The deepest darkest days of winter are upon us. Yes, the Atlanta Falcons, sporting the highest scoring offense in professional football, blew the biggest lead ever in Super Bowl history and were humbled by the New England Patriots and the team’s biggest little star, Julian Edelman. Oh, and Tom Brady.
Things are so dark and drab here in Atlanta that I’ve already replaced my past three failed personal pride events (Falcons vs. Patriots was the last) with three more. First, Save the iPad! Second, Save Kellyanne Conway. Third, and I hope this one has some legs, Save the Planet.
The last one is a no brainer but something of a last gasp. The second is because late night comedy and talk show hosts need something other than the President for material. And the first because, well, Apple is screwing up the iPad so badly that it’s in danger of not becoming part of the post-PC era.
Perspective is important, and many of the certified members of the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism Club, Technology Chapter call iPad sales awful to truly awful, and just to prove the point, iPad sales continue to drop. Why, just last quarter, the iPad’s revenue was less than the Mac for the first time in many years. Failure, right? And that’s during another record sales quarter for the Mac.
So, to Apple I say, “Save The iPad! Save The iPad!”
What’s wrong with the iPad? Everything. And nothing. First, Apple hasn’t given iPad owners much of a compelling reason to upgrade from their old iPads. Second, they’re built like tanks and take a licking from school age children and keep on ticking. About all Apple has done with recent model upgrades is iPad Pro, Touch ID, and Pencil; none of which are appealing to children, and apparently not even appealing to adults.
Third, and this one is important beyond the above– iPads are damned expensive and Apple has no conscience or quibble about selling as new products that clearly are not new or even newish. Clearly, the over priced iPad is stuck between cheap-assed Amazon tablets from China and cheap-assed Windows PCs and cheap-assed Chromebooks and the MacBook, which is more powerful, does more, and is priced just a few hundred dollars above the iPad Pro, comparably equipped.
That astute analysis means the iPad is stuck in never never land, never powerful enough to capture Mac users Apple wants to keep using Macs, and never inexpensive enough to persuade the aforementioned cheap device owners from switching.
Unless Apple can pull a Tom Brady 4th quarter miracle out of its product playbook, the iPad will remain the Atlanta Falcons of technology. Good. Very good. Not good enough.
What does iPad 2017 need?
Puhleeze. This is too easy. Faster CPU. Micro-bezel. 10.5-inch display instead of 9.7. Pencil with every iPad. iPad Pro software. Keyboard with every iPad. Three Wi-Fi models and three cell data models. As many colors as the inventory can handle. Oh, and stop selling older iPads. It’s embarrassing.