Apple’s iPad Pro launch in Brooklyn is about providing a refresh for fans of the tablet as well as the Mac, but there is a bigger picture worth noting. Apple needs an updated iPad Pro to drive enterprise adoption and ensure its iOS ecosystem continues to be the go-to mobile platform for business.
Sure, the iPad Pro is likely to have more screen and less bezel. There will also be options for keyboards and multi-tasking will be easier. Toss in Apple Pencil and the iPad Pro may be able to lure creative pros. Adobe’s move to preview “full Photoshop” for the iPad with availability in 2019 certainly won’t hurt.
However, the importance of the iPad Pro refresh launch isn’t necessarily about some big-bang upgrade cycle. The iPad Pro–a quasi laptop experience for some–is about keeping enterprises interested in the ecosystem. Apple has been slower with its Mac and iPad hardware upgrades relative to the iPhone. But if Apple wants to keep business pros interested it needs some real meat and potatoes–especially when you consider the competition from Microsoft Surface and its alternatives.
The iPad Pro launch fits the bill. If anything the new iPad Pro is likely to keep the enterprise ecosystem flywheel rolling.
Consider recent events:
- Adobe at its Max conference outlined how Photoshop CC updates will fully support the iPad. Adobe executives even noted that Photoshop was more natural on the iPad given its Apple Pencil and power. Clearly, Adobe has built Photoshop CC for the new iPad Pro.
- At the Jamf User Nation Conference, IBM CIO Fletcher Previn announced that his company will open source its Mac@IBM enrollment app. IBM has invested for three years on deploying the macOS in its company. In 2015, there were 30,000 IBM employees using Macs. In 2018, that IBM Mac user base is 134,000. IBM also took the lessons from the Mac@IBM program and used it for its PC deployments at the company.
- Jamf said SAP will use Jamf Pro to manage its Apple devices as one ecosystem. SAP has 17,000 Macs, 83,000 iOS devices and 170 Apple TVs in the field.
- Microsoft will connect its Microsoft Enterprise Mobility _ Security platform with Jamf Pro to enable users to log into a new Mac with Microsoft Azure Active Directory credential.
- Salesforce is the latest enterprise giant to partner with Apple on optimizing apps for iOS. Salesforce joins Cisco, Accenture, SAP and IBM. as enterprise partners.
With that backdrop it seems obvious that the iPad Pro launch with a few Mac updates isn’t about the tech press, consumer buzz or influencer relations. These hardware launches are all about keeping the enterprise gravy train going.