Tim Cook on why making converged Mac and iPad doesn’t make sense

By , Nov 16, 2015

iPad Pro in hand Jonathan Morrison image 001

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with The Independent to talk the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple’s latest addition to the iPad lineup.

Asked to shed more light on his statement to The Daily Telegraph last week that most mainstream consumers might no longer be interested in buying a PC, Cook reiterated that “We don’t regard Macs and PCs to be the same” and argued that people “are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad”.

Here’s the full quote:

We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad. Because what that would wind up doing, or what we’re worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants.

So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either. You’d begin to compromise in different ways.

The sentiment echoes Cook’s toast-refrigerator dilemma: “You can converge a toaster and refrigerator, but these things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user,” said Cook on a conference call with investors in April 2012.

Cook’s argument should be taken with a proverbial grain of salt. Apple has a history of denying certain products only to build them at some point in the future. For starters, convertible devices such as Microsoft’s Surface, currently in its fourth-generation, prove there’s demand for tablet/notebook hybrids.

Perhaps more important than that, Apple has a history of denying certain products only to release them at some point in the future.

For instance, late CEO Steve Jobs vehemently rejected talk of an Apple-branded mobile phone and said his company wasn’t interested in building an iPod music player that could play video, both of which Apple did release later on.

Cook also said this in The Independent interview:

It’s true that the difference between the X86 [personal computer] and the A-series [Apple iPad architecture] is much less than it’s ever been.

That said, what we’ve tried to do is to recognize that people use both iOS and Mac devices. So we’ve taken certain features and made them more seamless across the devices. So with things like Handoff we just made it really simple to work on one of our products and pick it up and work on the next product.

No matter how you look at it, it is without any doubt fascinating how far along Apple has come in its ongoing quest to take its chip destiny in its own hands.

The company’s been building fast chips for iPhones and iPads for years that routinely smoke competition. Apple also beat everyone to the punch with the world’s first fully-functional 64-bit mobile chip (the A7 in the iPhone 5s), a move that took Qualcomms, Broadcoms and Intels of this world completely by surprise.

I trust Cook when he says that Apple isn’t interested in converging the Mac and iPad—currently. What he doesn’t make clear is if Apple is employing a wait-and-see approach with any such device.

In my personal opinion, we might indeed not see a converged Mac and iPad. But, there’s absolutely no doubt tin my mind that Intel’s processors in Macs will get replaced with a future Apple-designed A-series chip within the next two to three years.

Twelve inch MacBook Gold closeup 001

Currently, the A9 and A9X processors in the iPhone 6s and iPad Pro, respectively, beat my 2013 MacBook Air in synthetic single-core CPU benchmarks. But as soon as these chips catch up with Intel in terms of multi-core compute performance and graphics, Mac notebooks (at least entry-level models) are going to be adopting them.

Why?

The same reason Apple made a jump from PowerPC to Intel in 2005: performance per watt. And in addition to matching or exceeding CPU and GPU speeds of the current Intel architecture used in Mac notebooks, future A-series processors will for sure continue to beat Intel on energy consumption.

In other words, a Mac notebook with a future-generation Apple-designed processor should run just as fast as current ones with Intel inside, and last a lot longer before needing to be connected to power.

Make sense?

Video still top of post via Jonathan Morrison.

Source: The Independent

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  • How about we get a new CEO cause Tim Cook doesn’t seem that smart.

    • Safari prolly runs mobile websites instead of defaulting to desktop sites. All that power wasted.

      • Anonomous.TECH.man

        If it does that’s just pathetic.

    • David J Delgado

      A new CEO seems like a bit of a stretch considering all the success Apple has had since Jobs passed. Also, saying “look at the Surface Book” is not a very good statement to prove a point. It’s not like they’re selling like hotcakes or anything. That being said, I do believe that they are extremely useful and will be the future. (By they I mean the “hybrids” like the Surface Book”)

      We all know Apple has a history of living in the today rather than the tomorrow. They let other companies take the risk and wait and see. If they notice it catches on, they will go for it. For the time being, that isn’t the case.

      • Rowan09

        The Surface book to me is just a touch screen laptop, I would call the Surface Pro a hybrid since its both a full tablet and touchscreen computer.

    • Jackson Grong

      So what if you don’t like it? Get a MacBook or SurfaceBook(Really Microsoft, even copying the name?).
      I don’t like it either, but nobody is forcing you to buy it!

