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Apple has been at it again!

Apple has been at it again!

Earlier this month, tech company, Apple, held a brief online event to make some announcements. 

Good morning…

Tim Cook began characteristically, after a rather colourful animation sequence.

Welcome to Apple Park.

What followed was thirty-seven minutes of product information, mostly about their new iPad devices. 

For the first time in a while, the iPads got a refresh. And while some might argue that there was no urgent need, many would say it was long overdue – the heart wants what it wants.

For the competition, the message from Apple was loud and clear: catch me if you can. Let’s unpack some of the announcements, and, more importantly, why they matter. 

The iPad Air

A good place to start is the new iPad Air. It gets the M2 chip, which is newer than the M1 Pro chip in the Macbook I’m currently typing this on. While the beefier M2 Pro and M2 Max chips offer more performance, the base M2 chip is no slouch, so this shouldn’t feel like a concession. It’ll breeze through web browsing and media consumption. It can even support more intensive tasks like gaming and 4K video editing. 

Recognizing that this iPad Air would easily suffice for most users, Apple has made the strategic decision to offer it in two sizes. For the first time, the Air is available in the native 11-inch and the new 13-inch version. The idea is to cater to the light user who may not need bleeding-edge capabilities but still appreciates more canvas. With the additional space, a few more use cases open up. Tack on a keyboard for even more versatility. 

Well played Apple.

There was one more big announcement. 

The iPad Pro

For the more discerning customer, the star of the show was the redesigned iPad Pro. Highlight features are its thinness, an OLED display (a first for the iPad), and the next generation of Apple silicon: the M4 chip. It’s the first time Apple debuted their silicon on the iPad. This fourth-generation chip promises even more performance and higher efficiency. 

See Also

Pundits argue that putting this much power into a device which is not typically used for CPU-intensive tasks would seem counterintuitive. Indeed “counterintuitive” is often used to describe many of Apple’s strategic choices. Sometimes, it takes the rest of us a moment to make sense of Apple’s bigger vision – Apple TV is a prime example of this. Other times the vision just doesn’t catch on. The 2013 Mac Pro (aka the trash can) evoked strong consumer sentiments and serves as a cautionary tale here.  

For better or worse, the new iPad Pro packs more punch than most of us could possibly need.

Other Announcements

Other significant announcements include the new Apple Pencil Pro. It features a squeeze gesture which users and developers can customise in creative ways. A newly built-in gyroscope allows the Pencil Pro to support a roll gesture, something that sketch artists, calligraphers, and other users who require a high level of precision would appreciate.

Also announced was the new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, with a design that now features a function row, an aluminium palm rest, and a larger trackpad. All for an enhanced, richer, iPad experience.

Final Thoughts

All things considered, it would seem like Apple is intentionally expanding the realm of possibilities which the iPad lineup presents. This aligns with their Blue Ocean Strategy of developing uncontested market space, rather than competing for a share of a finite pie. 

One wonders if the competition is happy to be left alone, or jittery at the prospect of being made redundant.

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