It took me awhile but I think I have this whole iPad vs. Mac thing figured out. No, it’s not ARM vs. Intel. No, it’s not macOS capabilities vs. iOS and iPadOS shortcomings. No, it’s not about power and multitasking.
What’s it about? Money. Apple’s problem with iPad vs. Mac is all about money. If iPad gets all the features and functionalities a Mac has already, then why buy a Mac when an iPad with a keyboard does the same thing for far less money? See? Money.
Time Is Money
Why cannot iPad and iOS or iPadOS do all that macOS can do already? I mean, after all, iPad has been around since 2010. Is not a decade a sufficient amount of time to add in features that customers want?
What do customers want? Ease of use and power. There is more of the latter than the former in every Mac, but the iPad customer base is about triple that of the Mac’s 100-million or so. What else do customers want?
Affordability. iPad provides that. Mac? Not so much. The entry-level MacBook Air starts life at $1,199 while a comparably sized iPad Pro is less, and an entry-level iPad Air is $499 and the lowliest of iPad models is a mere $329.
Since most Macs sold are of the notebook class– 80-percent of all Macs– and most of those are the less expensive MacBook and MacBook Air models, then why would Apple put the same capabilities into a $329 iPad?
They won’t. Why not? Money.
As much as any company on planet earth, Apple is all about the Benjamins and that means the company would prefer not to kill a popular product that has the industry’s highest gross margins (and profits) to fuel a far less expensive product and build it into a Mac notebook killer.
So, what we see with Apple is a dance.
Slowly, the iPad gains more Mac-like features– think keyboard shortcuts and mouse support– while the Mac becomes ever easier to use for non-Apple customers who made the switch, yet it retains the power and capabilities that can only come with Intel Inside.
The Mac is not dying. iPad is thriving. Apple just wants to make sure that both thrive together as the customer base expands. For both.
That’s no mean feat so don’t expect a touchscreen Mac anytime soon.