Apple's launch of the new iPad Pro and MacBook Air was about giving its customer base an overdue update consisting of new features. But the side effect of adding more pro apps to the iPad Pro and tools like Touch ID on the MacBook Air is driving enterprise adoption.
The company tipped features that would be interesting to the enterprise early in its event in Brooklyn. Like Apple's previous enterprise efforts, corporate use cases aren't directly mentioned, but equate to strong hints. If anything, Apple created a corporate pricing bake-off -- with IT managers left to figure out whether the iPad Pro is a better value than the MacBook Air.
The iPad Pro starts at $799 and is available Nov. 7. As for storage, there are 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB versions. The iPad Pro starts at $799 for the 11 inch. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $999. The 10.5-inch older iPad Pro will start at $649.What Apple has really done is set up the decision pitting the MacBook Air, which starts at $1,199, against the iPad Pro.
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For starters, the new MacBook Air has a big track pad, individual backlights behind the butterfly style keyboard, no bezels, and the T2 security chip. The bezel-free MacBook Air also gets a Retina display.
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https://www.cnet.com/news/new-apple-ipad-pro-ditches-both-lightning-port-and-headphone-jack/These features for the MacBook Air were largely touted for students and consumers, but rest assured, many of these devices will be in the workplace via bring-your-own-device plans. "MacBook Air truly embraced the notion that less, indeed, could be more. And it redefined the modern notebook in the process," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. Indeed, MacBook Airs are all over the workplace.
The MacBook Air price tag also speaks to businesses. The MacBook Air will start at $1,199. That price is well above the predecessor and may speak more to small businesses that may take a deduction on their taxes for equipment.
While the MacBook Air isn't designed to be the corporate workhorse that MacBook Pros are, there's enough in the laptop to spur business interest.
The Mac Mini will also inspire hobbyists as well as small businesses.
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The competition for the MacBook price-wise may be completely internal. The iPad Pro may be that MacBook Air competitor.
Apple's iPad Pro is more about ensuring its iOS ecosystem continues to be the go-to mobile platform for business.
Cook set up the MacBook vs. iPad competition when he noted that Apple has sold more iPads in the last year than the entire notebook lineup of all the big manufacturers. Apple has sold 400 million iPads so far, said Cook.
The iPad Pro is designed to deliver the premium experience and top specs. In other words, iPad Pro is for enterprises and creative pros. Which employees get a notebook or iPad Pro remains to be seen. "It's going to push what you can do on iPad or any computer even further," said Cook.
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What these new iPad Pro specs really do is give the device the ability to run more demanding apps. Adobe's move to preview "full Photoshop" for the iPad with availability in 2019 certainly won't hurt. The enterprise case for the iPad Pro was also made stronger when Autodesk said it will bring AutoCAD to the iPad.
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The iPad Pro -- a quasi laptop experience for some -- is about keeping enterprises interested in the ecosystem, as competition from Microsoft Surface and its alternatives also battle for CIOs.
The iPad Pro launch fits the bill. If anything, the new iPad models are likely to keep the enterprise ecosystem flywheel rolling.
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Consider recent events supporting Apple's enterprise ecosystem:
With that backdrop it seems obvious that the iPad Pro launch with a few Mac updates isn't about the tech press, consumer buzz or influencer relations. These hardware launches are all about keeping the enterprise gravy train going.