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Monday, 16 November 2015 16:10

Confused Cook takes Apple on new course - follow the leader Featured


Apple CEO Tim Cook, under public scrutiny for his iPad Pro as a PC replacement remarks, has done a fair bit of defensive back tracking and side-stepping recently. One could be forgiven for thinking Cook’s latest outburst against the Microsoft Surface Book and his attempt to differentiate between Macs and PCs when talking about the iPad Pro as a replacement seem to indicate the boss is confused.

According to Cook, he wasn’t talking about Macs when he suggested that the iPad Pro was a replacement for many notebooks and desktops in use today. You see, according to Cook, Macs are different from Windows PCs.

Well yes, Macs are indeed different to Windows PCs. As a premium product, they generally have higher build quality than most PCs and they provide more built-in, tightly integrated software as part of the package. And, in spite of arguments to the contrary, Macs are inherently more secure.

That said, as a current Mac user and past Windows PC user, I can say with a certain degree of confidence that the functionality of Macs and PCs is roughly equivalent.

Macs certainly are geared for creative applications. Graphic designers love Macs. Then again, most of these applications can also run on PCs if not quite as smoothly.

For business applications, PCs have an edge on Macs, with all personal computing business applications designed first and foremost with PCs in mind. In fact, this is why Windows virtualisation packages for Mac like VMware and Parallels exist.

Given the basic functionality of PCs and Macs is the same, Cook cannot say with any credibility that the iPad Pro is a desktop and notebook replacement unless he lumps Macs in with Windows PCs.

On top of this, Cook has gone out of his way to crush any hopes that Apple may anytime soon or ever produce a hybrid Mac and iPad device.

It appears that Cook doesn’t believe that Apple can successfully produce a hybrid Mac and iPad device without compromising quality and performance. He’s probably right because both devices now run different operating systems and therefore the transformation between the two would not be seamless.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has forged ahead with Windows 10 which combines the functionality of tablet, notebook and desktop computing seamlessly. Switching between a notebook and tablet by simply folding the screen back or detaching it does not involve changing any functions in the operating system.

Whether we’re talking about the Microsoft Surface Book or not is largely irrelevant because there are now a number of OEM vendors which are making hybrid Windows 10 PCs. So if you don’t like the quality or features of one you have options.

In an interview with Cook said :"We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad."

The growing popularity of hybrid devices would appear to contradict this unfounded sweeping statement which was accompanied by exactly zero evidence. Cook undoubtedly wishes it were true rather than face the fact that with Windows 10 Microsoft may regain the upper hand.

Finally, one just has to cast their eyes back to the pre-iPhone 6 days less than two years ago when Tim Cook admitted that ‘the market wants what we don’t have’. That was after Apple stubbornly refused to recognise that the public wanted phablet sized phones when it released the disappointing iPhone 5.

Hopefully, Apple will be forced to come to its senses sooner rather than later and once again be a leader rather than follower.


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.



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