Apple has re-wrote its own history many times, as a tech giant that mastered the art of controlling its own evolution. This is why, shy of the times where Steve Jobs’ name is mentioned, Apple is commonly referred to as its own living, breathing entity, almost as if it’s an organism in its own right.
The company has changed hands, from Jobs to Cook, and more will stand at the helm, but one interesting trend emerges that transcends Apple’s own visionary CEO’s: no matter what philosophy or culture comes with a new CEO, there comes a time where none of those decision making processes matter, as the Apple seems to head towards its very own direction.
In 2007 at MacWorld, Steve Jobs made headlines, while taking a dismissive stance towards the stylus. Next, in 2010, Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook claimed that the Surface Pro was a “Compromised, confusing product”. Fast forward to 2015, the iPad Pro was announced, alongside the Apple Pencil.
Speaking of the Apple iPad Pro, this product in particular, worked as a catalyst, setting in motion a slow but steady trend that is certainly going to ripple through the expectations of Apple fans in the future.
It’s been several years since speculation of some kind of Mac/iOS convergence spread, and which Tim Cook has been consistently prompt to dismiss, even if iOS has indeed evolved into something beyond its original mobile-first purpose.
Not only the iPad Pro has already put a few dents into the market share of budget laptops PCs, it has also outsold Macbooks by a large margin between 2012 and 2016, which is precisely the reason why Apple has taken a stand against touchscreen laptops. A touchscreen Mac would be the kiss of death for the entire Macbook lineup.
Even still, touchscreen laptops like the Surface Pro, are proving themselves to be incredibly resourceful, in terms of power and flexibility, and Apple is most definitely destined to one day defy, once again, its own chief, and make the course correction that will ensure its survival.
Such change of pace may also occur quicker than we realize, as processors continue to evolve and become more powerful, bestowing smaller devices with the power to undertake increasingly high-end tasks, like video editing, virtual reality, and more processes traditionally requiring desktop-like systems.
The most pressing issue that plagues devices the strive to replace traditional laptops, as the iPad Pro is trying to do, is the practicality, and construction. For students, for example, it’s crucial to be able to move around, and deploy a device quickly, which still being able to type as fast and as accurately, and comfortably, as they would with a traditional laptop. Unfortunately, when sitting in a subway train, or the back of an Uber, typing anything more complex than an email, on a top-heavy iPad Pro may prove challenging, considering that its lightweight Smart Keyboard is far too light to provide for a steady typing experience on your lap.
On the other hand, a Surface Pro, or a Surface Book provide exactly the level of comfort required to type on the fly, while working with a full desktop version of Windows 10.
What will a touchscreen Mac look like, is not hard to imagine, considering current trends, as well as the most recent patents that have surfaced from Apple’s filings. In some instances, evidence suggests that Apple may be experimenting with dual touchscreens, capable of providing adaptive virtual keyboard input, as well as real tactile feedback. Dual screens also mean double the real estate, which is optimal when streaming video, playing games, or collaborating remotely through shared whiteboard apps, when both screens are unfolded flat.
For such hybrid device, a more advanced and touch-friendly version of Mac OS will most likely be required, which will have to provide easy access to apps and most operations, in a very similar way as it happens with Windows 10 tablet PCs..
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