You know me as a certified Apple watcher, a faithful and loyal Apple customer, an Apple defender fanboy, and an occasional Apple critic. I own and use plenty of Apple kit and have my fair share of the latest and greatest gear.
This is the first year I can remember when I needed to give pause and consider what I’m getting vs. what I’m paying vs. what I use each new Apple product to do for me. It’s the same number of online clicks to buy an iPhone 7 for $449 as an iPhone Xs Max to the max for $1,449. That’s a $1,000 difference. For a smartphone that runs mostly the same apps.
What about iPad Pro?
The reviews are out and the first looks and hands-on are in. Everybody loves Apple’s new iPad Pro. I want one. Pinch me. For $2,227 there must be some magic in iPad Pro, because, in the end, it does mostly what an entry-level iPad does for $329. Yes, the 12.9-inch Pro with a Smart Keyboard Folio, maxed out to 1TB of storage, with the new Pencil and more capabilities and speed than 92-percent of all PC notebooks is a beast. Is it worth $1,898 more than a basic iPad?
It is if you believe in magic.
I can buy six iPads for the price of a single iPad Pro maxed to the max. Yes, they’re not the same; this is not an apples to Apple comparison. It takes effort to get a new MacBook Air up to the max ($2,599 with 16GB RAM and 1.5TB SSD storage).
What do you get for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s $2,227?
First, you get the best tablet display you can buy. It. Is. Stunning. Second, you get 1TB of SSD storage. That’s double the storage on my aging MacBook Pro, which, by the way, is not as fast as the iPad Pro. Third, at that price point you get Apple’s new Smart Keyboard Folio. It’s a keyboard. It’s a case. For $199 more. $129 gets you a #2 Pencil.
That’s the whole package. $2,227.
At that price there damned well better be some magic in the package. Is there magic? Yes. Apple magic. The kind of magic that Steve Jobs used to persuade employees and customers to do his will. Longtime Apple employee, Dr. Bud Tribble, described the magic as a Reality Distortion Field:
Reality distortion field is a term first used by Bud Tribble at Apple Computer in 1981, to describe company co-founder Steve Jobs‘s charisma and its effects on the developers working on the Macintosh project. Tribble said that the term came from Star Trek, where in the Menagerie episode, it was used to describe how the aliens created their own new world through mental force. In chapter three of Steve Jobs, biographer Walter Isaacson states that around 1972, while Jobs was attending Reed College, Robert Friedland “taught Steve the reality distortion field.”
This week I headed over to the shark’s bite Apple Downtown Brooklyn store to check out the latest MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iPad Pro. All of the new products– from iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and XR, to iPad Pro, and the new Macs– are lust-worthy and drool-worthy.
Careful. Magic is at work and the trick is to get you to leave money on the table and feel as if you bought the best of whatever money can buy.
Reality distortion field, indeed.
The new iPad Pro is screaming fast and raises the tablet bar to power and capabilities normally reserved for high end notebooks. If you look at it, touch it, use it, you’ll want one– even if there is no need because all you do is watch YouTube movies on an iPad Air.
No technology gadget maker is better at dispensing such product magic than Apple. If less is more, and small is beautiful, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then Apple manufactures a reality distortion field for magic that goes beyond Steve Jobs’s grave.
Look around. Does not every Apple product embody such magical allure? That’s by design. That’s Apple’s DNA. Magical design.
$2,227 gets you an iPad. So does $329. Both have their own magic but they are not the same. For $329 you get useful magic. For $2,227 you get more magic.