The Future Of The Apple Laptop: iPad Pro Or 12-inch MacBook?

Apple has been pushing hard on two fronts to redefine the laptop. Which one wins? Read on.
Apple CEO Tim Cook famously said last year that he was traveling with the iPad Pro and “other than the iPhone it’s the only product I’ve got.” And these days he never misses an opportunity to say that the iPad Pro is the “ultimate replacement” for consumers switching from PC laptops. Not to mention Apple’s latest ad for the iPad Pro that asks, “ What’s a computer?”

While the iPad Pro isn’t the “ultimate replacement” as Cook (ever the salesman) says, it gets pretty close on some days. And I can see a chunk of consumers getting by with just an iPad Pro as a notebook PC “replacement.” But I’m getting ahead of myself.
iOS limitations vs.OS X/macOS: iOS-specific limitations can be frustrating. Most image editing tools are designed for the OS X/macOS mouse-pointer/trackpad paradigm. That applies to most productivity (aka work software) suites too. And, in my case, blogging software. WordPress (used by me and millions of bloggers and hundreds of media sites in the U.S.) has some limitations on iOS. (A few are possibly just WordPress/iOS “bugs.”) But that’s getting better. WordPress has slowly become more stable on the iPad Pro for me. I have written parts of this on the iPad Pro and had no technical problems (which is clearly an improvement for me).
Efficiency Rules: The 2-pound, tablet-like 12-inch MacBook is the future (for now). If you — like me — have been using a clamshell laptop for productivity work most of your life, chances are you’ll hit a productivity barrier immediately with the finger-as-pointer paradigm shift. I’m more efficient on the MacBook (and Windows and Google Chrome laptops) than my 12.9-inch iPad Pro, even with its wonderful Smart Keyboard. The precision of the pointing device can’t be overstated because it applies to so many things. And most people today agree. How do I know this? It’s validated at all of the airports and Starbucks I frequent (on both coasts). For example, when I travel to suburban Philadelphia, I go to a cluster of Starbucks in an area with a high density of universities and colleges. What are all of the students using? MacBooks. This applies to Los Angeles (where I live) for the most part too.

iPad Pro suffices for some: At the risk of contradicting myself, there is a not-small segment of the consumer population that finds the iPad or iPad Pro fine for what they need. In fact, I would easily fall into that crowd if I wasn’t doing so much productivity stuff. And there are days — sometimes several days in a row — when I’m only using the iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard. More importantly, that’s all some (millions of) consumers need: something with a big screen for viewing content and doing light productivity work.

But changes are coming: I spoke with an industry source recently who is, let’s say, familiar with certain aspects of Apple’s plans — which are, after all, only contingencies. (Apple’s plans change, i.e, things get canceled and/or postponed, all of the time. So this person can only speculate. )
First of all, it’s clear that momentum favors iOS. “That’s Apple’s money-maker,” this person said. “It’s much simpler and cleaner.” So, it’s possible that Apple comes up with a “mouse and keyboard paradigm” that taps into the “superiority” of iOS and “gets rid of things that are ancient and bad.” In short, an operating system that has the “look and information density and multiple windows of OS X” and “the simplicity and superiority of iOS,” according to this person.  (Apple could also just port macOS to ARM/A Series processors — or do nothing at all.)
If plans like that come to fruition, an iOS device with a keyboard like the iPad Pro may be a closer approximation of what’s to come than the current 12-inch MacBook. Hmm…what would Steve do?

Source : http://www.forbes.com/sites/brookecrothers/2016/08/07/the-future-of-the-apple-laptop-ipad-pro-or-12-inch-macbook/#3773625320a5

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