What it is: Apple released new iPad Pro models that use the latest A10 processors that nearly matched the speed of laptops.
Apple claims that the new iPads are “more powerful than most PC laptops.” That’s because the A10 processors used in the latest iPad Pros are nearly as powerful as low-cost Intel processors found in most budget laptops. Considering that Intel has been making processors for decades while Apple just started designing processors in 2010, Apple’s progress is amazing.
That means the speed and power of the iPad Pro is getting much closer to matching the speed and power of a typical laptop. Will an A-series processor ever exceed the power of an Intel processor? Maybe not for a few more generations, but the idea that the A-series processor could equal an Intel processor seems far more likely than just a year ago.
As the power of the A1o processor improves, that means the features of the iPad Pro will increase. Already in iOS 11, the iPad Pro will allow a file management system that people have been clamoring for. Apple also recently allowed iOS apps to allow coding so pretty soon developers will be able to use an iPad Pro to write code. When an iPad can do everything a laptop can do, what’s the benefit of using a laptop any more?
Right now laptops are more powerful and versatile than tablets, but what will happen when tablets are equal or more powerful and versatile than laptops? The iPad already killed the entire netbook category of PCs and it’s likely that the iPad will only increase in power to rival and eventually hurt sales of ordinary laptops as well.
Ultimately, the future is iOS over macOS, and the future is tablets over laptops. Both laptops (and desktops) along with macOS will be around, but the real growth lies in mobile computing over desktop computing. That points to a growing future for iOS and macOS, and a shrinking future for Windows. The Surface Pro is a great ultraportable laptop, but not a great tablet. When tablets like the iPad Pro gain more power, the appeal of laptops like the Surface Pro diminish.
While tablet sales have dipped the past few years, they have the potential to rise soon when tablets like the iPad Pro exceed the power of laptops. Even if tablets never exceed the power of laptops, tablets will always find a use. For every tablet purchased, that usually means one less laptop purchased.
Watch Apple’s progress with their A-series processors. Combined with Apple’s own graphics processors and neural network engines, Apple devices will simply continue getting more powerful and versatile every year.