The Foldable iPad Fight – TMO Daily Observations 2023-01-31

TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says there will be a foldable iPad in 2024. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says there won’t. TMO Managing Editor Jeff Butts and Ken talk over the opposing sides. Plus a look at HomePod scarcity.

Get In Touch:

One thought on “The Foldable iPad Fight – TMO Daily Observations 2023-01-31

  • Ken and Jeff:

    Indeed, the tech world is abuzz with the rumours regarding a foldable iPad, with many rushing to be the first on YouTube to explain, not only will this precede the foldable iPhone, but that the iPad will feature a carbon kickstand, likely be larger (20 inches !!!) and some fair amount of WAG regarding what will be enabled by the foldability. And why? Because…the iPad hasn’t been updated for awhile. Seriously? This is an ‘update’?

    As no one inside of Apple have ever spoken to yours truly about anything, not even the weather, I don’t even pretend to have ANY knowledge about any foldable or other devices now or in future.

    That said, in the spirit of having no idea what problem a foldable iPad solves, but many ideas about what problems it could create, let me simply confess that this strikes me as yesterday’s solution to today’s and possibly tomorrow’s problems. This is a legacy of, ‘I’ve got a thing. It does nifty things. If only it were bigger (mind your thoughts), I could do even more nifty things with it’. That thought hails from a time when tasks and productivity/entertainment were device-specific.

    Apple solved that problem by creating a platform, consisting of devices all serviced by pan-device services (including AI) and software. In other words, if I have ‘a thing’ that does some tasks wonderfully, but is suboptimal for other ‘things’, I can seamlessly transfer that task, on the fly, to another ‘thing’ on which that task is optimised. If I’m working with a team, and my thing is not the right tool, I can hand off that particular task, in realtime, to another team member and follow, in realtime, the completion of that task. Or, I can swap between devices, in realtime, at my own workspace, which I regularly do between my iPad Pro and my Mac with universal control, Air Drop, iCloud and any number of methods for swapping between devices to maximise my productivity.

    I can see this evolving into an even more robust capability with infinite options and applications, like Apple Glasses or whatever AR device they come up with (think Tony Stark’s glasses in Spider-Man 2 Far From Home), or the ability to seamlessly take over larger displays for both video and productivity apps (think Tony Stark in IronMan 2 when he takes over the screens in the Congressional hearing). This seems more like the future, whereas ‘the thing’ that I can unfold to be a slightly ‘bigger thing’ to do the thing I need a ‘larger thing’ to do well, seems so – yesteryear’s fantasy, limited by yesteryear’s technology. Sort of like those ‘Tomorrow World’ displays at the World’s Fair.

    One reason why scientist types, like yours truly, enjoy taking the iPad Pro to the field is its robust but simple design with no moving or hinged parts to get damaged (I’ve lost more than one – expensive – MacBook Pro in my field work and travels for just that reason), and not a single iPad. Not to mention, it is substantially more portable for work in motion.

    Mindful that Apple are capable of creating solutions that have to be seen to be appreciated, not unlike the iPad itself which was originally derided as an oversized iPod Touch – and who would ever want or buy such a thing – it might be that, if Apple are serious about foldable devices, then when once we see, touch and play with these, then we will appreciate how elegantly they solve a problem we didn’t even realise we had, or provide opportunities of which we hadn’t yet dreamt.

    I look forward to being pleasantly surprised.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.