Right now my iPhone is charging on my dock, and my iPad Air is beside it, charging on the desk. That’s two devices, two chargers, two Lightning cables, and two AC slots taken up. I also tend to upgrade my iPhone and iPad every two years, so I’ll likely be making two large purchases in the Fall of ’15.
It’s this kind of setup that could be simplified by a single mobile device, and that’s why I think the iPhone 6 Plus comes at an interesting time. Despite my initial reaction to the very first Galaxy Note, Phablets are a thing, and there actually might be some great use cases around them.
The 5.5” screen on the 6 Plus isn’t terribly far off from the iPad Mini’s 7.9” screen. For users, like my sister, who really just want to be able to browse enough of the web while away from home, a single device with a very large screen will likely do the trick and keep her happy. I also find it interesting how Apple is blending elements of the iPad and iPhone in the 6 Plus, as shown in the split-screen Mail and iMessage apps. Then there’s the financial fact that one device keeps you on a single easy upgrade cycle: one new phone every two years, and nothing more.
As for me, I still like the idea of a larger iPad screen and a more portable and pocketable iPhone. The iPhone is easier and safer to use on public transport, and the iPad is far more fun to write on at cafes. Comics are just legible enough on an iPad mini’s screen, but they’re awesome on an iPad Air. I’m happily going to keep my current combo until next year, but I’m really interested to see how many potential iPad buyers — or even current iPad owners — decide on an iPhone 6 Plus over owning a smartphone and iPad.
So, Apple’s big September 9 ‘Wish we could say more’ event has come and gone – and the rumors that we might see a new iPad announced at the event proved false. And I’m happy the iPad was not featured at this event.
I’m happy about it for a couple of reasons. The first one is a purely selfish one – I had a hectic work day yesterday and had no time at all to watch the live stream of the event or even follow any live blogs – I just had to catch up in the late afternoon and may get round to watching the event tonight.
My bigger reason is that if a new iPad had been announced yesterday I think it would have played third fiddle – behind the new iPhones and the Apple Watch. Those were clearly the big focus of the event, and a new iPad would have been almost an afterthought for many if presented alongside those.
Instead, we’ll soon see the new iPad or iPads get their own moment in the sun next month – assuming Apple follows last year’s routine on their new mobile device announcements.
I don’t expect there to be many revolutionary changes to the iPad line this year, but I’m still looking forward to seeing what the next gen will bring – and now we don’t have long to wait.
Oh well. I was a little on the fence about whether the (much) larger iPad would work for me. Now I’m thinking it’s a big NO.
The Verge’s Dan Seifert has done a rundown of the best tablets on the market today, in their ‘This is My Next’ series. The iPad Air is ranked as the Number 1 tablet, based on its overall features and versatility. A close second is the Retina iPad mini, which Seifert notes is his preferred tablet. There are also quick mentions for the Kindle Fire line, Samsung tablets that are rightly knocked due to the mess of their Android software skin, Microsoft’s Surface line, and Google’s Nexus 7.
I agree with just most of Seifert’s takes. I think he’s spot on in his sum-up of the Surface. My only big difference would be that I think the Nexus 7 is an outstanding small form factor tablet, and would certainly be in my Top 2.
Take a look at the video and share your tablet rankings in the comments.
As I mentioned yesterday, iPad sales numbers for the latest quarter were down a bit, and this has been seen to be a very disappoint result for Apple – even though iPad is still the clear tablet market leader.
Hard times for the iPad would be great times for others – the 13 million iPads sold last quarter likely dwarf the number of tablets that any of its rivals will sell during all of this year.
Here’s another way of putting the iPad’s ‘disappointing’ result into context – Slate has a great post up on the theme of ‘If Apple products were companies’. The chart above highlights some striking numbers if the iPad was a company:
Sales of iPads might be declining slightly, but at almost $5.9 billion they’re still a massive business in their own right, generating more revenue than Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Groupon, and Tesla combined.