I've tried to figure out why Apple thinks an iPad can replace your computer, and I've final...

03-07 06:23
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
  • Apple keeps saying the iPad can replace your computer.
  • The iPad can do many of the things a computer can, but it's still unrealistic to think it can replace a computer.
  • Apple's claims could be true if you don't own a computer and are provided one by your company.
  • It could also be true for those who don't need a computer for work, but need something for basic things like email and web browsing.

Apple has spent the last few years insisting that the iPad can replace your computer, and I've never understood how that could possibly be true.

And the latest "iPad Pro - What's a computer?" ad campaign from late 2017 proves the company isn't relenting. It's even suggesting that "computers" will become extinct relics to the younger generation, and iPads will be the only device we'll ever need for those times when iPhones just don't cut it.

Check out the ad for yourself. You might have already seen it on TV, and perhaps it rubbed you the wrong way , like it did with some other people:

The ad follows a young girl as she goes about doing kid things, like drawing on the iPad with the Apple Pencil, taking photos of bugs, and even being productive while she types up a...novel?


Then, when a friendly neighbor asks the girl what she's doing on her computer, the girl condescendingly asks "what's a computer?" and resumes writing her oeuvre with seemingly no desire to further interact. Don't her parents have this outdated "computer" tech? Where are her parents or legal guardians, anyway?

The message I'm getting here is that the iPad can replace a computer if you're a kid who hasn't yet been assigned homework that involves actual work. Once more complex homework hits, she'll be asking Reddit which MacBook Pro she (her parents) should buy. I personally recommend Apple's refurbished laptops that sell for a slight discount, and they come in perfect condition. Or wait for the rumored new MacBook Air .

Apple's latest 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

For busy adults with busy work, the iPad isn't the device of choice. You can usually tell if your work is too busy for an iPad if you can't possibly imagine yourself working on an iPad on a daily basis.

Do you normally have a lot of open app windows, like web browsers, documents, PDFs, and office message services? Do have 20 or more open web browser tabs, and you're using every single one of them throughout the day? Do you think a mouse is faster and more comfortable to use than raising your arm and tapping tiny objects on a screen all day? Do you use more than one screen? If you answered yes to most of these questions, the iPad is probably not for you, at least not for your work.

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

So here's what I think Apple means by iPads replacing computers. Perhaps Apple is assuming that you don't actually own your computer, and it's actually owned by your company: It's a "work computer." So, with the iPad, Apple is letting you keep your work computer at work, and the iPad offers a similar, pared-down, and lightweight experience that lets you do everything you need in your downtime at home.

Or, maybe your work isn't really busy or doesn't even involve computers, but you need something for emails and general web browsing.

Either way, you could say Apple doesn't really believe its own marketing. The company is still selling computer of all shapes and sizes, and is continuously updating most of them with new models.

The iPad can replace a computer, just not the computer.

标签: iPad
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