The iPad is getting boring, because it’s a laptop

The iPad is getting boring, because it’s a laptop

The iPad is a laptop. So don’t expect a huge upgrade this week.

In four years, the iPad has gone from zero to a completely mature product, in a way that smartphones haven’t. When a friend of mine asked me if he should upgrade his iPad 3, my answer was, “if it’s broken.”

Where mobile technology moves forward in leaps and bounds every year, desktops and laptops don’t. Some of that is that they aren’t pushed by carriers’ upgrade cycles, but they’re also just more mature product categories with more expensive products. That means annual refresh cycles are a lot more incremental, as people are only expected to buy new laptops every three or four years. My MacBook at home is from 2008. (Sorry, Joel.) I’m having trouble feeling compelled to upgrade it because it isn’t broken.

So we’ll get a little bit of RAM. A better processor. Apple Pay. Laptop-style upgrades. Not the leaps and bounds we’re still seeing in phones.

The iPad has always been Apple’s low-cost laptop play. Apple has held the line at $999 for its cheapest MacBook model for ages, but that doesn’t mean the company gave up on the lower-cost market. With full-sized iPads ranging from $399 to $929 and a broad array of third-party accessories offering things like keyboards to anyone who wants them, Apple has a laptop replacement at all price points except the absolute lowest.

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