Apple Inc. will host an incredible blowout event to show off a range of new products on Wednesday, September 9. Though the iPhone 7 and Apple TV are likely to be the most sought after once Tim Cook stops speaking, the firm is rumored to be planning other interesting releases in the coming months.
The iPad Pro is said to be on the way this week. Though some seem to think that it’s the start of an Apple barrage on enterprise, that’s not likely. There’s four major hurdles in Apple’s way if the firm is ever going to make the iPad Pro a mainstay of the office, and each is a difficult problem.
1-The software isn’t there
Apple still hasn’t gotten on board with enterprise spending. The firm announced a major project with IBM on July 15 2014. So far its yielded just a few apps that are tailored to specific us cases. Microsoft and Amazon are the leaders in the next gen of enterprise spending. It’s all about software and services for those firms and Apple simply doesn’t have any of either to offer.
Firms, by and large, don’t splurge on new IT hardware in order to be cool. They pay for new tech so they can get rid of workers and improve production in other ways. Hardware doesn’t do that, software does, and Apple hardware looks very similar to that offered by other firms as a result.
2-Business isn’t short on hardware
PCs and tablets are great. They’re reliable and powerful and for enterprise, where most use cases are simple and not all that power hungry, the current gen of hardware works. Most firms haven’t seen software that will make their business better, and Apple is having a very hard time showing them any.
The Surface Pro 3, often named as one of the reasons that pushed Apple to release an iPad Pro, isn’t really selling all that well. Even at that, Apple will have trouble trying to compete with the device. Though it’s costly, it has all of the features most workers need on their machine. It’s not clear what Apple can offer with the iPad Pro that existing tablets, PCs, and crossovers don’t offer already.
3-Apple has better products
Apple just released a 12 inch MacBook. The device is great at what it does. It’s light and thin, it has a great battery, and it has a full keyboard. It runs OSX, a fuller, more adaptable system than any iPad Pro will have on board, and it comes in at a price that competes with the Microsoft Surface Pro.
Over at ZDNet Larry Dignan sums up some of the feeling around the iPad Pro. “An iPad Pro isn’t likely to be as useful as a MacBook from a corporate perspective. In other words, the iPad Pro may not be able to compete with its sibling—the MacBook,” he wrote.
“There’s an assumption among analysts that the iPad Pro will cannibalize MacBook sales.” Dignan continued, “I’m willing to bet that it won’t. When it comes to mobility, the MacBook is likely to be as light if not lighter than an iPad Pro with arguably more features.”
4-Tablets just aren’t wanted
Most tablets, including the iPad, have seen lower sales over the last two years. That’s because people don’t seem inclined to upgrade their tablets. An iPad 2 can do almost everything needed. Until it falls apart it’s a great device for most people, and a hurdle in the way of a hungry Apple .
In business that’s going to be the same. It’s software that businesses want and until the hardware itself becomes a burden on the software, most businesses won’t upgrade. Apple has shown itself poorly able to convince tablet users that an upgrade is worth it.
That’s the same position the firm finds itself in in the office. This time it’s not competing with the Kindle Fire, however, it’s competing with Windows Machines that do what they’re supposed to. Convincing an IT department to make that switch, and buy up tablets that aren’t even wanted by consumers, is not going to be easy.