Today Apple unveiled the iPad Pro, and the internet lost its collective mind. There seem to be two opinions when it comes to this device, either you’re really excited about it and ordering one as soon as they’re available, or you believe Apple is nuts for making such a stupid piece of… Well, you get the idea. Well, you know what? The iPad Pro isn’t for everyone. In fact, I think it has a even smaller demographic than the Apple Watch or the iPad Air.
The iPad is Either a Necessity or an Accessory
The iPad itself is a device that people either love with all their heart or could easily do without. Some see it as a device just capable enough to replace their everyday computer, while others see it as a fringe device with a very narrow use case. Take that and add in two extra inches of screen real estate and $300-$400 more on the price tag, and you’ve got a device that is going to really only appeal to a select group of folks.
Who’s Going to Buy an iPad Pro?
So, who exactly is this device for? Honestly, I’m not sure, and I don’t think Apple is either. They spent a lot of time on stage today talking about both the consumption and creation features of the iPad Pro, with no real emphasis on either one. To me that say that they’re unsure what segment of their users want a device like this, so to be safe they added equal parts iPad and computer, and they’re content to let the market decide who the target user truly is.
Wait, Aren’t You Buying an iPad Pro?
Yes, I’m buying an iPad Pro, and I’ll tell you why. I’m excited about the possibility of being able to replace my laptop on certain trips. I have arthritis in my neck now, so carrying heavy bags of gear just isn’t something that excites me. If I can do my casual work (email, blogging, etc.) on a device like this and occasionally do some heavy lifting without too much compromise, I’m happy. This device seems to be able to provide that for me, so I’m going see how it goes.
I’m also interested in, but not yet convinced about, the creative workflow possibilities a device like this provides someone like me. I already discussed why I don’t think the iPad Pro is truly a pro-level device, but I am still holding out hope that the developer community will surprise me with yet-to-be-seen app suites and workflows that make this device capable of enhancing my existing workflow. If I could do real work on a device like this, it would make my life so much easier. I wouldn’t be tied to a desk or forced to lug around a 15″ MacBook Pro all the time. Like I said, I’m skeptical that this will happen, but I’d like to give it a try.
The Pencil Costs $100 and the Keyboard is $170?!? That’s outrageous!
Yeah, ok, the price point on these accessories seems a bit high to most people. But if you look at comparable accessories that are out there, a $100 stylus and $100+ keyboard case aren’t unheard of. Adobe sells a $70 stylus and Wacom has one that costs $80. The ClamCase keyboard for the iPad Air 2 costs $149 as well. If you take into account that Apple usually has a higher markup on their own accessories (it’s what we call the Apple tax), you’re basically looking at market value plus $20 for each of these devices.
That being said, this is another area where the target audience of the device comes into question. If this is meant to be a consumer device, I would lean more towards agreeing that the accessories are overpriced. After all, most of the accessories I mentioned above (Adobe stylus, etc.) are products that creative professionals purchase. Therefore I think Apple is banking on that same demographic to purchase their peripherals as well. You’re not losing anything by not purchasing these accessories. The iPad Pro is still an iPad at its core, so you’ll still be able to touch things with your fingers and type on the screen just as you could with any other model. So while these accessories may enhance the experience of the iPad Pro, they’re certainly not a required purchase.
I Don’t Want the iPad Pro!
If you don’t want the new iPad Pro, that’s fine. Don’t buy one. It’s as simple as that. If what you saw and read about today doesn’t interest you, you’re probably not part of the target audience to begin with, so enjoy your regular iPad Air or Mini and go about your life in peace.
I Want the iPad Pro!
Great, so do I! Sadly we have to wait until November to get one, but at least we have new iPhones and Apple TVs to tide us over until then, right? In all seriousness, if you want an iPad Pro, buy one. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a product, even if you’re not sure why you want it. I’m still very unsure on how much I’ll like the iPad Pro or if it’ll even do what I want it to do, but I’m still buying one. Sorry, not sorry.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, especially after bashing and then falling in love with the Apple Watch, is that Apple is very good at creating products that you might not even know you want or need. They are also a company that evokes very strong, wide range of emotions with each new product they release. Some will love them, and some will hate them. Not every product is for every person, and that is 100% ok. Just because something doesn’t appeal to you, doesn’t mean you have to spoil the experience for everyone else.