Apple is in a quandary. Between a rock and a hard space. Over what? Over what to do with the iPad. After all, sales have been going south for a couple of years and the iPad Pro didn’t not stem the tide from going out.
Are iPad’s sales in a terrible state? Only relatively speaking. In actuality, Apple sells about as many iPads as Dell sell PCs, about double the Mac’s growing numbers, more than most PC makers, and the iPad would be its own Fortune 500 company, so it’s bad only when compared to three or four years ago when it was absolutely freakin’ fantastic.
The iPad Pro seems like a nice machine. It has a crazy good Retina True Tone screen with wide gamut, better color saturation, speakers at every corner, that special Smart Connector which works with the Smart Keyboard. That must be smart, right? And you can use the accessory that every graphic artist and designer wannabe wants, Pencil.
What’s not to like?
Price? Really? That’s an issue? Yes, as always, and mostly with the iPad because there just isn’t a compelling reason to spend money on a new iPad, or even an iPad Pro, because, well, iPads all do much the same thing, which is to say not quite as much as a MacBook.
So, what Apple has done– instead of doubling down on the iPad Pro and make a compelling reason for PC owners to switch (and not daring to make a compelling reason why Mac owners should switch)– is obvious. The new $329 iPad is good enough.
Is good enough good enough?
$329 gets you a new and faster 9.7-inch iPad with a Retina display, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the year before last’s A9 CPU, a couple of 8MP cameras, Wi-Fi with an option for LTE data, still 10-hour battery life and all wrapped up in a one pound package.
What’s not to like? It’s the same old same old but for $329. Think of iPad as iPad Air 3 but with nothing really new but the $329 price tag.
See? Good enough.
Is 32GB of storage good enough? For casual users who don’t want to spend much money, probably so. But, typical Apple, if you want more storage the jump from 32GB to 128GB is $100. As with any iPad, plain old vanilla iPad of 2017 can handle a Bluetooth keyboard and your finger can be a replacement for the $99 Apple Pencil, so it’s really just like an iPad Pro but without the price tag.
That’s good enough.