I've been a fan of the iPad Pro since it debuted last year. The massive size, the Apple Pencil for jotting notes in a meeting, did I mention the massive size? Using the Texture app, I read magazines on it on a daily basis, because frankly, they look as good as the printed versions.
Now, IDC has confirmed my suspicions. Other people are also flocking to the iPad Pro. Apple sold two million of them last quarter, even though the product didn't even go on sale until early November. Meanwhile, Microsoft sold only 1.6 million units of the entire Surface tablet line, mostly for the Pro version. (That number is a 29 percent increase over last year, per the Microsoft earnings report, but is still 400,000 units short of the iPad Pro.)
As with any of these earnings reports and number-crunching from analysts, you might wonder why Apple still floats things out faster than an Ultimate Frisbee convention at a college.
Tablet sales have slipped in recent years. The original iPad was a major hit for a long time but has leveled off. The iPad Pro is a game changer for business users, because the larger size really does make you wonder if you need a laptop. I used one recently on a business trip and typed multiple articles on the touchscreen, no keyboard and mouse required. I didn't even bother using a Logitech keyboard case, because I knew I could just fire up my browser, check email, and use Google Docs on the touchscreen, something that was not as feasible with the iPad Air.
The Surface Pro is a powerful tablet, to be sure, but the touchscreen is still too wonky for me. Forget typing fast right on the screen. It just doesn't work, so I have to use a keyboard case, which makes the entire kit a bit heavier than a light Chromebook or recent models by Dell running Windows 10. And, we're still in a major touch app quandry. Texture is available for Windows 10, but you just don't see the same number of brand-new touch apps on Windows 10.
Microsoft doesn't help the situation. Just yesterday, when we all heard about how Microsoft made an app to help with voter counts, it was an iPhone app. That's an obvious admission that people don't use the Surface too often or use Windows phones. In fact, other than the Lumia 950 models that run like a pocket computer, the Windows platform barely even runs on smartphones.
It also didn't help when the Surface tablets stopped working during a recent NFL postseason game. I'm sure it was a Wi-Fi issue, but all the average viewer noticed was that there was something wrong with the Surface tablets. Talk about reverse advertising.
What's a bit perplexing to me is that I gravitated to the iPad Pro right away, and I even own an iPad Mini and have an iPad Air in for testing.
It's a shift that Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, predicted. I'm using the iPad Pro more often than a laptop these days. It is flexible enough for work and runs all of my apps, yet has a big enough screen for magazines and Netflix. It's speedy enough for any app.
Thanks to IDC, it's obvious other people have realized the same benefits.