A Clever Microsoft Ad Gets to the Heart of Apple’s Fuzzy iPad Message


| Editorial

Microsoft Keeps the Faith

Despite the early laughter, Microsoft kept the faith, waiting for advances in hardware to make it all work. Apple. however, seems to have caved and is now trying to convince us that the iPad really is a better PC.

Microsoft, which used to have iPad envy, is now in a position to cleverly puncture the balloon of Apple’s new messaging conceit. Here it is.

The Next Big Thing

I don’t know how much farther the situation with Apple can go before things break. That is, if iPad sales remain in negative growth, the best fit line heads towards the zero axis. Despite what Apple is doing to save the situation, the iPad could end up like the iPod: sales too low to report.

No doubt, that’s a priority for Apple. The question is, how far can Apple go and what can it achieve with changes to the technology and its own thinking? If TV ads that try to convince us that the iPad is a more capable PC don’t work, what’s next?

In my mind, this puts the kibosh on the demise of the Mac and the rumors that the Macintosh (or perhaps just the MacBook/Pro line) will switch to the ARM processor. It also introduces the question as to whether a 2-in-1 system, a MacBook-like device that has both an Intel and ARM processor with a detachable display that can boot as an iPad makes any sense at all. The iPad, in isolation, could conceivably end up being a secondary device that never does fulfill Mr. Cook’s “clearest expression.”

No one has the answers. For the time being, customers are going to purchase the device that they believe has good quality and gets their work done best. The 2016 MacBook Pros with macOS Sierra, expected soon, will augment the already strong MacBook sales. That’s something Apple doesn’t want to throw away.

Futuristic Desktop Computer

A futuristic desktop computer (tablet?) concept from Fox TV’s Terra Nova

The only thing we can count on is that Apple will continue to watch the marketplace and customer acceptance of its products. What will be crystal clear in 2019 is only a murky vision right now. Even though not much with the iPad has gone as planned lately, it will remain an essential tool for many.

Perhaps it’s Apple’s turn to keep the faith and wait for the hardware and software to vindicate its own early vision.

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wab95
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wab95

John (& Bryan): Without doubt, something is fuzzy and out of focus, although in my view (no pun intended) it is not Apple’s strategy for the iPad. That the normally incisive voices at TMO, which peal clarion-like against the background of the bemused white noise of muddled analysis and click-bait artistry, should wax ambivalent about the messaging and marketing strategy of the iPad, and to some extent, embrace MS’s marketing message that Apple is a Johnny-come-lately with their version of MS’s toaster-fridge, suggests fumbled messaging by Apple. I see this very differently. While I concede that many very knowledgeable and… Read more »

FlipFriddle
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FlipFriddle

It’s still relative though. “Real work” on an iPad Pro to me REQUIRES the large one. For painting and illustration there is never enough screen real estate, so for me the 9.7″ is a compromise.

Paul Goodwin
Member
Paul Goodwin

I don’t think Microsoft had the right idea all along at all. The 9.7″ iPad is as nearly a perfect computing device for what it was designed to do as anything designed before or since. A Surface or iPad Pro are a different animal, a hybrid of the tablet and laptop. They’re both a compromise for either function. When I do “real work”, I have the 9.7″ iPad right next to the laptop. It takes no reconfiguring. I have the right tools for whatever it is I need to do. Why compromise?

andrewj050790
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andrewj050790

Re-posting. Hey guys! I don’t comment much, but read you guys frequently and enjoy the podcasts quite a bit. 🙂 Now that that’s out of the way. Could John please point out to me when Apple started shipping OSX on the iPad? This, IMO, is the point of the “what is a computer” commercial. Apple is not selling a toaster/fridge until they sell a Surface like device aka a tablet that runs an OS designed for a mouse. I am the market that Apple was aiming that commercial at, except I replaced my MacBook Air with an iPad Pro as… Read more »

FlipFriddle
Member
FlipFriddle

I agree with you that they messed up, especially with the Pro, but I think they screwed up by not promoting what it really was and how it was revolutionary. The iPad Pro is a visual creative device that finally realized the potential of the original iPad as a digital art/illustration platform. It’s a creative professional’s tool that is a companion to their desktop, not a laptop replacement. The fact that the Pencil exists proves that point in my opinion. But someone got scared by the Surface and tried to promote it as a do-all machine and all that succeeded… Read more »