Apple's Mac Pro Turnaround Could Point To A New Way Of Thinking On iPad

Apple very rarely admits to being wrong on anything. The iPhone sticking to tiny screens when the world wanted big screens being a perfect example of stubborness in the face of overwhelming customer feedback.

For too long the Mac Pro has been a similar example. Launched in 2013 at WWDC, the Mac Pro showcased a clever heat dissapation design and a significantly smaller form factor than other professional level workstations.

Phil Schiller was so confident in what had been created that he famously retorted "Can't innovate any more my ass" in response to the criticism Apple was receiving in relation to some tame product launches.

The problem was Professional users didn't want a shiny black trashcan on their desks. What they wanted was speed, upgradeability and more speed. The Mac Pro didn't deliver. Initially the murmer of discontent was limited to customers and a few reviews, but very soon a consensus was reached, even amongst pro-Apple blogs.

The Mac Pro was a broken product.

Last week Apple admitted as such to its favoured bloggers. The design for heat dissapation made it difficult for Apple to upgrade the box, the design itself prevented the upgrade of components and as a result professional customers were abandoning Macs for PCs.

Apple offered a minor speed bump and the promise of a future Mac Pro with all the qualities of the previous Mac Pro - modularity, speed and upgradeability.

So if Apple can listen to professional users (albeit belatedly) will it also listen to iPad customers?

iPad sales have fallen off a cliff in recent years - and Apple's languauge has been much the same as it was when talking about the Mac Pro up until last week - and whatever Apple has done hasn't really worked.

The new iPad unveiled last week suggests Apple might be changing tack with its tablet line too. It's cheaper for a start, targeting the tablet market middle ground where Apple hasn't been active before

That's a sticking plaster though. The tablet market isn't growing any more. Take out Windows hybrid sales and its actually shrinking. So capturing more market share by dropping the entry level price isn't going to fix the wider problem, which is that Apple needs a MacBook / iPad hybrid device.

With Apple having demonstrated a new willingness to listen to the needs of their customers perhaps we can be a little more confident that such a device is in the making.


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