Great piece by Benedict Evans, attempting (and I say succeeding) to define just what we should mean by “mobile”:
You can’t use the screen size or the keyboard to define ‘mobile’
as distinct from a ‘PC’.
It certainly isn’t the performance - at least, not for much
longer. An iPhone 6S beats the Macbook on some benchmarks, an iPad
Air beats Surfaces from prior years and it seems pretty likely
that the iPad Pro will be close enough to a Surface for there not
to be much point arguing about it.
If I were a betting man, I’d wager that the iPad Pro will outperform the x86-based Surface Pro 4 in most benchmarks — at least the Core-m3 and Core-i5 models that have already shipped. (The $1599 Core-i7 Surface Pro 4 isn’t shipping until December.)
The lines on the Moore’s Law chart are converging for anything
with a battery. The same applies to the visible differences in the
software. Saying that a PC is distinguished by multitasking and
multiple windows is pretty short-sighted. It’s just software. It
Meanwhile, most of the form factor differences seem to me to have
little to do with the essence of the device. They’re a matter of
superglue. If I superglue a keyboard onto an iPad and install
Office, have I made a laptop? How many of those 1.5bn PCs are
running applications that I cannot run on this iPad - and, to my
earlier point, how many people will always need to run those
specific applications? If I hack Android onto a Surface, and
install Office, what exactly have I lost, or gained? Is the
difference between a ‘smartphone’ and ‘tablet’ any more meaningful
than the difference between a PC with a large or small monitor?
So well said. I would go so far as to say that this piece by Evans is essential reading before you read any reviews or analysis of the iPad Pro. If you don’t understand what Evans is pointing out here, you have no chance of understanding the purpose and potential appeal of the iPad Pro.
★ Tuesday, 10 November 2015