their form factor that a powerful tablet will suffice. I feel people narrowly define productivity and work and hence unimaginatively dismiss a huge area of productivity that has not yet been tapped into as a result of not being best served by the traditional desktop/clam shell form factor

          1. “I feel people narrowly define productivity and work and hence unimaginatively dismiss a huge area of productivity that has not yet been tapped into as a result of not being best served by the traditional desktop/clam shell form factor”

            I agree. The majority of people who grew up using PC’s have ingrained notions of productivity being confined to spreadsheets, word processing, and database. These are all tasks that a PC is optimized for. But there are a whole set of other task that exist, and not yet imagined that a tablet is much more optimized for.

            Now, it may be that a tablet is more of niche device then so be it. But it’ll probably be a decent niche.

    2. “I am confused myself, but I think that the following points need clearing up; 1. Who is the iPad Pro for?”

      I don’t know what Apple thinks it’s for, but I think it’s the device being wished for in this post. It’s a marriage of IOS with the Apple Newton. It’s, for the first time ever, a viable digital replacement for a pad of drawing paper.

      The above linked article from 2006 talks at length about how professionals who do a lot of drawing and sketching, like engineers, find themselves still wed to paper notebooks, because no computer product has ever been able to deliver the flexibility and utility of paper and pencil for making quick schematic drawings and sketches. In various interviews and profiles of Johny Ive published in the past 12 months, I read that the Apple design team still brainstorms their ideas on paper sketchpads. What if someone on Ive’s team said, “this is silly, we’re a world class computer company, why are we still using paper and pencil, why haven’t we digitized our creative process yet?”

      Laptops and desktops are basically digitized typewriters — if you’re working with numbers and words, they work very well, but they’re a kludge if you’re working with drawings and schematics, symbols, and the like. Tablet computers basically replace the keyboard with a virtual on-screen keyboard and the mouse or wacom drawing pad with your finger tip, which is great for clicking on buttons but horrible for drawing fine details.

      Samsung has cranked out a few stylus-based tablets that haven’t sold very well (lacking the ecosystem or the intuitive, seamless integration of hardware and software that Apple excels at). And Microsoft has been flogging stylus based tablets for 15 years or more but again, they’ve never been able to produce something that is as flexible or versatile or as intuitive as real pen and paper.

      If Apple’s pencil is as good as they claim, and if their implementation of drawing in the Notes app is as seamless and intuitive as is typical of Apple, then the ipad pro plus the pencil may enable engineers and designers to finally ditch their analog notebooks and draw their prototypes directly on a digital device. Throw in the handwriting recognition technology that Apple owns from the days of Newton (if they still have that and haven’t lost the source code) and you have a fully searchable digital notebook.

      I think there are going to be a lot of professionals, who spend a lot of time drawing and sketching, who will be extremely eager to have an Ipad pro because it’ll let them finally go 100% digital in their workflow. Although some of them will clamor for a smaller, more portable version for field work.

    3. I think we should look at the iPad Pro from 2 angles:

      1- It is a bigger iPad. That alone might be hugely differentiating. Even for the most casual uses, screen size matters a lot (both ways: too big is unwieldy but a lot more comfy, reciprocally, smaller…). I had a 13″ tablet a long time ago, I still miss it. Our desks and living rooms are adorned with ever-bigger, multiple, screens for a reason. I’m surprised OEMs aren’t simply making bigger tablets for sedentary use.

      2- it is a move up the IT food chain, with split-screen widowing and a stylus (and high specs). That’s distinct from the size issue, Samsung for example have the same features (pen and a more complete version of multi-windowing) on both 8″, 10″, and 12.2″ tablets. I’m surprised they didn’t throw mouse support into the mix, in my experience most people that start using tablets at their desks also throw in a mouse.

      There’s a 3rd, bonus angle about the stylus.
      3a) I’m not sure it’s any better than others, we’ll have to wait for tests… the “needs charging” constraint seems a bummer compared to the more common resistive styli, and I can’t understand why they didn’t put the charging port inside the stylus storage slot, so that charging happens by default. Sounds unmagically un-Apple-ish, and doesn’t Just Work ™.
      3b) Those basic issues aside, I’m curious to see if it gets traction outside of the obvious graphics niche. I find it strange that Apple are voluntarily fragmenting their install base: if someone prefers a 10″ device, they can’t use a stylus ? That means the rationale for building stylus-supporting apps lies entirely on the iPPro install base, and alternative UI solutions have to be cooked up for non-stylus iPads, otherwise not only is you app mostly targeted at iPPro users, but it’s targeted exclusively at 100% iPPro workflows ? Are there 8″ and 10″ iPad Pros in the wings ?

