While promoting the iPad Pro, Apple CEO Tim Cook, made several statements that are supposed to promote the oversized tablet for business use but instead comes off as weird. Statements like ‘Why would we need to buy a PC?’ and that Microsoft’s new Surface Book is a ‘deluded’ idea.
We can assume that what he’s doing here is that he’s giving the public a dose of the Steve Jobs reality distortion field. That everything Apple says is gold the way everything Steve said was a good idea. We’re not in person to see how he said it, but it sure wouldn’t be as convincing as Steve. Tim Cook comes off as a nice guy while Steve has that creepy stare no one can say no to.
Cook is trying to convince people that the iPad Pro can replace a PC. Though it seems far-fetched, it’s a logical move for any salesman hawking his product. The iPad Pro is supposed to penetrate the enterprise. Perhaps, though that depends on who you ask. There are plenty of people in forums who can’t visualize themselves doing serious work on the iPad Pro apart from graphics, emails, and sales presentations. MS Office, a few business-oriented apps and a deal with IBM puts them closer, but the iPad Pro is in for a long road ahead. The Pro just rolled out, and the world is holding its breath. The world was wrong when the original iPad came out. Tim could still be right.
Then there’s Tim’s statement that the Surface Book was a deluded idea. How the Surface Book comes off as a deluded idea is a mystery, solvable only within the walls of the Cupertino campus. Deluded is such a strong word when thousands of Surface Book preorders say otherwise. Tim has since toned down that remark to ‘diluted’ referring to the idea that hybrids couldn’t fully be either a tablet or a PC. Indeed, Microsoft’s approach was considered amusing at first but then, as the idea evolved, Microsoft came out on top. Microsoft has proven that a tablet can become a PC and that a PC can become a tablet. If not, there’s still the ultra-portability that everyone wanted the PC to have.
Paul Schiller, Apple’s SVP for marketing is singing a similar tune. “There certainly are more offerings today, more people trying to create a market, but based on all the data that I’ve been able to see, it is still incredibly small and niche and may not be growing to anything significant,” Schiller said in an interview with Mashable.
But the excitement generated by the Surface Book is difficult to dismiss, nor was the popularity of the Surface Pro tablets. Ironically, Apple’s marketing the iPad Pro as a tablet that seeks to emulate and replace a full business computer at a time of Surface’s dominance. To fulfill that goal, Microsoft even gave its introduction a hand by announcing Microsoft Office apps. To do serious office work such as composing emails and reports, the tablet is introduced with its own keyboard cover that was made popular by Microsoft.
It’s unfortunate that Apple used iOS instead of MacOS n the iPad Pro. Many Apple users agree on this and were hoping that Apple would take a page from Microsoft and give them a functioning Mac in tablet form. But by using IOS instead of Mac OSX on the iPad Pro, Apple gave the tablet the same limitations as its smaller cousins. The lack of a real file system, the lack of ports and the lack of powerful industrial grade apps. That to make full use of the content created on the iPad Pro, a Mac or a PC will have to be involved somewhere along the line to edit and even print.
Not every office has a wireless printer. The iPad Pro is no doubt impressive as a tablet that can be used to create content, but its role in the enterprise remains to be proven. As for the Surface Book, there’s no question that it will perform well among the business crowd. Microsoft has been swamped with pre-orders since the unit’s surprise introduction. Even if it is ‘diluted’, it’s still an ultra-portable PC that can connect to domains, connect to almost any printer and can run all Windows-based business apps that dominate the enterprise. Reports do come in about bugs in the Surface Book but like any first-generation product, it has its rough edges.
As for the deluded concept of hybrids, the industry has spoken. We’d rather be delusional and have an ultra-portable PC we can use at work and later have fun with as a tablet. As for the iPad Pro, no doubt it will be used by business but it’s too soon to say it will replace a PC.