When is a Pro not a Pro?

iPad Pro

This week Apple unveiled their much rumoured iPad Pro, a larger iPad, equipped with a 12.9” screen with optional accessories for attachable keyboard and stylus dubbed the ‘Apple Pencil’.

• The look of the new iPad Pro with its larger size, especially when attached to its keyboard cover looks much like Microsoft’s Surface Pro line. The big difference here is in its operating system. The iPad pro like all previous models runs on the company’s mobile iOS platform, instead of the desktop platform OSX. This means you will still be unable to use full desktop software like Photoshop or Xcode.
• Apple boasts desktop-class performance, but when limited to mobile Apps you may not see the benefit of this as an end user.
• The extra performance also enables two applications to be run at the same eg. Mail and Word.

The argument for it becomes more difficult though when you consider the iPad Pro actually costs more than a Microsoft Surface.

Justifying the purchase for this new iPad will be a difficult tasks, it is likely aimed at the Apple faithful who already have all the Apple kit, but why purchase the Pro when a MacBook (which can run full desktop software) can be obtained for almost the same price?

There will be specific, niche markets that will reap the benefits of a larger iPad with a pressure sensitive stylus, such as graphic artists, but they will be limited to the mobile App versions of Adobe’s software instead of their full desktop Creative Cloud suite.

It feels like Apple has missed a huge opportunity here, not only in enabling iPads to run full desktop software, but also bringing OSX into businesses which have already iPads.