Apple did something interesting today with the announcement of their new iPad that shows they have no problems cannibalizing their own laptop business. Instead of taking on lower priced tablets, as I speculated last week, Apple ended up making the iPad even more of a productivity device. Outside of a significant increase in screen resolution and optional LTE mobile networking the new iPad is very similar specced to last year’s iPad 2. But that increase in screen resolution gives a much larger canvas for developers to use to make apps to get things done while on the road. Apple’s iLife and iWork apps show the way here but I think there will be a renaissance in iPad productivity apps this year.
My daily driver for the past 4 years has been a 15 inch MacBook Pro. Almost all the time it is connected to a large monitor, keyboard and mouse. I’ve been waiting for a 15 inch MacBook Air to replace it but might just end up buying a Mac mini and the new iPad for less money. On the rare occurrence I need a desktop app while traveling I can always VNC into my office desktop or use something like OnLive. But when I travel 90% of what I do is email and web browsing, tasks that the iPad excels at already. So I’m thinking my 2008 MacBook Pro might be the last laptop I ever buy. And I’m OK with that.
It also doesn’t look like Apple has any plans to take on $200 Android tablets. But they are certainly taking aim at $600 Windows laptops.