After looking at Apple’s new iPad Pro and the entire line of iPad models, I’ve come to the conclusion that Apple ordered too many from factories in China. Do you know how many iPad models there are? Here’s another one.
For a variety of reasons, the iPad is Apple’s biggest disappoint of the past year or so, steadily losing both marketshare and unit sales, quarter after quarter. So what does Apple do to change the status quo? Introduce a bigger, badder iPad. With an optional stylus (Apple calls it a ‘pencil’). And a keyboard.
Do The Math, Dude
iPad Pro is a big, big, big iPad with more screen resolution, a faster CPU with an enhanced multi-touch Retina display to tops out at more than 5.6-million pixels, a gargantuan 12.9-inch screen that lets you edit 4k video, run two apps side-by-side at the same time, and do all the cool things you wanted an iPad to do. Except fit in your pocket.
iPad Pro comes with four speakers for enriched audio on all four corners, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, both iSight and FaceTime HD cameras, and a faster, more powerful A9X CPU (obviously a sibling to the A9 CPU in the new iPhone 6s). Apple claims the Pro is faster than most Windows notebooks, which are priced far less, so that makes sense.
Speaking of pricing, Pro is Apple’s most expensive iPad model, starting at a rich $799 for the 32GB model and topping out at $949 for the 128GB version, and a whopping $1,079 with 4G LTE cellular data. What’s missing is Force Touch, or, as it’s called on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, 3D Touch. And that’s before the keyboard cover and stylus.
But I remember someone at Apple saying something like, “If it has a stylus, they’re doing it wrong.”
So, Apple calls their stylus Apple Pencil, and it’s a $99 option that only works with the Pro model. Also available for iPad Pro is the optional Smart Keyboard cover which looks much like the current line of iPad covers except there’s a keyboard built-in (which uses the same thin design in the new MacBook). For $169. Add it all up and the iPad Pro has a pro-level price tag that’s not far below the new MacBook which starts at $1,299 and comes with 256GB of storage, an Intel Core CPU, 8GB of RAM; a diminutive device which runs OS X, Windows, and pretty much every flavor of Linux and Unix (at the same time if you want).
iPad Pro tops the iPad line which is extensive as it is. The iPad mini 4 is new but gets the same specifications as the iPad Air 2 which remains the same (want to guess what new features the iPad Air 3 will have next year?). The iPad Air is still in the lineup and so is the iPad mini 2 (where is the iPad mini 3?). Confused? I told you I thought Apple ordered too many iPads from China.