The iPad Obtuse: Misunderstanding the message

The iPad Pro is here and Tim Cook's comments on it are causing a stir.


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Pundits would like Apple to know there’s no understanding in this relationship anymore! As if there ever was.

Writing for The Next Web, Abhimanyu Ghoshal nails Tim Cook with a Catch-22.

”Tim Cook says the PC is dead... but Apple’s still making desktops and laptops.”

Wow, that’s crazy talk! Did Tim Cook actually use those words and say the PC is dead?!

Are you new here? To the Internet? First day? Is that it?

Well, first of all, welcome. We’re so happy you’ve joined us. Second, get ready for disappointment.

Here’s what Tim Cook said:

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.

This is not up for debate. Unless you’re looking to manufacture debate. Unless, say, you work at the debate mills and your overbearing, union-busting foreman insists the mills must run even though your buddy Jerry lost a hand in the mill on Wednesday after writing a piece wondering if the Android version of Apple Music is a deliberate insult to Android users everywhere.

Aaand Ghoshal apparently works at said mill.

Those are fighting words, Tim. And perhaps not the best chosen ones, since Apple launched a new MacBook as well as a new iMac earlier this year.

Did Cook say that all Mac users must hand over their Macs to Apple’s jack-booted thugs and replace them with iPads or report for reeducation? Yes, he did. If you speak the nutso von butso coded language of the Apple outrage tribe.

...I feel like it’s wrong to simplify customers’ needs and preferences so bluntly.

“Many people” is the new “everyone”. And why not “everyone must” while we’re at it? This thing literally goes up to 11 now that we’ve written “11” with a Sharpie just past 10.

Ghoshal seems to think you can’t even write on the iPad.

I shudder to think how long it would take and how frustrating it would be to write this article—making notes, referring to several posts, editing images—on anything that didn’t have a mouse and keyboard.

So... you haven’t even tried it. That might be part of your problem.

As luck would have it, the Macalope wrote this piece about your piece all on an iPad Air 2 with a Bluetooth keyboard. This isn’t unusual, he’s written many, many columns on iPads going all the way back to the original iPad. It’s not some black art requiring sacrificing a goat to the Dark One (like trying to AirDrop between iOS and the Mac). On the latest iPads, Split screen makes writing and referring to other materials pretty easy. As Jason Snell noted three years ago, one of the benefits of writing on the iPad is that it presents fewer distractions than the desktop.

Not all the reviews of the iPad Pro have been perfectly glowing, but here’s a smattering of other opinions about it ability to replace a Mac.

Federico Viticci:

I don’t see myself using a Mac as my primary computer ever again.

John Gruber:

Is it a MacBook replacement for me, personally? No. For you? Maybe. For many people? Yes.

Matthew Panzarino:

...the iPad Pro absolutely, 100% could be the central computing device for a home. Many days, I run TechCrunch from my phone. On those days, the ‘traditional’ computers in my household lie dormant, completely. If you think this is an edge case, you are blinding yourself to the way the world has changed.

Ben Bajarin:

Lastly, the debate around what can and can’t be done on a PC, smartphone, or tablet is nonsense. People say you need a real PC with a mouse and keyboard to do real work. That’s simply not true.

This debate is over. It was over years ago. No one, even Tim Cook, is saying an iPad can do everything a laptop or desktop can do right now. What people are saying is that, depending on your needs, the iPad might be able to do everything you need to do and, when you can pay less for it than a Mac or PC, why not ask yourself if it can?

Which is exactly what Cook said. The Macalope’s not sure why this is so confusing but here we are.

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