November 13, 2015
Apple’s new iPad Pro is the company’s biggest, priciest tablet and the first aimed squarely at enterprise users. The company says it’s pitting the iPad Pro against laptops, not other tablets, but it almost immediately draws comparisons with Microsoft’s Surface, that company’s business-focused tablet. Apple has not typically targeted the enterprise market, but this new focus is driven by the need to bolster revenues in light of declining iPhone revenues. Sales of the iPad have also declined since the 2013 peak of 71 million units.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said revenue from the enterprise market has reached $25 billion in the past year, about 11 percent of sales from that period. Also in the last year, Cook inked partnerships with Cisco Systems and IBM.
Prices start at $799 for a 32-gigabyte model, go up to $1,067 with Apple’s new Pencil stylus and keyboard cover, and to $1,217 for a 128-gigabyte version with those components. WSJ notes that is “18 percent more than the new Surface Pro 4 tablet from Microsoft with the same specs and roughly on par with the average selling price of the Mac lineup in the latest fiscal year.”
Microsoft sales of its Surface line-up reached $3.6 billion in the last fiscal year. That’s equal to 15 percent of iPad revenue in that same period. FactSet reports that most experts believe total iPad sales will stabilize at 50 million for the next two fiscal years.
Wired, in its review, reports that, “in making it bigger, Apple made the iPad Pro different.”
“The iPad Pro is the best tablet, and the best case for tablets, anyone’s ever made,” it declares, after praising its audio, battery life, processing power and huge, high-res screen and new Pencil stylus. “Nobody’s going to toss their iMacs and ThinkPads into the garbage tomorrow and instead lay a 12.9-inch tablet on everyone’s desk,” Wired notes, but “with the right accessories and apps [the iPad Pro] can be almost any kind of device you want.”