"Apple isn't trying to create one device to rule them all," Dawson said.
The keyboard, which draws power from the iPad, connects to the side of the tablet, and showed Chiclet-like keys with less travel than a standard notebook keyboard. Both factors are admittedly similar to the Surface Pro's Type Cover.
Other experts weighed on different aspects of the iPad Pro. "A lot of people were assuming that this was going to be an enterprise device, but Apple spent all of its time talking about creativity," said Van Baker of Gartner.
The one exception, and in itself an unusual turn: Schiller introduced Microsoft's Kirk Koenigsbauer, who leads the Office team, to demonstrate Office on the iPad Pro. Reactions to Koenigsbauer's appearance was mixed. While he got a scattered round of applause from the audience after a few ticks of silence, those on Twitter were more direct.
"The new Microsoft. Promote a product that is a direct rip-off of what you did years ago," tweeted Paul Thurrott, a long-time Microsoft watcher and blogger, referring to the Surface Pro.
"Microsoft needs train of thought on optimizing its applications for all competing platforms, mobile or not. Good to see them up there," countered Ryan Reith, an IDC analyst, also on Twitter.
But maybe the best comments were from Nick Kolakowski, a Slashdot editor, who tweeted, "Ballmer just threw a chair against a wall, and he doesn't even work there anymore," and a follow-up, "Zombie Steve Jobs lurches onstage, moaning with rage, to take out the Adobe and Microsoft people."
Carolina Milanesi, chief of research and head of U.S. business for Kantar WorldPanel Comtech, disagreed with Baker. "That's what they normally do," she said, when asked whether Apple focused on the creative and consumption angles of the bigger tablet. "They never mention the word 'enterprise,' they never label stuff."
But Apple did bang the drum for more than just creative tasks or content consumption, Milanesi argued, pointing to an on-stage demonstration by a physician of how she would use an iPad Pro. "The health part of it, just as with the Apple Watch, that's clearly enterprise."
The new Apple Pencil. Credit: Apple/Screenshot
The iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard will go on sale in November, according to Schiller -- a much longer delay between announcement and availability than the Apple norm -- with the tablet starting at $799 for a model with 32GB of storage space, the same price as the lowest-end Surface Pro 3, although Microsoft's tablet comes with 64GB of storage. Other iPad Pro models will run $949 (128GB) and $1,079 (128GB with wireless connectivity). The stylus and keyboard will cost $99 and $169, respectively.
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