Who’s Afraid of the iPad Pro?

Today Apple CEO Tim Cook will once again take the stage and announce new products with the now iconic symbol of a half bitten fruit. Months of speculation will finally be answered and whatever is shown will be reported on every news site from here to over there.

Today’s announcement will likely cover a new iPhone 6 variant, a possible Apple TV, and a larger iPad.

The thing about Apple announcements, at least in some circles, is they are harbingers of obsolescence for something. The announcement of the first iPhone ended the mobile phone market as it was and sent companies scrambling. The iPad was the beginning of the so called Post-PC era and resulted in companies almost killing themselves to get into tablets. The long rumored Apple TV which may show today was long supposed to be the grim reaper coming for the souls of television, cable, and gaming consoles.

And so once again we have an Apple announcement; and once again there will be companies wondering if this is the day they loose.

For me as a Microsoft fan I really dread the Apple events because I think  afterwards Microsoft will bow out and quit because X is announced. Its how most feel when discussing Windows Phone. Now the mumbling is around the Surface line.  The gist is a larger iPad with a pen and keyboard will destroy the momentum of the Surface line and especially its Pro model which has sold well.

With the Surface Microsoft’s biggest issue was they created a tablet but didn’t have the app support needed to make it really work as a tablet. The Pro line worked but only because it ran “real” Windows. And even after the success of the Pro 3 Microsoft still must contend with it not being tablet enough.

The iPad Pro according to sources will be as large or larger than the Surface Pro 3 (12 inches) and like the Surface come with a Pen stylus and keyboard. It is not known if its all bundled together. iOS 9 makes things like multitasking easier for such a large screen but the question with the Pro is the opposite of the Surface.

For all the success of the iPad it has faced the issue of declining sales. The iPad Pro is largely seen as Apple’s way of re-energizing the tablet market. And its adding features that the Surface line already had. So for me the question is does the iPad Pro kill the Surface and Windows tablets in general?

Maybe that is the wrong question to ask.

Maybe what should be discussed is how does Microsoft and others meet the challenge. How do they build up their app catalogs and feature sets. For too long we have treated Apple like this thing that can never be competed against; that was unbeatable.

That should now end.

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