Could the rumored iPad Pro make PCs and laptops obsolete?
Rumors about the iPad Pro continue to abound, although we may not even see the thing until next year sometime. At 12.9 inches in size, the tablet is approaching the size of smaller notebook computers. So does it pose a serious threat to computers at businesses? One industry watcher thinks it does, but Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 just might put up a bit of a fight.
Apple makes strides in enterprise
While Apple initially made the big bucks by targeting consumers, it has been moving in on the enterprise industry for years now, snapping up market share from the likes of BlackBerry with the iPhone. Indeed, the numbers certainly show how strong Apple’s hold on the enterprise market, as recently Good Technology reported that 72% of enterprise smartphones activated and 81% of tablets activated were iOS devices.
In a post on ComputerWorld, Jonny Evans argues that Apple may have Microsoft and PC makers in the crosshairs with the iPad Pro.
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iPad Pro to face off with Surface Pro 3
Microsoft certainly hopes it got the drop on Apple in this area with the Surface Pro 3, as the company has marketed the tablet as a hybrid device that may replace notebook computers.
There are early signs that Microsoft is gaining traction with the Surface Pro 3, so the question will be whether Apple is coming too late to the party or if Microsoft can gain such a strong stranglehold on the hybrid tablet market that Apple doesn’t stand a prayer.
If history with smartphones is any indication, then Apple could arrive just in time to annihilate the Surface Pro 3 like it did with BlackBerry. But there’s no denying that Microsoft has set the bar quite high—finally, as the first Surface tablets were basically duds.
Can a tablet replace a PC?
Evans offers some suggestions on how the iPad Pro could replace desktop computers for businesses. Of course the size is the first criterion, and a 12.9-inch display could potentially fit the bill. However, I would argue that a display of that size isn’t going to be enough for a lot of enterprise and business users.
True, it will be big enough for some, but I think there are enough people who simply want a larger display than that.
Force Touch on the iPad Pro
It’s expected that the display on the iPad Pro will also sport the Force Touch feature that’s in the Apple Watch and the newest MacBook. This is an interesting idea because it will make the tablet perfect for those who like to use a stylus. The question is going to be whether the Force Touch brand name created by Apple is actually better than the unnamed (and perhaps similar) feature on the Surface Pro 3 or whether Apple just does a better job at marketing the ability to draw on its tablets.
Anyone who works better visually with drawings, including not only artists (who often tend to prefer Apple computers anyway), but also coaches and business users who draw graphs, etc. to make a point, may prefer to ditch the notebook entirely.
What about productivity?
Another issue is productivity, however, and whether it is just as easy to use programs like Microsoft Word on the iPad Pro 3. Microsoft has been attempting to bill the Surface Pro 3 as a productivity machine, but it will take some time to see whether business users really feel like a tablet is enough to replace a notebook or PC in this area.
One thing Apple has going for it is that Microsoft may, in a way, be paving the way for the iPad Pro to take over the enterprise computer market by planting the idea that a tablet can replace a PC or laptop. The battle between the rumored iPad Pro (if it does exist) and the Surface Pro 3 and future editions of it will be an interesting one to watch.