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Apple to Launch the iPad Pro on Wednesday

One of the crazier iPad Pro mockups from 2013

One of the crazier iPad Pro mockups from 2013

We’re two days out from Apple’s next press event, and the leaks are coming together. 9to5Mac has posted their list of the goodies Apple will be unveiling in forty-eight hours or so:

Alongside the new iPhones, new Apple TV, new Apple Watch bands, and a gold anodized version of the Apple Watch Sport, Apple plans to debut a pair of new iPads on Wednesday: the larger iPad Pro and a new iPad mini. …

Unlike earlier iPads, which have started at 16GB of capacity and been designed to appeal in both pricing and size to the masses, even the base model iPad Pro will have features fitting its name. We’re also hearing that it’s coming a little later than originally expected, but will still make it out by year’s end.

The larger iPad is going to be announced on Wednesday but it won’t go up for pre-order until October, and it won’t ship until some time in November. It’s going to come with 12.9″ screen, a minimum of 64GB internal storage, and four stereo speakers.

It’s going to run iOS 9.1 on an A9X chip, and it will support running two full iPad apps in split screen mode.

Well that’s disappointing. Would it really have killed Apple to put OSX on their thousand dollar tablet?

That would have been a huge step towards turning it into a true work machine, but with iOS’s current software limitations the iPad Pro won’t be good for much more than as a media consumption device (one which would inspire hominids to pick up a thigh bone, but a media tablet nonetheless).

One of the reasons that Apple is releasing the iPad Pro is declining iPad sales, and the iPad Pro will help fix that issue. But it won’t fix the underlying issue: that the iPad has reached the limits of its market (or rather, it has reached the limits of what the software can do).

As Jason Perlow cogently argued last week, Apple is going to make radical changes if they want to break into the last major market segment, enterprise-grade tablets.

But that would require a huge risk on the part of Apple, one which they’re just not comfortable with taking any more.

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1 September 7, 2015 um 8:40 pm

"a minimum of 64GB RAM"? I find that hard to believe.

Nate Hoffelder September 7, 2015 um 8:43 pm

@ 1 Yes, that it hard to believe. That was supposed to be internal storage.

I fixed it, thanks.

Mike September 8, 2015 um 2:43 am

Quoting Perlow is the quickest way to look like a chump when it comes to Apple things.

Mackay Bell September 8, 2015 um 2:43 am

I use my iPad for writing (with the screen vertical it looks more like an sheet of paper) and for drawing with Paper 53. It is also a great document scanner using Scanner Pro and the best device for marking up PDFs (much better than on a Mac or PC).

Split screen operation is a big deal, but the real game changer would be a really good and accurate stylus and a bigger screen. If Apple gets the stylus/big screen drawing pad thing worked out really good, that would be a HUGE game changer. I came very close once to buying a $2000 monitor drawing pad accessory, so a $1000 drawing pad (that is also a full out tablet) would be a bargain.

While it might be accurate to say that most people don’t use their iPads to create content, it’s false to say no one does. A lot of people do, probably tens of millions. More than enough to make an iPad pro highly profitable for Apple.

I have no interest in a tablet that uses OSX. If I want to work in OSX, the new MacBook is the perfect small device for that. There still seems to be some assumption in the tech world that everyone is looking for one device that does everything. I prefer devices that do what they do in the best possible way and frankly enjoy having a pile of gadgets to switch between. The lack of enthusiasm and sales for Windows tablets shows that there is no pressing need for old PC operating systems on tablets. This kind of criticism has about as much weight as saying that the iPad can’t succeed without supporting Flash.

As for falling iPad sales, I think the main issue is larger screen iPhones make them less compelling for many (not all) Apple fans and many are willing to wait for the next generation. Not to mention, the dumping of massive amounts of cheap tablets, many of which barely work, on the market has probably turned a lot of people (none Apple fans) off on tablets all together. People who were too foolish and cheap to buy an iPad, paid out for some piece of junk, played with it and then decided they don’t like tablets. (And this is supported by the fact that actually iPad use is much, much higher than it’s market share.) Apple still has to deal with the fact probably about 50% of the market or more is still irrationally against Apple, invested in their old Microsoft world, and looking for any excuse not to join the future. Cheap crappy tablets gave them an excuse to avoid the iPad and declare tablets a dead end.

Apple can’t win by following other manufacturers down the road of cheap. And there will always be a huge number of Apple haters. Apple is better off continuing to aim at the high end market with expensive products that are simply better and target the people who already love their products.

Robert Nagle September 8, 2015 um 1:40 pm

Mackay bell wrote that non-Apple customers are "looking for any excuse not to join the future" and that 50% of the market or more is still irrationally against Apple." Wow, that comes off sounding condescending. When I looked for something to follow my ipad 1, I found the Galaxy Tab Pro 12 (bought on discount at Woot) to be a much better value than the latest ipad airs — plus it had a few extra features. (I chose not to buy the model with the stylus, which in retrospect might have been short-sighted). I enjoy many aspects of Android (and some additional functionality in my Samsung tablet), but I also appreciate the substantial savings.

I agree that a lot of low-end tablets are giving tablets a bad name, but Apple is not the only vendor which can come to the rescue. My brother’s family bought 4 tablets for their 4 kids last Christmas. Average price for each was in the 50-75$ range and they all broke within 6 months. (Ironically, the Hisense Sero Pro 7 tablet which I bought one of them after the first one broke has outlasted them all — and I paid $70 for it).

If you had told my brother and his wife that this was an "excuse to avoid the ipad and declare tablets a dead end," they would have been angry. The fact remains that they couldn’t afford even an ipad mini for ONE of their children.

Perhaps you could say the solution would have been to buy a single ipad instead of 4 crappy tablets. But the whole family was new to tablets (neither parent owned one) and they had no idea what to expect. (Also, they didn’t listen to my suggestions of reliable android tablets, but that’s a different story).

I love the fact that Apple is introducing new features (or even re-packaging and re-designing old features so that they actually are user-friendly). They are still on the bleeding edge in a way that other vendors are not. But that does not always translate to a winning value proposition.

As a public school teacher, I see many students using all kinds of android tablets. Some are crap, but some work remarkably well and fit within limited budgets. For some reasons, Apple device owners don’t seem to be aware of how popular and all-pervasive android devices are — and not merely in the telephone space. Young people may long for name-brand Apple products (you know, peer pressure and all), but I wouldn’t say that they hate the tablets they have. Quite the opposite in fact.

Robert Nagle September 8, 2015 um 1:47 pm

One more thing. Based on my conversations with friends and families, I would say that the ipads are highly reliable. Maybe Apple is a victim of their own success. why on earth would someone upgrade if their ipads 1 or 2 still work fine? I’m somebody that tends to keep a device for as long as I can, but my ipad 1 was great and I could have easily kept it for another year — were it not for the inability to upgrade or install certain apps.

Of course, Apple makes a substantial portion of revenue from apps and services. Unlike a company like Dell, Apple doesn’t really need to drive consumers to replace products often in order to stay profitable.

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