Cook’s assertion, twice repeated, of being “very bullish on the iPad beyond the 90-day clock”, leads one to assume there will be substantial changes to the iPad line in the not-too-distant future. Not just tweaks to the hardware — lighter, faster, a stylus holder — but something that fulfills Cook’s proclamation that the iPad is “the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing”. Perhaps we’ll see new iPad hardware and software at Apple’s yearly Developer Conference, traditionally held in early June.
The lack of a single new feature targeted at the iPad in the latest beta release of iOS 10.3 is troublesome. The problem with the iPad is not the hardware but the software. Apple has to make a clear point about the iPad with its own apps just like with GarageBand. They abandoned iPhoto on iPad and never bothered to bring Aperture on the platform and this is a mistake. The iPad is a great device for photographers and yet, Apple is neglecting them with pale software initiatives on that front. Finally, Apple should not try to pitch the iPad as a computer replacement. Many new users didn’t have a computer before but only a smartphone. Their next step is the tablet, not the computer. These are the ones where Apple has to address a clear marketing message.