      • Snailpo

        Lol come on.. Copying the name? OK iPad pro wow apple really? Copying Microsoft surface pros name… What a shame…

      • coLin

        Agree. And macbook is taken from notebook… lol
        they are just names

      • Snailpo

        Exactly haha

  • Ali Majid

    hi all
    i need a pc program to save my iphone apps then installing them on my ipad
    i use itools , i fun box : they both says backup failed since ios 9
    any help 🙁 ??
    my iphone 9.0.2 jailbroken
    ipad is 9.1
    both can’t back up apps to pc
    thanks
    🙁

    • Stuart Lombard

      Probably the best solution for you would be to switch to a Galaxy and drop iOS altogether. You’ll get more and better hardware and software features for less money.

      • Rowan09

        For less money? They are both selling for about the same price. You would need to suggest a Nexus or One Plus for less money.

      • It’s only less when you factor in the $300 worth of galaxy gifts Samsung is offering…

      • Umut Bilgiç

        I did not recieve such gifts lol

      • You missed out on a lot (http://goo. gl/uXU6wl), tough luck…it was actually $500 worth of gifts.

      • Umut Bilgiç

        :/ some of them are compelling but..meh i guess it is free s**t so ill take it lol

    • marco1993

      Have you tried iexplorer

    • You can’t backup apps on iOS 9 because of AppThinning you need to download them in iTunes from the purchased section. If they are no longer in your purchased section because the apps you’re trying to back up have been removed from sale or kicked out of the AppStore for whatever reason then I’m afraid you’re out of luck.

  • TechnoBuff

    Tim can say whatever he cares or lambast Microsoft strategy on its software and hardware strategy… the fact of the matter remains that he has been talking about Surface Book and Microsoft strategy lately, which is quite unusual of Apple but shows that Apple feels threatened. Apple has been bereft of any exciting innovation latelylll
    Surface Book garnered the sort of excitement that Apple is used to getting and that fact should concern Apple.
    Apple is already working on the convergence, they are merely focusing on how to make it better and it is just a matter of time within the next 2-3 years.
    Apple should get with the program ASAP
    With his present mindset, this wont bode well for Apple.

    • n0ahcruz3

      Be careful about “Apple threatened” sentence.. I’ve said this a few weeks ago and butt hurt apple fans flamed me lmfao

      • TechnoBuff

        i am an apple fan and have a product from every category apart from a Mac pro and IPad which i traded for a Surface Pro 3 but some fans are still rational and will agree with me.

        When you were dismissive of your competition but suddenly start talking about their strategy and products, then you are feeling threatened.
        New and exciting things are happening in some tech spaces and nothing new is coming from Apple over the last couple of years apart from bigger sizes and colors and that is the FACT…………..

      • n0ahcruz3

        Glad there are still like you, when i said Apple feels “threatened” they just flamed me lol

  • Brandon Higgins

    Tim I call this b.s.. I’ve heard many who want it just as bad as I do.

    • They’re just lazy to redesign iOS. That’s all.

  • brian.

    I’m someone who moved to a Surface Pro 3 to replace my iPad, but not my Mac. In my case, there was no question about whether to keep my Mac, but the Surface Pro 3 get so much more use than my iPad ever did. It’s a great “in between” device for sure.

    I do miss some iPad apps/games that you don’t get on the Surface, and the tablet app selection is just awful. However, to be able to run full Windows apps on W10 is amazing.

    I’m not sure if Cook is 100% off base in saying that people don’t want a hybrid OS, but as far as the iPad is concerned, the Surface is well worth the extra money based on the productivity.

  • Why not do a poll instead of assuming?

    • That’ll be going against apple’s belief that customers pay apple to make their decisions for them…

    • Rowan09

      Polls aren’t always needed. The end result is the Mac line up will take a hit because of the iPad. Apple is a hardware company while Microsoft provides it’s OS to other vendors and makes software. The Surface lineup is just Microsofts way of keeping people locked in to the ecosystem. Apple cannot follow this same strategy since they are fundamentally different companies. While I don’t really care about a Hybrid iPad, I would like to see Finder, terminal, etc on the iPad Pro or a redefined OS for the Pro line.

  • TJ

    If people want an iPad that runs OS X, with a keyboard, mouse/trackpad, etc. then that’s what the MacBook is for, don’t confuse the two.

    • David J Delgado

      I guess the real hype is behind the fact you can detach the screen (which is a touch screen) from the keyboard and use it as a tablet also. That’s really the only big difference between a MacBook and a Surface Book. I personally don’t care for touchscreen laptops (It humors me when I see peoples laptop screens full of fingerprints) and I find my MacBook to do its job just fine.

      • TJ

        Yeah, I’ve been using the iPad Pro for the last few days and one thing I don’t like is having to touch the screen all the time, especially when web browsing. Using a multi-touch trackpad on the Mac is far more intuitive.

      • Anonymous

        I totally agree with you. Which is why once i can jailbreak it, ill make it so i can use a magic mouse with it.

