If you were hoping to see some sort of hybrid iPad/MacBook computing device in the future, similar in concept to Microsoft’s Surface Book, keep dreaming. Building on past comments related to the subject, Apple CEO Tim Cook doubled down, saying there’s no place for a hybrid iPad/MacBook in the marketplace.
“We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad,” Cook reiterated in an interview this weekend. “Because what that would wind up doing, or what we’re worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants. So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either. You’d begin to compromise in different ways.”
Those comments don’t stray far from his commentary on merging competing design philosophies with regards to OS X and iOS earlier this year. Cook stated in late September, "We don't believe in having one operating system for PC and mobile,” said Cook. “We think it subtracts from both, and you don't get the best experience from either. We're very much focused on two."
Tim Cook has been relatively chatty in recent weeks, questioning why anyone would purchase a PC in this day and age. “I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one,” Cook questioned last week. Those comments really riled up the PC community.
Cook drew even more flak from PC users with his criticism of Microsoft’s well-received Surface Book convertible. “[The Surface Book] tries too hard to do too much” and “it’s trying to be a tablet and a notebook and it really succeeds at being neither.”
Cook went on to say that the Surface Book is “sort of deluded.”
But we shouldn’t take Tim Cook’s comments at face value, given Apple’s track record for bashing a product category before entering a sector with guns blazing. Apple for years poo-pooed the idea of phablets, questioning their size and affront to usability with one hand. Then Apple introduced the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, and sold the smartphones in record numbers.
Likewise, Cook took a shot at tablet-laptop hybrids in April 2012, quipping, “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not gonna be pleasing to the user.” Now, Apple is giving users the iPad Pro which offers a somewhat compromised experience when hooked up with its $169 Smart Keyboard.
Long-time Apple pundit John Gruber pointed out that the disconnect between the keyboard and iOS 9.1 is one of his biggest gripes with the iPad Pro, stating, “When the iPad Pro is open with the keyboard attached, holding your arm up to touch the screen for anything longer than a moment or two is ergonomically uncomfortable. The point is, if my fingers are on the keyboard, I don’t want to move my hands. With a trackpad, I don’t have to. With the iPad Pro, I do.”
So it appears that Apple really isn’t a stranger to releasing products that compromise the user experience after all…