I think we need to change up the conversation about the iPad. Apple sold $8.4 worth of iPads last quarter, almost the exact same as Mac revenue. With a lower average selling price, one could safely assume more iPads were sold than Macs last quarter, so clearly people are buying these things. Do developers think most of them are going “aw man, I can’t develop iOS apps on this thing!” when they get home?
Personally, I’m hoping this next round of iPad Pro reviews avoid the “is this finally a computer?” thread that is currently present in every…single…review. Can the iPad be a “real computer”? Obviously, yes, but that’s not the question. We should be considering how new iPad hardware and software improves what the iPad already does, and expands it into new use cases.
We live in a world where we’re surrounded by computers. People have a home computer, a work computer, a phone, a watch, a smart TV, and smart speakers. Hell, even the iPad’s harshest critics often have one that they use for watching video and playing games. The iPad is the only device in that list that some people mandate has feature parity with another item on that list.
While I whole-heartedly agree with Matt here, I feel like the one strand connecting this all that isn’t talked about is how these reviews are used to leverage clicks.
One of the biggest reasons Nilay Patel gets linked every year with his iPad reviews is because of how controversial they can be. When someone claims the iPad isn’t a computer, or the iPad is “still an iPad” it could be their actual take but by no means would they have gotten as many views and clicks if they hade a lukewarm take.
Personally, I take a large amount of reviews with a grain of salt. The people I will take reviews from are those I either have the pleasure of knowing personally or have a reputation that I can get behind.
Sadly, I have very little optimism that the “iPad vs Mac” or “Is the new iPad a Mac Killer” titles and headlines won’t be going away anytime soon. If I end up being wrong, I will be pleasantly surprised.