If I had posted this last night, when I initially thought of it, I’d seem like a genius now. But I generally don’t engage in speculation about new Apple announcements, so I decided to pass. Oh, well.
The thing is, given the rumors of an edge-to-edge screen on the iPad coming later this year, a minor speed-bumped iPad Pro right now makes little sense. I’m not at all surprised that Apple didn’t have anything to announce on the iPad Pro front today.
I know no one who owns an iPad Pro 12.9 or 9.7-inch who thinks the device is too slow. Adding a slightly faster processor at this point would provide little incentive to people who are thinking of upgrading. True Tone on the 12.9-inch, and fast charging on the 9.7-inch maybe made a little more sense, but frankly, it’s just not a good enough change to be worth upgrading. Save it for the more significant upgrade later in the year.
I use the 12.9-inch now as my primary iPad. It’s over a year old. If Apple had done a minor “bump” today, I very likely would not have upgraded. And I’m a nut for upgrading.
Specs are not the problem with the current iPad.
Now, a lower-cost entry level model does make sense. The new 9.7-inch at $329 is a smart move. Keep expanding that umbrella. I also suspect this is a signal that the mini will be gone soon. It got a small update with more RAM as an option, but in a plus-sized phone world, the mini isn’t really all that useful anymore. I suspect the low-cost 9.7-inch will replace the mini altogether soon.
If all you want an iPad for is watching video or reading, a bigger screen is always going to be better. Or just get an Android tablet. The real future of the iPad is pro applications.
As far as I’m concerned, software is going to make or break iPad at this point. I’ll be very interested to see what happens with iOS 11 this summer. And I’ll be very interested to see if Apple creates new apps itself and/or adds incentives for creative new third-party companies to fill those gaps in the pro market for iPad software. If there aren’t some cool new demos of iPad apps coming during an Apple Keynote this year, I’ll start to be a little worried.
Meanwhile, I look forward to upgrading my iPad this fall, when the changes are more compelling.