What? I know what you’re thinking. “Kate, that’s sacrilege. The iPhone isn’t a hybrid device.” Yes it is. We call it a smartphone, but it’s only part phone; also part Mac (or PC) in your pocket, and, with iPhone 6 Plus, part tablet. That’s a hybrid. So, why is Apple’s hybrid successful, and Microsoft’s Surface Pro mostly a flop?
Ideas vs. Execution
How is it that Toyota makes plenty of money with a hybrid automobile while other auto manufacturers struggle?
We can sum it up in one word. Execution. The Prius works. It looks special, therefore, the price differential is more easily overcome.
Why didn’t Apple do what Microsoft did with the Surface and simply put OS X into the iPad, add a keyboard, and call it a hybrid tablet notebook? It’s a good idea, no?
Who among the Mac faithful wouldn’t want an iPad-sized Mac, capable of running powerful OS X apps? Therein lies the problem. Tablet apps are not desktop apps. Execution is where Microsoft– thus far– has failed with the Surface tablet notebook hybrids.
OS X as we know it is a desktop and notebook operating system, not really ready for the prime time needs of a tablet. On the other hand, Microsoft tries to shove Windows into the tablet of Surface Pro.
And it didn’t work. Why not?
Even a slightly optimized Windows for touchscreen makes the Surface a cumbersome product that isn’t good at being a tablet or a notebook. As a tablet running Windows, it’s too expensive, too heavy, too cumbersome to use. As a notebook running Windows, the touchscreen is anemic and requires too much physical effort, and it’s too expensive (some Windows notebooks are less than $300). Regardless, either way, Windows apps were not made for a touch screen.
That hybrid does not work. Could Apple do better and launch a hybrid device– a larger iPad that runs iOS apps and OS X apps? DigiTimes, my Bible for rumors that never pan out, says it’s possible.
There’s some hefty engineering requirements for a 12-inch hybrid iPad Mac running iOS apps, OS X apps. Would it have both Apple’s A8 (or A9) CPU and an Intel CPU? Would iOS apps run virtually within OS X? How would it be priced? Above the high end iPad and above the low end MacBook Air? Too many questions go unanswered but the idea of a hybrid device is titillating and if any company could do it right, it’s Apple.
After all, the iPhone is a hybrid device.