What’s a Computer?

This past week Apple released yet another low-budget version of its regular 9.7 inch iPad. When last year they released another low-budget version of their 9.7 inch iPad. That same time the previous year they also released a 10.5 inch iPad Pro. While two years before that they released the first version of their 12.9 inch iPad Pro.

In all this time they have yet to update their aging iPad Mini 4 with its aging hardware and lack of support for the Apple Pencil. And again they still sell it like they sell their Mac Pro, which hardware Apple hasn’t updated since 2013. Every year the analysts predict the end of the iPad Mini 4. Every time I enter the Apple Store, there is the iPad Mini 4. Next to the other newer and flashier iPads. At least, the iPad Mini 4 has come down in price, unlike the Mac Pro.

Fragmentation

As Apple keeps trying to push the iPad every year with new versions with various hardware features, it is clear they are still trying to figure out what to do with their beloved iPad. They want to push iPads and iOS as the future of their company. While insisting on limiting the software to would be power users who have the strength of spreading their opinions to their friends who rely on their technological knowledge.

One CNET reviewer made a valid point: Though there appear to be compromised in the new iPad 9.7 inch versus what is available in the iPad Pro models, the software doesn’t by any means help rationalize the need to pay more for the Pro versions. None of the currently available apps can run only on an iPad Pro. All apps, for the most part, run as smoothly on my aging iPhone 6 Plus as they can on an iPad Pro. Sure, things are a bit slower on my now dated hardware, but I can still open most apps without issue. Thank you, new battery!

The public is being overwhelmed with too many choices from Apple. A company who was once known for having a small product line. Apple is desperately trying to focus their message, yet again. They want their iPads to be a gateway to the education industry by providing reasons for schools to adopt their hardware at Apple’s idea of discounted prices.

We’ve seen this before. Apple already tried to push their iPads to schools back when Steve Jobs was still alive and the iPad was slower and thicker. And it failed. So what is so different now? Short attention span, maybe? Better hardware? Probably.

Temptation

Despite all my criticisms, I am tempted to purchase their new low-priced iPad. I had an iPad mini 4, for a while and then I sold it. I’m not sure why I sold it? Now I miss having something with a bigger screen and more comfortable to hold in my hand when I am relaxing at home. For me, that is where the iPad is best fitted.

Lying in my bed with an iPad, or sitting in my chair in my living room with an iPad. I only open my MacBook when I need to work, or when I’m working on my writing. I might go out and buy this iPad just to have one lying around when I need it now that I know better of what an iPad is for me. But, first I will need to go to the Apple Store and give it a good look over. Hold it in my hands. See how it feels. And then think about buying the iPad for at least several months before I pull the trigger. That is how I usually go about making big purchases.

I remember someone arguing as a way to prevent impulse buys: to wait on buying something you covet a week later. That way one might realize they didn’t want to buy their new item as much as may have before. And therefore, save money.

Regrettably, this doesn’t work with me. Instead, I get more obsessed with something. I research more about it, and if it’s an Apple product, I may visit the Apple store several times. I have done the same thing with previous owned MacBooks. I’ve done the same exercise with last owned iPads. I’ve done the same ritual with my Apple Watch 3. I am a lost cause.

Conclusion

Arguably the only tablet device worth owning is still Apple’s iPad. Sure there are Android versions, Window’s Surface (which isn’t a tablet, more of a specialized hybrid), but none work as well as Apple’s iPads. Many have tried to copy and compete, but as the year’s progress, this is a category which belongs only to Apple. And Apple needs to get it right.

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