Apple and Google have both already done a lot to shake up the traditional PC market but don’t expect either of them to stop anytime soon. Barron’s flags a note from Evercore Partners analyst Patrick Wang, who thinks that Apple’s upcoming 12- to 13-inch iPad has the potential to “transform the traditional notebook market as we know it” because it will be the first time that Apple has made an iPad that’s targeted specifically toward Microsoft’s PC customer base.
“Arriving in fall ‘14, Apple goes Enterprise with an 12-inch iPad,” Wang writes. “Powered by the A8 chip (perhaps 4C), this expands ARM’s reach and, once again, transforms the traditional notebook market as we know it. Expect a 2-1 hybrid — think iPad + MBA — similar to how most iPads are used in the workplace and in the same spirit of MSFT’s Surface.”
As Wang acknowledges, Apple isn’t really doing something innovative as far as form factor goes since it’s basically releasing a new version of the iPad that will be built like Microsoft’s Surface. So why would companies flock to the Apple device instead toward devices such as the Surface Pro? One answer could be that the iPad already enjoys a robust app ecosystem that isn’t at all lacking for developers. Another is that workers who have iPhones and iPads at home are already familiar with iOS so in theory there shouldn’t be the same sort of learning curve that comes with Windows 8.
What’s particularly interesting about Apple’s upcoming “iPad Pro,” however, is the specific market that it will reportedly target: Schools. We’ve read reports that Google has been making major inroads into schools with its low-cost, low-maintenance Chromebook laptops, so it looks like Microsoft rivals smell blood when comes to displacing PCs as the default computing machines in schools.
Any way you slice it, it looks like Apple and Google are going to keep aggressively invading Microsoft’s territory throughout the year.