The iPad Pro is a biggie.
No, really. It’s big both in size — the latest iteration of the tablet (if you can even call it that anymore) clocks in at 12.9 inches in screen size — and in sheer power; it’s equipped with an A9X chip, which, according to Apple, “delivers up to 1.8 times the CPU performance and double the graphics performance of iPad Air 2.”
Why is it so huge that the iPad is so huge?
On the one hand, its size and power mean that it’s not really a tablet, but it’s also not a laptop due to its lack of a built-in keyboard. With devices like this that many dub as “2-in-1,” the lines are thus blurred between laptop and tablet. They create the perfect storm for enterprise users who require both: power to be productive on tasks other than email and mobility for modern-day users who are rarely behind their desks 40 hours a week.
The iPad Pro joins the 2-in-1 devices field as stiff competition for Microsoft’s Surface Pro. While the initial generation of Surfaces were a commercial flop, the third iteration of Surface Pro is seen as a laptop killer by many, and has garnered sterling reviews. Even still, Apple joining the mix now could justifiably put Microsoft on edge.
Regarding his thoughts on the iPad Pro and its impact on business users, Aberdeen Group Senior Research Analyst Jim Rapoza sees the device as a boon for business users, though as a company-provided luxury, unlike iPhones which have been the BYOD darling of the enterprise.
“I actually don’t think it’s a spur for BYOPC. I think as much as people are resistant to letting IT put stuff on their phones, they will be even more resistant to letting IT put stuff on their personal PC,” said Rapoza. “That being said, I do think these types of 2-in-1 devices are already gaining popularity as business machines, and, with Apple finally joining in as a latecomer, it will just help accelerate the trend.”
And while Apple’s machine may be at odds with an overwhelmingly PC enterprise, Apple is pulling no punches when it comes to making the device productive for business users. According to CNET, on Wednesday, Microsoft announced updates to Microsoft Office that will be useful for iPad Pro owners — by using split-screen view in the Pro, one “can see two apps side by side, which comes in handy for Office users who may want to run Excel and PowerPoint together.”
Beyond software designed to make enterprise users productive, the iPad Pro features two optional add-ons: an attachable smart keyboard for $169 and a stylus, the Apple Pencil, for $99. Yes, followers of Steve Jobs. You read that right. A stylus.
Time will tell if the iPad Pro takes hold in the enterprise, but with “productivity tablets” filling up the market in the Surface Pro and Apple’s latest device, the future looks bright.
The iPad Pro hits shelves in November.
For more information on how leading organizations are tackling company-provided mobile devices, check out the free research report, Enterprise Mobility Management: Changing it Up With CYOD, available 100% free of charge to Aberdeen community members.