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Will the iPad Pro Kill the PC?

Tech Journalists have been busy drafting predictable articles asking if the #iPadPro is a PC or Surface Pro Killer and offering side by side comparisons. Although this is an interesting debate, it will never capture the curiosity of the mass market. Consequently, it appears that Apple decided to give them all a nudge in the right direction.

Have you ever noticed that people say the most controversial things when they want to try and sell you something? Over the years we have become accustomed to rock stars behaving outrageously while promoting a new album or tour. Now that geek is the new chic, maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised that Tim Cook declared the PC dead as he launched the new iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch screen.

I am writing this article on a PC with dual 27” monitors and unable to comprehend how a larger screened iPad, even one with a keyboard and a pencil, could ever compete with the vast space that I have for multiple tabs, notes, etc. A quick look around the office and I see a handful of MACs and a sea of PCs so I think it’s fair to say that on this occasion Mr. Cook is coming across and forgive me for saying this – like a used car salesman or an outrageous rock star! He is quoted as saying the following in an interview with the Telegraph UK:

I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? 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 larger tablet will be available to order online today and we can expect the familiar news footage of people queuing in the hundreds to get their eager hands on the new gadget. Prices start at $799 for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model, an additional $169 for the smart keyboard and $99 for the pencil.

It’s ironic to see how frantic the surface tablet and iPads have become in the race to eradicate PCs, by ultimately turning themselves into laptops. By the time you add the cost of a keyboard, the entry level 32GB iPad Pro with Wi-Fi model will cost you a hefty $1067 plus taxes if applicable or $300 more for the 128 GB version when a pretty decent MacBook Air is available starting at the slightly cheaper price of $900 for 128 GB.

If the Macbook Air has not replaced the PC thus far, then the reality is likely going to be that this super-sized iPad Pro tablet is not going to replace PCs anytime soon either. Apple’s Senior VP Eddy Cue told CNN Money that the iPad Pro is aimed at those who “consume” more than they create.”  That would be a regular home user in Eddy’s eyes. In fact, there is an enormous disparity between what Eddy Cue and Tim Cook are telling the media which should be slightly concerning for consumers. (NASDAQ: AAPL)

The lack of traditional desktop software makes this nearly-laptop an extravagant purchase for those that could find themselves buying into the whole death of the PC hype. Am sure eventually they’ll end up finding similarities with the old Emperor’s New Clothes fable once the novelty wears off.

Let’s forget this malarkey of a future where offices are full of iPads instead of PCs and recognize that consumer computing is where these devices can succeed. Over the last ten years our homes have gone from having a big PC tower to laptops and finally onto tablets, as the traditional home computer has fallen out of favor with tech-loving users.

Our leisure time is making new demands and changing how we use technology in the home. The rise of the second screen where audiences interact while watching television is a good example of how much things have changed and illustrates how Eddy Cue might be right after all when he says “the old world is rapidly fading.”

Most home users are happy leaving their work laptops in their bags assuming they even carry them home, and enjoying their rest and recreation time in front of a TV with a tablet. It waits to be seen if such a consumer is tempted by this extravagant purchase of an iPad pro. The key could be in the name “Pro”, and maybe it’s simply aimed at the creative or prosumer types or the Apple fanboys who will soak up anything Apple has to offer. But is that a large enough market to replace the PC? I fear not. Then why make the case that the iPad Pro will kill the PC? I am not saying that the PC will never disappear at some time in the distant future, all I am saying is the iPad Pro is likely not going to be the gadget killing it.

As our timelines become saturated with the iPad Pro hype, and tensions rise between fans, the only thing we can all agree on is that any talk of a PC or Surface Pro disappearing from the workplace is perhaps a little impetuous. I welcome your thoughts on this issue.

This article was posted on with permission from Anurag.