      1. It’s difficult to say how important a larger screen, a stylus and split screens will be. Previous sales of Samsung tablets have not been particularly encouraging, even with those features. It’s not like when large screen phones were a sure thing because Samsung had validated the market prior.

        I’m surprised that many people use mice with their tablets. But when you think of it, many Windows laptop users use mice too, whereas MacBook users hardly ever do. I thinks it’s related to the terrible trackpads that WIntel PCs tend to have.

        Your third item is quite simple. Apple has worked hard on both the Pencil side and the iPad side to improve the experience far beyond a resistive stylus. That’s why they couldn’t make it work on previous devices. It’s plainly obvious that they will support it in the future with all their upcoming models. It remains to be seen though how much better it is than a resistive stylus. I’m pretty interested.

          1. what if I don’t *have to* but just *choose to* when I’m at my desk because it’s just a bit smoother and a mouse is closer than the screen ? Do I have to junk my PC for a console if I want to use a gamepad too ?

          2. The short answer is yes. That’s why we’ve always had keyboard cases, you need that for long form writing. Steve Jobs said this at the original iPad launch (people tend to forget that). We all find the combination of hardware keyboard and touchscreen really great and comfortable to use, my kids especially. But even I do all my writing on my iPad, novel-length. All the use cases you imagine you need a mouse for, my kids have you beat, touch is so natural to them.

        1. Plus I just learned there’ no stylus storage slot in the tablet. I’m foreseeing lots of $100 sales for Apple ;-p

      1. Windows RT analogue? Sure, if you were in an alternate universe where Windows RT was a runaway success. So not really.

        There is just about ZERO reason for it to run OSX. iOS is wildly successful and as an OSX offshoot, iOS can have any OSX feature needed.

        1. I’m sure you’re well aware that a technical analogy is not to be confused with a market analogy. Just as the Surface Pro has Intel and Windows, while the plain Surface has ARM (or Atom) and Metro, the iPad Pro is closer (by analogy) to the plain Surface. The Atom version of the plain Surface also runs full Windows, so this device is closer to the old plain Surface.

          For me, iOS is severely disqualified, and is a limited subset of OSX (not counting curation). If this is a Pro machine, I would want a Pro OS on Pro CPUs.

          1. This is PRO TABLET, not a PC. The Pro in iPad Pro denotes the power & screen size of the device, which if developers take advantage, will hopefully usher in a new class of multi-touch enabled apps that you can’t find on any other tablet or traditional PC.

          2. Isn’t the Surface Pro and it’s variants a tablet AND a PC? What will the iPad Pro be able to do that these machines can’t or won’t be able to do?

  6. For a design professional you can do more with it and that’s why Apple videos primarily focused on them. But I don’t think for anyone else. You are playing games surfing the web on a larger canvas. You still don’t have access to the file system and cannot use a mouse.

  7. I showed my four teenage kids (14 to 17) the Adobe hands on video with the iPad Pro (title on YouTube is: Hands on: iPad Pro and Apple Pencil with Adobe Sketch, iOS 9 Markup). All four kids have been considering what computing device they get once their iPad 2s (with ZAGG keyboard case) eventually die. iPad Air? MacBook Air? Chromebook? Cheap Windows laptop? iMac? They’re open to anything really, whatever best delivers their jobs-to-be-done. But after watching that video all four of them want the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. It meets their maturing needs as computer users and creators. I think we ‘older dogs’ forget that we’re not the Touch Generation. My kids are, they love touch as a UI, and watching that hands on video they immediately understand the power of the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil (of course they’ve always used a basic stylus and a keyboard case with their iPad 2s). All thoughts about other computing devices evaporated, they are very excited about the iPad Pro.

      1. I suppose it might. We homeschool so they do a lot of interesting creative stuff with their iPads, some of it is content they’re going to sell, later this year and into 2016.

    1. Better stylus (pencil). Better screen. No trackpad or mouse support. Uses iOS which at least started out as a pared down mobile OS. All apps are mobile touch based. No legacy to bog it down.

      These differences are pretty significantly more than just rebranding. But lucky for you, you can still buy Microsoft’s offering. It will probably cost more to get the same performance though.

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