happy monday system

Not Living Up to Potential

The iPad Pro was released last week, and unsurprisingly, it’s been a controversial product.

Much like how an artist’s intention tends to come second to how the public interprets a work of art, Apple’s intention when creating the iPad Pro doesn’t matter as much as how it’s interpreted and perceived by consumers, and I believe this may be a roadblock to adoption.

It doesn’t matter how good of a productivity device the iPad Pro is if consumers simply do not believe the iPad is viable as a productivity device, or refuse to ever give it a chance.

Not believing, while wrong, is not entirely without reason. How can you believe the iPad is a viable primary computing device for work when hardly anyone appears to be using them in that manner? I can count the number of people I know using the iPad as a primary work computer on one hand. The iPad needs to reach a certain threshold of visibility in the workplace for people to stop casually tossing out “the iPad is a content consumption device” and accept the iPad as a tool for getting serious work done.

As for refusing to give the iPad a shot, there are two big issues with this.

The overwhelming majority of people in this world are change-averse when it comes to technology. People in the workplace have learned and established workflows on their PCs to get their job done reliably and consistently, and it’s entirely possible that they struggled for years to get there if they aren’t so tech-savvy. Moving to iPad would require them to throw most of their computing knowledge away and start over. Yeah, it would probably be a much simpler paradigm than to teach them desktop computing, but there’s still inertia, and that’s a real hard sell.

But it’s an even tougher sell to make to the IT departments which often are responsible for buying this stuff. Not only would they need to retrain their workforce, but they’re also going to have to relearn how to manage deployments of these devices because they aren’t PCs running Windows. Hell, if I were in their position, the Microsoft Surface would sound really tempting on paper. (In practice, not really.)

All of this should seem really obvious. But this is the Apple community, so trying to explain why people might not be so passionate about the iPad is often seen as an attack on the iPad itself. I love the iPad. It’s my favorite device Apple has ever made. I want it to succeed. But damn if I’m going to be blind to how other people perceive it.