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How the iPad can get its groove back

Michael Simon | May 20, 2015
To reverse the iPad's downward sales trend, Apple needs to make the next version an absolute must-have.

Go Pro

For nearly a year now, rumors have pointed to a new kind of iPad--think of it as the opposite of the iPad mini. The so-called iPad Pro caters to users who want an even larger screen. A 12-inch iPad might seem like the nichiest of niche products, but when you break it down, it might not be so crazy.

Back in 2012 when I bought the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, I assumed it would be the last Mac I every purchased. Based on cost, future OS X support, and my heavier reliance on the iPad, I estimated a 7- to 8-year lifespan for the machine, an eternity in the tech world. It seemed logical that by 2020 there would be a new class of device to close the gap between our tablets and notebooks. If the iPad Pro is real, it could bring us closer to that seeming inevitability, requiring developers to rethink the capabilities and interfaces of their apps once again.

A giant screen would suggest a different iOS experience--perhaps one that finally ditches the icon grid or adds a Dashboard-style widget environment. But to really attract users on either side of the fence, Apple could make the iPad Pro the first iOS device to use USB-C. Using a USB-C charging port instead of Lightning would open the iPad Pro up to a world of expansive, productive and file-sharing capabilities. That alone could be reason enough for people to ditch their fully working iPads to upgrade to a new one.

And it would give its new slogan--"Everything changes with iPad"--a whole lot more meaning.


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