Apple have released an iPad Pro, apparently with the very same ARM chip from the new Macbook – the M1. I’m going to tell you exactly what that means for the future of the iPad and the Macbook. So hold onto your hats! Here we go!
Was the iPad with an M1 just another rip off?
You might call me a Surface guy. But I’m here to tell you that Microsoft have conceded the 2 in 1 market to Apple already.
Apple are not technology leaders at all. That shouldn’t be a revelation to you. 5G had been available for years before it landed on the iPhone. Tablets were around for decades before the iPad. And MP3 players preceded iPods by years too.
Very little of what Apple do is innovation in a technology sense. Most of the good tech they have was gobbled up buying out smaller companies. Or just ripping off their ideas and running them into the ground. Does anyone remember Tile? What they are really good at is people engineering. Marketing. And they are incredible leaders of people.
If Apple copy an idea and bring it to market, it’s a serious market and it has serious evident potential. After the latest Apple event many people lamented the lack of Augmented Reality glasses, but c’mon… Who else sells AR glasses? Apple will not enter that market until it exists. Albeit, badly…
What does the latest iPad with M1 mean for the future of iPad and Macbook?
So what does the latest announcement mean for the future of iPad and Macbook? I think it’s really interesting that Apple has chosen to brand the new processor in the iPad Pro “M1”. They could have happily called it the “A14”. But they went with M1. The same processor as the one in the latest Macbook and the new iMac.
I’ve said it before, and I still believe that Apple will not merge the Macbook with the iPad until they’ve milked every last billion out of the loose wallets of their hapless hypnotised customers. But mark my words: they will merge the Macbook and the iPad into a 2 in 1 device. It will happen within the next 5-10 years. And I’ll call it the Macpad – because it’s never been beyond Apple to go with a stupid product name!
Why? Because a keyboard and mouse on a laptop is not sufficient, and having two devices is not efficient! We’ve shown you the scientific research that has proven those two points definitively. And let’s face it, Apple have a great ecosystem for touch and pen apps, and an extensive library of keyboard and mouse apps to too. So they have the entire software stack sorted. And as of now, you can run both iPad and Mac apps on an M1 Macbook. Even though that’s only with a mouse and keyboard. The processor hardware is already the same. They make touch screen devices and laptops. So what’s left to solve?
That’s my prediction, Apple will create a 2 in 1 device that uses the best of iOS and MacOS together. And they will dominate the 2 in 1 market to the point where the masses will consider that they created it. Apple fans will magically be convinced that it’s now great to have a 2 in 1 device. And they’ll forget all about when they said it was better to have a separate tablet and a separate laptop. Those things will fly off the shelf. And people will be freely activating their Apple credit cards like never before.
What does the latest iPad with M1 mean for Microsoft?
So what about Microsoft? Surely they created the 2 in 1 market. Don’t cry for them, they’ll still be a trillion dollar behemoth. I believe Microsoft are technology leaders. Unfortunately, they’re not people leaders. At least nothing like Apple are.
Back in 2001 they got behind the 2 in 1 as a platform. They’d dabbled with it before that. But Bill Gates predicted and backed the future of laptops as tablets back then. And he was way ahead of his time – as were Microsoft. They lost their way in typical Microsoft fashion pretty quickly, but found it again in the early 2010s with Surface – thanks to the iPad.
And Surface carved out a very profitable and productive niche doing what Apple could not do at the time. They marketed the Surface Pro 3 as the “tablet that could replace your laptop.” And they created the 2 in 1 space. As always with Microsoft, that 2 in 1 space is now well supported by their partners like HP, Lenovo, Dell, and others. And they all currently have very impressive and well selling 2 in 1 devices at that.
You won’t see them selling off the shelves in retail stores. But they make so much sense in business because people simply need more than a keyboard and a mouse to do work. And having two devices is a management overhead that is simply unnecessary. And in that space, Microsoft will continue to win with Surface, as will their partners with 2 in 1s. In fact, when the 2 in 1 form factor is validated by Apple, they’ll do even better with it. Why? Because more businesses will then drop desktops and laptops for 2 in 1s.
Why Microsoft are fighting a losing battle
So why do I think that Microsoft can’t win with consumers and Surface? It’s a leadership and structure problem. Microsoft is a company that is run and dominated by geeks and nerds. Don’t get me wrong there’s plenty of slick marketing types (like you might expect to find at Apple). But Apple is tightly controlled from the top down with a comprehensive marketing and branding viewpoint. If something doesn’t enhance the Apple brand it doesn’t see the light of day. It doesn’t matter how productive it might be, how helpful it might be to people of the world, or how great it might be for humanity. It does not ship unless it’s profitable for Apple.
Microsoft on the other hand is a very different place. Because it’s run by geeks and nerds – AKA engineers – products ship almost on a daily basis that conflict with other Microsoft products. They even release products that directly compete with their own products or even promote other platforms over their own platforms. Basically in Microsoft if a product does something useful, it ships. There’s a very different perspective and ethos around this company.
How Apple and Microsoft differ
Microsoft listens to customers. If a customer says “yeah, we just really want a laptop not a two in one”, Microsoft will go and make a laptop. Apple would never do that. They are interested in telling customers what they need, not listening to what they want. But they You might disagree with me, but if Apple actually cared about what customers think the lightning ports on iPhones would be long gone. Apple leads customers, and for better or worse – it tells customers what they want.
Compare this to Microsoft. The Surface business is leading the market and kicking goals with 2 in 1s, blazing a trail and creating a product that customers didn’t even know they needed. Suddenly, they take a left hand turn and start creating copycat laptops to compete with MacBooks. They went from being a technology leader, to being a technology follower, simply because customers asked for it.
So you can see how at Microsoft brand vision and leadership is simply not as strong as it is at Apple. Unfortunately, Microsoft do not have the ability to convince people that they need something they didn’t want. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all.
Apple’s adoption of the M1 isn’t all bad news for Microsoft
Microsoft is still an incredibly dominant tech player. It is still a leader in technology, a leader in productivity and even a leader in causes of humanity – at least as far as capitalist listed companies go. And they have the flexibility to lead when they see that it is right to, not just because it aligns with their brand strategy. And despite shooting themselves in the foot many times, they will continue generating billions of dollars every quarter, along with incredible growth. Because they do create products and services that people need. Microsoft’s products keep people productive and help them to get things done.
And even when they concede the consumer mind share of the 2 in 1 to the Apple marketing juggernaut, they will continue to do well with new and innovative 2 in 1s in the corporate and government markets. They may even continue to play in the consumer world alongside Apple. But they’ll never achieve the halo status of Apple. And personally, I’m happy with that. I don’t want to feel like my technology choices require religious devotion.
That being said, I’ve been interested in tablets for more than 20 years now. When the original iPad launched in 2010, a friend of mine bought for me and brought it back to Australia. And just as I excitedly awaited the first iPad, I look forward to buying the Macpad the moment it arrives.
So if my prediction is right and we’re still making content like this in five years time, you’ll want to make sure that you see my “I told you so” video. So check out the oztabletpc, subscribe and click the notification bell to be notified the moment that the Macpad arrives.