The impossible dream: Reviewing products that don't exist


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It is the technology punditry business's solemn promise to you that every Apple product come pre-reviewed so that you know what a tremendous failure it will be. To that end, ZDNet's James Kendrick is here to tell you "Why the iPad Pro will flop, if it's really coming." (Tip o' the antlers to Neil Weinstock.)

You really don't even need to read the article. Well, you don't because that's what the Macalope is here for. To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous Apple analysis. Remember, he's getting paid to do this, even if it's in alfalfa. There's no reason for you to do it.

Now, the Macalope hasn't met Kendrick, but he hears he's a very nice guy. He probably is. Sometimes bad articles happen to the fingers of nice people. Idle hands are Rob Enderle's workshop. Or something like that. The horny one doesn't know how it works since he's got hooves, but it's clearly some form of possession. That's the only rational explanation.

An iPad this large doesn't fit the Apple model when it comes to new products. If it does come to pass, I see it possibly becoming the biggest flop from Apple in years.

We literally just did this the other day with the haptic remote rumor. Is there something in the water that drives writers to try to review products that haven't even been announced yet? Is it lead? It must be lead.

It's nothing new, just a bigger iPad.

The Macalope's not here to say a mythical "iPad Pro" will be awesome -- since, y'know, he hasn't seen one -- but he will note that the iPad was supposedly just a bigger iPhone and the iPad mini was just a smaller iPad. These un-superlatives consistently seem to fail to sufficiently encapsulate these products' appeal.

A 12 or 13 inch tablet is too large to have mass appeal.

Probably true. But do you know what percentage of smartphone sales were "phablets" before the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus? Something like 25 percent. And yet phablets were the most important thing ever.

And now it's time to drive that down the memory hole's insatiable gullet.

Consumers seem to be going smaller with mobile devices.

[The Macalope closes the lid to his MacBook, shuffles zombie-like over to his stove, puts it in and turns on the gas.]

[whispers] "I'm sorry you had to display that."

Launching a new product with limited appeal is not something Apple does.

How many Watch Editions do you think Apple will sell? An iPad Pro would be part of the iPad line, which has broad appeal. Apple has plenty of sub-devices that could be considered "niche". Not everyone wants a 7-inch iPad or an iPhone 6 Plus. But each line is the sum of its parts.

Yes, the Macalope knows the line is "greater than the sum of its parts" but that's just not mathematically possible.

We must remember that the iPad Pro is not a real product, no matter how much pundits write about it.

[Gets in car, drives for hours until it runs out of gas in the desert, sits in the car forever, pretending to still be driving away from this article. Stars turn overhead.]

The Macalope would like to ironically send Kendrick a cast-iron skillet because he is clearly irony-deficient.

Tablet sales are falling, including iPads. It makes no sense for Apple to bring another iPad to market in that environment.

When the going gets tough, the tough give up.

If for some reason Apple does bring the iPad Pro to market, it's not going to resonate with the mainstream consumer market.

Unless, of course, it's not exactly what you're envisioning.

Oh, but that would be ridiculous.

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