Apple’s announcement earlier this week of refreshed 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models that will be powered by the same M1 chip found in the new Mac mini, MacBook Pro, Macbook Air, and the new iMac that was also announced earlier this week.
The use of the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro has led to speculation that Apple may merge the iPad and Mac lineups. However, Apple marketing chief Greg Joswiak says that’s not Apple’s goal.
Joswiak and hardware chief John Ternus this week did an interview with The Independent to talk about the new tablets.
Joswiak says Apple isn’t merging the two lineups but is instead simply trying to make the best products in their respective categories.
“There’s two conflicting stories people like to tell about the iPad and Mac,” says Joz, as he starts on a clarification that will lead him at one point to apologise for his passion. “On the one hand, people say that they are in conflict with each other. That somebody has to decide whether they want a Mac, or they want an iPad.
“Or people say that we’re merging them into one: that there’s really this grand conspiracy we have, to eliminate the two categories and make them one. And the reality is neither is true. We’re quite proud of the fact that we work really, really hard to create the best products in their respective category.”
Ternus chimed in that Apple isn’t aiming to limit one device in order to avoid impacting another device. “We’re pushing to make the best Mac we can make; we’re pushing to make the best iPad we can make,” said Ternus.
Apple plans to keep making both products better and is not going to “get all caught up in” theories of “merging or anything like that.”
While the new iPad Pro models have more than enough power to run pro-level software, like Apple’s Final Cut Pro, neither Apple exec would comment about the possibility that such software might be on its way to the iPad Pro.
Instead, Joswiak pushed the extra performance offered by the M1 as giving developers more “headroom” to develop and expand their apps. “Our developers are pretty quick about taking advantage,” he said. “It isn’t like it languishes for years.”
Joswiak and hardware chief John Ternus also discussed the 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s new mini-LED display. Ternus said that shrinking it was a “huge undertaking” that required more LEDs because of the size constraints.
“Shrinking it was a huge undertaking,” says Ternus. “If you just look at the two products, obviously the iPad is a lot thinner than a Pro Display XDR, and the way the architecture works – you have the LED backlight behind the display.”
The full Joswiak and Ternus interview contains additional information about the new iPad Pro and is recommended reading at The Independent.