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Apple CEO takes to the stump to hawk the iPad Pro

Gregg Keizer | Nov. 12, 2015
'Apple knows it has to get people to care about tablets again,' says analyst

ipad pro

Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook, have been beating the iPad Pro drum in public, engaging in a very un-Apple thing -- "good, old-fashioned attention-getting," said one analyst.

The 12.9-in. iPad Pro tablet went on sale Wednesday at Apple's online store, with the device slated to show up on the company's retail shelves Friday. (Those who ordered online today could pick up their new tablets at an Apple Store or opt for Friday delivery.)

But in the days leading up to the launch, Cook, as well as Eddy Cue, the lieutenant in charge of Internet software and services, touted the iPad Pro at multiple locales and to multiple news outlets.

On a swing through Europe, Cook trumpeted the bigger iPad Pro as a substitute for many of the tasks that consumers, creative professionals and office workers require of their personal computers. "I think if you're looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?", Cook told The Telegraph on Monday, perhaps forgetting for a moment that the Mac is, in fact, a personal computer.

A day later, in Ireland to announce an expansion of Apple's manufacturing facility there, Cook took time to bash Microsoft's Surface Book, the new laptop that boasts a detachable tablet-like screen. "It's a product that tries too hard to do too much," Cook said in an interview with The Independent. "It's trying to be a tablet and a notebook and it really succeeds at being neither. It's sort of deluded."

Meanwhile, a plethora of iPad Pro reviews surfaced earlier Wednesday from a troop of sources that had been seeded devices last week. The number of reviews, and reviewers, was significantly larger than the days when only a handful of people -- literally fewer than five -- got early access.

Is this a new Apple? The late Steve Jobs certainly didn't go on the technology business version of a whistle-stop campaign. Is Apple worried so about slumping tablet sales that it's turned to traditional marketing tactics?

"I think this is just good, old-fashioned attention-getting," said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, of the multiple Cook and Cue interviews, and the more expansive reviewer list. Moorhead was one analyst who had a week with the iPad Pro before the sale. "It's a product that is a little bit of a problem to position. It doesn't replace a PC, it's an extension of the iPad [line]. That requires explanation, and requires Cook and Cue to put an emphasis on it."


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