It has been speculated for quite some time that Apple will maybe, one day, merge the iPad and Mac lineup in some way or another. That may mean the removal of the MacBook Air in favor of the iPad Pro, or something else entirely. Like just putting macOS on an iPad, for instance. But so far, Apple hasn’t gone through with it.
For what it’s worth, Apple probably rekindled those speculations all on its own this week when it debuted the new iPad Pro with an M1 processor under the hood. That chip, first introduced in the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini in late 2020, was generally considered to be Apple’s processor for Macs. Hence the M-series branding.
But then Apple went ahead and put the chip inside the new iPad Pro lineup and all bets were off. Especially when it comes to speculation regarding a future where the iPad and Mac lines merge.
But, according to Apple’s marketing chief Greg Joswiak, Apple still doesn’t plan to merge the two into one device. Joswiak and hardware chief John Ternus spoke with The Independent recently, focusing mostly on the new iPad Pro models. And, of course, merging the products definitely came up.
Joswiak says putting the M1 processor in the new iPad Pro is all about putting the best possible elements together to make something great. Not some big sign that they’re working towards something else.
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 added to that, saying that Apple is just trying to make the best possible Mac and the best possible iPad in any given instance. The company will continue to focus on that moving forward, and any ideas of merging anything are not on their radar.
Interestingly, the interview moves to the power of the M1 processor, and the fact that it’s probably too much power for a tablet that can’t run full, professional software like a Mac can. Think Final Cut Pro, for instance. But Joswiak says that extra headroom is great, and that it gives customers a potential indicator that their tablet isn’t going to be obsolete in a year or two. And, for developers, it gives them the opportunity to expand their apps and really show off a bit.
The interview goes over plenty of other topics regarding the new iPad Pro, including the new mini-LED design. Go check it out, it’s certainly worth a read.