Steve Jobs used to talk a lot about the post-PC era. He positioned the iPad as the first post-PC device. He wasn’t entirely wrong. At the time, the iPad was on the ascendancy at a meteoric rate. Also, the PC was experiencing the steepest decline in the PC era.
But it proved to be too early to pronounce the PC dead. Microsoft fought back with new management. And Intel helped PC manufacturers clone the world-beating, MacBook Air. At the same time, we hit peak iPad. While it continues to dominate the tablet market, it declined in sales every quarter for a long time.
Through it all, the Mac has remained reasonably stable. But many are making the case that Apple’s attention is on iOS, and the iPad in particular. The Verge noted that the MacBook Air is facing strong competition from the iPad Pro. They did nothing to change that perception during their October event where they released two much-anticipated Macs and the headline-grabbing iPad Pro. Here are some of the ways Apple positioned the iPad Pro as the post-Mac PC.
Apple started their biometric security effort back when they released iPhone 5s. That is a long time ago. It was only a couple of years ago when Apple brought that to the mac. Of course, by then, Apple had moved on to the second generation TouchID mechanism which was faster and more accurate. The MacBook Pros received the older units.
Now, Apple is bringing its most advanced Face ID to the new iPads. It is even more advanced than what can be found on the newest and most expensive iPhones. MacBook Air also got a biometric option. But it was TouchID. Ironically, Apple just ditched TouchID on the iPad Pro, giving the appearance of casting hand-me-downs to the new MacBook Air.
The one thing that made the previous MacBook Air unacceptable in the modern era was its low-res display. The only thing people wanted was the same computer with a retina Display. Apple has finally checked that box, but with the least amount of effort possible.
The new display on the Air compared to the iPad Pro is lower resolution, lower pixel density, fewer colors due to a lesser color profile (RGB as opposed to P3), and no True Tone. Every aspect of the MacBook display is worse than what Apple gave the iPad Pro. Those are not even all the differences. In every way, the iPad Pro has a better screen to look at and use regardless of the task.
Perhaps the biggest difference in positioning between the iPad Pro and MacBook Air is power. Apple couldn’t stop stressing how much more powerful iPad Pro was compared to 92 percent of all laptops sold, including those running Intel’s i7 processor. The new MacBook Air is one of those computers getting clobbered by the iPad Pro.
Apple gave the MacBook Air one of the weakest CPUs available. That said, the Air has never been positioned as the most powerful laptop one can get. Yet the chip Apple put into the iPad Pro is their A12X custom silicon which is positioned as one of the most powerful chips in any modern computer.
This is not to say that Apple hates the Mac. But it is clear where their energy is. The best tech is in the iPad Pro. And last year’s leftovers have found their way into the MacBook Air. If you want the most advanced biometric security, the most advanced display, and the most powerful silicon, Apple has made it easy for you. Forget about post-PC. The iPad Pro is the post-Mac device you are looking for.