  • Martynet

    I would love iPad pro or even iPhone, which could run full OSX when necessary. OSX would launch after connecting a mouse and keyboard. For emergency amends to indesign files for example… I bet you every graphic designer in the world would love that. Unless Adobe release Creative suite for iOS. that would be cool too.

  • Just like they said/implied all of the following, hypocritically backtracked on it after the competition had done all the risky work, and eventually copied the competition:

    – 7″ tablets are dead on arrival > made the iPad mini

    – If it has a stylus, they blew it (bit. ly/1MXoncZ) > made the Apple pencil

    – no one is going to buy a big phone > made the iPhone 6+

    – our competitors are confused making refrigerator toasters (bit. ly/1CCEiGY) > made the half-assed iPad Pro and falsely advertise it, right here (apple. co/1LHJY3a) on their website, as capable of doing everything a Desktop and Console can do.

    Apple has a big history of hypocrisy (bit. ly/1si5DVX). This is all part of their tactic.

    • TechnoBuff

      Well stated actually.
      I like my apple products but it is obvious now that innovation is not the exclusivity of Apple, Microsoft is doing interesting things lately and seems Apple is not much of a risk taker in their R&D when everything is taken into consideration.
      Personally Apple should be worried if nothing revolutionary but rather evolutionary comes out within the next 1-2 years.
      Releasing bigger products in different colors in hyperbole wont cut it……

    • brian.

      Ugh. This is why Cook’s comment is very frustrating. Just don’t say “We’ll never do…” Because they have to eat crow every time they do that.

      Apple has copied. End of story. I’m fine with that. People have copied Apple. End of story. I’m fine with that too. It just makes Apple seem very stuck up and dumb when they say they that stuff. It breeds of ignorance and makes them seem behind the times. I know that Apple predicts that trends change over time, so how about they stop acting like they don’t.

      • TechnoBuff

        Apple does not always predict trend change. they wait for competition to try before stepping in and make improvement than anyone else. Personally Apple is not much of a risk taker and that is fine,that’s just their strategy.

      • brian.

        Correct. However, I meant that in general. They KNOW that things change. They might not know what the change will be. They seem to be more than happy to not be first to the market with some things. But they’re more than willing to refine.

        But it’s dumb to think that hybrids won’t catch on. In some cases they’ll probably be the defacto laptops. Not many are interested if their laptop has a touch screen, but they buy it just to have it. That might continue to removable screens and such.

      • TechnoBuff

        Funny that i reached out to touch my Macbook screen a few days ago and realized that its not touchscreen LOL

        I am not saying Apple is doomed… far from it but i know they are looking pretty bland these days, the allure of bigger sizes and color will start wearing thin soon and their stock price is reflecting that fact now, irrespective of their massive profits.

      • brian.

        You’re right. Apple is far from doomed. They sure aren’t immune to criticism either. That’s how it should be.

      • coLin

        it’s funny cause I showed some photos to someone and he tried a couple of times to slide on the screen to go to the next photo (on the retina MBP) :))

      • TechnoBuff

        And i am sure lots of people make the same mistake as well. Goes to show you that somehow we are adjusting to using a touch interface on our regular desktop or laptop, comfortable with using hybrids

      • Bendy

        Well technology evolves. A stylus in 07 would be a piece of rubber on the tip of a stick. Look what a stylus is now. And Steve was talking about a phone. This is not a fair comparison

    • Rowan09

      You keep mentioning the stylus comment which was specifically speaking of a stylus on the old phones not the future. Plus the statement still hold value because you don’t NEED a stylus for any new touchscreen device to function properly. There’s always going to be hypocrisy in business it’s called making changes for money. 7″ tablets are still dead on arrival. The iPad Pro is not falses advertised it’s just worded carefully. It’s “possible” to replace a PC was Tim’s statement and that’s true. It’s possible for a Galaxy to replace a PC as wel, that doesn’t say much since its all subjective.

      • Bendy

        Yes thank you. Trolls are becoming all to common here.

    • Bendy

      Well technology evolves. A stylus in 07 would be a piece of rubber on the tip of a stick. Look what a stylus is now. And Steve was talking about a phone. This is not a fair comparison.

      • Uhm, Styli have existed for Tablet PCs since 2002 dude, similar to what came with the Surface Pro 1 and 2; Wacom (founded in 1983). Just ’cause apple decided to ignore doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.

        “And Steve was talking about a phone. This is not a fair comparison.”

        He was also referring to Tablets. Instead of assumming, why not have a look at the video I linked to and hear it from his mouth…

      • Bendy

        Fine-tip point? That would be innovative? That’s all a stylus would have been. Now it is a piece of art that can create art. In 07 none of the technologies in the Pencil would not be possible so shut up troll.

      • “Fine-tip point? That would be innovative? That’s all a stylus would have been.”

