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Is Apple's New iPad Pro a Threat to Microsoft?

Apple's long-rumored iPad Pro surfaced (pardon the pun) this week and with it are comparisons to Microsoft's Surface Pro. Technically speaking, comparing the iPad Pro to a Surface Pro or any Windows Pro-based system is an apples-to-oranges comparison. One is a tablet and the other is a computer.

Yet functionally speaking, for some it may be possible, even desirable to ditch a Windows PC -- at least when out of the office -- in favor of the new iPad Pro. The question is to what extent this will happen or will some even replace their Windows machines in favor of Apple's new ultra-tablet?

The new iPad Pro, launched Wednesday and available in November, comes with a much higher price tag than traditional iPads. It starts at $799 compared to the $499 for the 9.7-inch iPad Air or $399 for an older iPad. But the least expensive iPad Pro only has 32GB of storage. If that's not enough storage for your liking, the next option with 128GB costs $949. If you want a version with built-in cellular, you must, at least for now, go with the $128GB version, which costs $1,079. The optional keyboard is $169 and the new electronic stylus called the Apple Pencil is $100.

For sure, the new iPad Pro appears like an impressive device. It's 6.9 mm thin and weighs 1.57 pound, boasts Apple's high-definition Retina display able to render 4k video. Apple said with its new third-generation AX9 processor, the iPad pro is 1.8 times more powerful than the iPad Air 2. If you're already an iOS and Office 365 user, then carrying around in iPad Pro for basic work and play is an appealing proposition, especially for those who don't need the functions and speed of a PC.

At the same time, the iPad Pros are priced closer to convertible PCs than tablets and those who need or desire the power of a computer might not be able to justify an iPad Pro. That's especially case for those who can get the tablet functionality they want out of the larger iPhones now available.

The good news for Microsoft is even if business users end up flocking to the new iPad Pro, it'll likely drive Office 365 consumption. What's your take? Is the new iPad Pro a threat to Windows?

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 09/11/2015 at 12:04 PM


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