Just two years ago, Apple chief executive Tim Cook took pot shots at the rise of 2-in-1 tablets, and claimed the iPad was a far better option for anyone seeking a tablet. Oh, how things change — Apple now has a similar product, the iPad Pro. And perhaps surprisingly, it is the iPad Pro, not Microsoft’s Surface tablet, that will be…
The bottom line of this article is that the author believes that the iPad Pro will be popular. His arguments make sense and are rational, but I hope they are not true.
If Apple is playing long-term with iOS and they always seem to play long-term, I don’t want to use that as my OS instead of the Mac OS. Apple has a history of switching OS like OS 9, Newton, and many others that they didn’t go with. An OS is more than just an interface, it represents the ability of users to modify and truly “own” their hardware. I would argue that the inability to change software means that we are just “renting” software.
Why am I making a big deal about this? Why not use use an iPad and be happy? Well, accepting and supporting a change of OS that is less functional and more controlling isn’t going to help the end user. Apple is great about many things, but the end user isn’t high on its list. Apple at every stage of its life has tried to lock its customers in with proprietary hardware and software. Isn’t the iPhone proprietary? Yes but you can get your data out with third party software. Imagine if Apple won the OS war and it was either Apple or nothing. Having no choices is not a good thing.
I like many of the ideas of the iPad. It is fun to have something simple that requires little troubleshooting, and mostly takes care of itself. It is nice to have a long battery life and not have to worry about files like a traditional computer. However what I don’t like is that the same ease of use makes it really difficult and expensive to support. Third party companies have come up with brilliant stuff that vendors like Apple and Microsoft copy. Then those companies go out of business. There should be a law that if a company copies a software companies product they have to immediately buy them out at fair market value. Too often innovation is just taking from the little guy.
I am not stuck to the Mac OS. This isn’t because I think its the best OS, which I don’t. Its a nice thing and it does some things well. What the iPad represents to me is a limiting of choice, and there is already little choice in the Apple world. I don’t think that the PC model of having choice and not being supported is better. I think the best option is to have the choice of any hardware, and the support of the software. I liked it when Apple opened up to clones even when Mac users had terrible experiences. I don’t like that the experiences were difficult, but that Apple was willing to try something new. If Apple had supported the clones better they might have been freer to innovate on the things they are doing now. It is clear the the desktop/laptop market are fading due to the incredible ability of smartphones to do almost everything.
I don’t write this to convince anyone that I am right. I hope that I am wrong. I hope that Apple finds a way to bring choice to the iOS and to continue to innovate with hardware and software. I hope that there is always choice and I will always act to maximize the possibility of choice.