Not being able to ship the two almost-necessary accessories for the iPad Pro at the product launch was a big mistake on Apple’s part in my opinion. Can you imagine the hue and cry we would have heard if Apple had shipped the Apple Watch, then as an aside said “Oh, by the way, your charging cable will ship in 3 to 5 weeks”?
I love AppleWorld.Today, and am a fan of Steve Sande, but this statement is a bit ridiculous. If these items were actually necessary to use the device, they would come with it. That is why the Watch comes with a charging cable, and Apple would never release it without one. The iPad Pro can be used without the keyboard and pencil. It can be used with third-party keyboards and styluses. Is it as good in those scenarios? Probably not.
Apple’s mistake is that this is creating a huge perception problem because a lot of early reviews are lamenting the fact that the device is “meh” as a standalone iPad when everyone knows that the goal of this thing was to be a pretty good laptop replacement and a pretty good iPad replacement in one device. Without the keyboard and pencil it’s pretty much just a bulkier iPad with a bigger screen. The iPad Pro is probably best used with Apple’s keyboard and the Apple Pencil, but not everyone is going to use it with those exact devices, or any peripherals at all potentially.
Shipping the Watch without a charging cable would have literally rendered it unusable in less than 48 hours. The iPad Pro lacking these things is more about a particular set of use cases, more like the lack of 3rd party apps on the Watch if you want to make a comparison to that exact device.
The iPad Pro is what I have been waiting for since the iPad first launched. Not because I am going to run out and get one, but because I have long thought this is where the iPad was headed. Into an area more akin to replacing traditional personal computers as we know them. More and more people (especially those under 30) are forgoing a traditional computer all together in favor of just their phone, or a phone and tablet combination. I reach for my iPad Mini a lot more frequently than I used to. When I am sitting and watching TV it has pretty much replaced my laptop as my go to device. There are things that are not as easy to do, but some things (like Twitter and just general reading) are far better experiences.
I can understand the appeal of people starting to use their tablets as their only “computer”. It is way easier for me to do things on than it was a year ago, and the experience just keeps getting better. Eight months ago I would have said I was guaranteed to buy a new MacBook next year. Now I am not so sure.