        Haha, now the asinine numbksull is changing it’s mind all of a sudden after saying

        “A stylus in 07 would be a piece of rubber on the tip of a stick. “

        Such double-standards iHypocrites.

        “Now it is a piece of art that can create art. In 07 none of the technologies in the Pencil would not be possible”

        Yeah, keep telling yourself that iSheep, it’s “never possible” until apple follows along…I’m sure you’ll be among those hypocrites that’ll claim hybrids were never possible until apple released their own, despite them existing since 2002.

      • Bendy

        No I never changed my original stance and your fancy words just show you know nothing and want to sound smart so shut up troll.

      • “fancy words just show you know nothing”

        Haha, the numbskull now has dingbat-definition of knowledge…just pathetic.

  • Stuart Lombard

    If Apple decides to start using proprietary processors in the Mac lineup, then Bootcamp will likely no longer work and if Bootcamp doesn’t work, then I will stop buying Macs.

    • Bootcamp wouldn’t work but you’d likely be able to run other operating systems in a virtual machine or emulator albeit with a massive performance overhead.

  • Linton Findlay

    He’s right, but the iPad Pro needs more computer like features to make it worth while. The major complaint I’ve seen in reviews is that it’s powerful, but iOS doesn’t have anything to take advantage of it

  • SkyFall

    In two years the iPad Pro will run an OS X touch friendly version. Just look the iPhone 5 presentation where they said 4 inches were the right size and mocked bigger phones, and the WWDC 13 where they mocked NFC yet 2 years later we have both bigger phones and NFC on the iPhone.

  • TechnoBuff

    By the way, the biggest mistake Apple will ever make is to switch to processors that will not allow for the running of virtual machines or installation of Windows. Anything short of Intel will be a huge mistake.

  • :D

    How about a touch screen Mac AND an iPad with support for mice

    • iPhoneWINS

      exactly

  • iPhoneWINS

    iPad pro is just a small flat screen touch monitor running IOS.. boring… it needs more computer abilities

  • Anonymous

    I personally am happy it runs ios and is not a hydrid.

  • The iPad is the most popular tablet in the world, Apple won’t change this because it works, once iPad sales start to drop and the majority don’t want both a pc and a tablet that’s when Apple will invest into developing a new version of iOS.

    • TechnoBuff

      NEWSFLASH…………….. iPad sales have seen a decline for two years in a row…. and will continue to decline, thus why Ipad pro was released…. IPad pro in its present state will slow it down but wont stop the decline.

      • Hahah oops, this is probably because people don’t update their iPads Yearly, iPad Air is powerful enough for the average user. Apple will keep adding more features to iOS, I hope they have a team of engineers working on a nextgen tablet OS.

  • Jonathan

    TLD. <3

  • I think the best solution is a UI that adapts depending on how you use the device. If it’s docked or paired to a bluetooth keyboard and mouse / trackpad present an OS X UI if it’s not (i.e it’s just a tablet) then present iOS. The problem with this approach is it’d require a ton of work on behalf of developers and designers to ensure that apps can properly adapt to different conditions but the end result would be a lot better than the refrigerator toaster that Tim Cook speaks of.

    • “I think the best solution is a UI that adapts depending on how you use the device. If it’s docked or paired to a bluetooth keyboard and mouse / trackpad present an OS X UI if it’s not (i.e it’s just a tablet) then present iOS. The problem with this approach is it’d require a ton of work on behalf of developers and designers to ensure that apps can properly adapt to different conditions”

      Hahaha, that’s a very subtle way of saying “follow Microsoft’s lead”. That’s literally what Microsoft has done with the Windows 10 Continuum feature (http://bit. ly/1PxdUFo), except they’ve made it pretty easy for developers; code for 1 device using their Universal Windows App API, and it automagically adapts to multiple form-factors. Microsoft has made it pretty easy to code for Windows without writing much code, or any code (http://engt. co/1PxeiDY) for that matter, similar to iOS…

  • kickinghorse99

    Well they are not going to create a touch osx until the ipad sale is nearly dead since they will make less money by combine 2 products into one. When they do create an iTouchMac (iOSX), i will buy it.

    • TechnoBuff

      What you said is quite interesting and that might just be the case.
      What i know is that Ipad Pro will not stop the decline at all, It will ship in millions but follow the same decline if it remains in this present state, no matter how beefy the specs are or how thinner it becomes.

  • Fardeen Beharry

    flash forward a few years, u will see a hybrid ios/mac ipad when u attach a keyboard

  • Umut Bilgiç

    The A9X already beats the best intel hd graphics currently on market by a large margin

  • Jamessmooth

    Makes perfect sense. Apple is working on a tablet/mac hybrid now, no doubt. Obviously they aren’t going to say that idea is superior to what they have now, because that would just drive folks to surface pros.