Hey Apple, iPad Pro is much more than a computer

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 14.43.49

I think Apple may be missing something quite important.

You see, in its recent “iPad Pro: What’s a computer?” ad it seems to focus on iPad Pro as a replacement for the computer, but doesn’t answer the much more important question it tucks away at the end of the ad, where it asks, “What else can it do?”

Apple seems to be attempting to evangelize use of the iPad Pro as a computer replacement. I get that, I think iPad Pro is great for most of the things we use computers for, but I see it as a different animal. Sure, there’s some overlap, but it has its own unique identity and purpose that need to be defined.

The risk is that by claiming it is nothing more than a PC replacement, Apple is both over-promising and under-selling the tablet.

Think about it.

Over-promising: If we are honest, iPads cannot (quite) do everything a PC can do, (yet), and claiming it can gives every snide critic a chance to unload the usual vitriol that defines everything these days. What I call the dictatorship of the average, the march to dumb totalitarianism. It’s a global trend.

Under-selling: Because the ad doesn’t answer the question it is really asking, which is, “What else can it do?” I think attempting to frame an answer to that is critical. I think that by positioning iPad as a PC replacement Apple is minimizing some of the product’s biggest advantages.

iPad Pro is not a PC. It’s much, much more. For example, it’s the sketchbook you always have with you; it’s the graphics rich games machine that also lets you access all your media; it’s a book; it’s email anywhere; productivity on the plane; the perfect way to do hardcore computing so long as you can use a remote connection to your home Mac. It’s a mixing desk, a flight manual, a warehouse management solution, a smart city management tool. It’s all of these things – and more – and all at once.

It is not a computer. It is itself.

The PC future is over, so why claim the iPad Pro replaces it? It doesn’t matter. The PC is history. I suggest that when attempting to raise interest in its tablets, Apple focuses on answering the question it failed to answer in the ad, “What else can it do?”

It is possible I think that this might be what Apple is planning to do in the next ad.

Which means its possible the new media commentariat so critical of the ad may have themselves missed the point, a little like trying to get objective BBC news coverage of a Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn event.

Anyway, here’s the ad…

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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4 Responses

  1. Ace says:

    You nailed it. It’s more than a computer. I use it for writing notes, making music, watching movies, facetiming friends and family, read books and magazines, music, mind mapping, emails, calenders, social interaction, taking pictures, planning with maps, sketching, and so much more….all on one thin light device…at the same time syncing to my phone and computer. Apple should be pushing this as the whole world goes mobile.

  2. ViewRoyal says:

    ” iPads cannot (quite) do everything a PC can do”

    That seems to be a very subjective and vague statement, especially when you consider that conversely, PCs can’t do everything that iPads can do.

    As with cameras, the best personal computer is the one that you have with you. But… There is NO “best” personal computer in ALL situations.

    The personal computer that everyone carries around with them all of the time is their smartphone. So for most of the time when we are NOT lugging around a laptop or tablet computer, the smartphone is our best personal computer. The drawback of course is the small screen… But then again, it does allow us to do our computing when we have nothing else (which is most of the time).

    Tablet computers are thinner and lighter than laptops, they provide an honest 10+ hours of real-world use, and have a display large enough for most activities. But it is not something that we want to carry around 24/7. But when we do have it with us, it is our best personal computer.

    Laptops are thicker and heavier than tablets, and they provide less real-world battery life, but they have larger displays and include full-sized keyboards and trackpads, leaving the display visible for our work. We don’t want to or need to carry a laptop around with us all of the time, but when we have it with us, it is our best personal computer.

    Desktop computers can have huge 27″ or 30″ displays, and allows us to have a desktop large enough to have multiple complex applications open at once. But it is NOT portable, so if we are using a desktop at home or at work, it is the best personal computer. We just can’t move around while we use it.

    In other words, it is futile to say one type of personal computer is the only “real” personal computer, or that it is better than all of the rest. People who do say things like that are not fully aware that each form of personal computer is perfect for a particular situation, while it may also not be ideal for other situations.

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