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The iOS Agenda

Apple's iOS Agenda

Hey Tim Cook,
News flash. iPads are not laptop replacements. iPads are great, don’t get us wrong, and are well suited to a variety of uses. They just happen to lag in many areas.

The education market is the canary.

In 2014 the iPad lost its lead in the education market to Chromebooks. PC Mag gave four reasons. Trusty 9to5Mac gave 8 reasons. They’re all valid.

We’re going to highlight the lack of a keyboard, because it pertains to more than the education market.

PC Mag put it this way.

Chromebooks have keyboards. In spite of all the hype about tablets and touch screens being the future, physical keyboards are still the present. iPads may work well for some things, especially at younger ages. However, when a high-schooler needs to type up a research paper, that keyboard is going to come in handy.

We’ve always been able to pony up a few more dollars for a third party keyboard, and you’ve now come out with a relatively flimsy one of your own. So you’ve rectified that issue, right?


If you don’t believe me, read the article in the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal. (now behind a pay wall) Note a couple of specifics.

First, the results of the survey of seventh to twelfth grade teachers and students:

“The results were overwhelmingly in favor of laptops: 88.5 percent of teachers and 74 percent of students favored them over iPads.”

Next, Director Peter Robinson’s assertion.

Three years ago, after seeing success with the iPads in primary grades, “I thought iPads were absolutely the right choice,” Robinson said. Now, he said, iPads have shortcomings for older students.

And then this scathing assessment.

One teacher wrote in the survey that iPads “provide no educational function in the classroom. Students use them as toys. Word processing is near to impossible … I applaud this change.”

This is huge, Tim.

Sometime between kindergarten and age 18, the requirements of the device shifted from educational games and finger pointing to production of documents, software applications and spreadsheets.

It’s about the use case.

Let’s look at you specifically. You’re a CEO. You fly around and meet with people. You consume information and make decisions. How many spreadsheets do you create? How about Keynote presentations or three page white papers?

Not a whole heck of a lot.

So we understand why the iPad would be your primary device, as the Wall Street Journal reported way back in 2012.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook says he does 80% of the work of running the world’s most valuable company on an iPad.
“There’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t be like that,” Mr. Cook said in an interview, explaining why Apple struck a partnership with IBM to develop applications catered to big businesses, or enterprises. “Imagine enterprise apps being as simple as the consumer apps that we’ve all gotten used to. That’s the way it should be.”

That also highlights your lack of understanding for use cases. Our assessment is in the table below.

There is one primary difference that underlies every use case.

The keyboard.

But it’s not just the keyboard. It’s a lot more:

• The up down, up down motion of the hand from the keyboard to screen is annoying.
• Blocking the screen with our hand while we adjust the cursor or highlight text is not only annoying, but also it takes our focus away from our work and puts in on the backs of our hands.

Why do you think people like to use styluses? Unless we’re hand models, we’d rather focus on the work at hand than our hands themselves.

So beyond the keyboard, it’s the forced use of the touch screen.

When we want to do real work, we want something at keyboard level that we can use to manipulate the screen.

Pretty straightforward.

But are you listening? Are you taking it in?

Or are you convincing yourself that the survey in Maine is an isolated incident for a set group of students?

We hope not.

But just in case, we’re going to go further and make a pretty simple prediction.

MacBooks will cannibalize iPads.

Oh wait, they already have. I, personally, use my 11″ Mac in place of my iPad2, which will only be upgraded if I decide to draw.

So to summarize,

People like trackpads.
People like retina displays.
People like built-in hard shell cases.

People also like value.

Maybe that’s why you’ve gone back to creating high priced, underpowered Macs-—you know that if the value is close people will choose the cool, 100%-of-my-work device over an 80% iPad.

And you don’t want that.


You, Tim Cook, have an agenda.

It’s iOS.