The iPad Pro Vs The Surface Pro 3
Who is the innovator and who is the follower? Apple has been quick to castigate Samsung for stealing its ideas in the past, but Apple's use of other's devices as an inspiration seems to be the acceptable face of copying.
All of Apple's recent great products have been variations of what has previously been available. Of course the difference is that Apple takes a product and applies its own brand of product development to create something more than what was previously available.
Which brings us to the new iPad Pro. Here is a device that, on the surface (sorry) appears to take the successful Microsoft Surface Pro 3 design and slavishly copy its features. To dismiss it as such a device would be to miss the point completely.
Apple, like other OEMs has had to react to the success of the SP3 because it has been so well received. No Microsoft product has ever been as popularly feted as its current Surface tablets. It turns out that a device that is both tablet and laptop is exactly what customers want. The sales of iPad add-on keyboards was all the evidence required, if you took the time to examine it.
Apple took the Surface concept and built an Apple device around it. Not a PC class device, which would have put it head to head with Microsoft, rather a professional tablet, targeted at specific markets.
The key difference here is that the Surface can accommodate all of your computing needs, replacing tablet, laptop and desktop - the computing equivalent of Sauron's ring of power, if you like. The iPad Pro remains a companion device - albeit a very capable one.
Given the strength of Apple's user base and Microsoft's more to engage better with enterprise customers I expect to see a lot more of these devices over the next year.