Apple is about to release its biggest tablet yet, the iPad Pro. The company thinks it can replace your laptop. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn’t think there’s much of a need for PCs at all anymore.
“I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore?” Cook said in an interview with The Telegraph. “No really, why would you buy one? Yes, the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones.”
The iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch screen, making its display nearly the same size as that of a 13-inch MacBook. It also has productivity-minded accessories, like a keyboard case and the Apple Pencil, a new pressure-sensitive stylus for artists and other creatives.
Apple is far from the first tech company to suggest a mobile device would take the place of a typical desktop computer. For years, companies like Lenovo, HP, Asus, and even Microsoft have made tablets they claimed would replace your laptop. That was the whole concept behind Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system: give it a touch-friendly tablet mode, while also offering a more traditional desktop experience.
What makes the iPad Pro different is that Apple has kept its desktop and mobile operating systems separate from one another. With Windows 8 — and the new Windows 10 — Microsoft blended mobile and desktop into a single OS. While Apple’s mobile and desktop software are now more capable of communicating with one another, the experiences are still entirely different.
Cook’s idea that PCs are no longer necessary may not be entirely true for everyone. But it certainly provides some perspective on Apple’s approach to the computer market. And it fits with sentiments that Apple executives have expressed in the past. Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, previously said in an interview with Backchannel’s Steven Levy that customers shouldn’t necessarily need a larger gadget until they’ve really become limited by their current computers.
“The job of the [Apple Watch] is to do more and more things on your wrist so that you don’t need to pick up your phone as often,” Schiller said to Levy. “The job of the phone is to do more and more things such that maybe you don’t need your iPad, and it should be always trying and striving to do that.”