back to article 'Clearance sale' shows Apple's iPad is over. It's done

"The iPad is done," writes Europe's shrewdest hardware scribe Volker Weber in the aftermath of Apple's annual revamp of its tablet line. The revamped iPads contain no new features, just price cuts, making it a "clearance sale". "Apple is just refining the components, but there isn't much they can do these days to make yet …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

    And in other news, the pope is still a catholic.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

      "And in other news, the pope is still a catholic."

      Thank God. I need some stability in my life after this week, especially as Edd China is leaving Wheeler Dealers.

      Worst. Week. Ever.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        Ed's leaving?

        Nooooo.....

      2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        That programme was always a let down.

        If it was longer, pretty much all about Ed's mechanicking and in considerably more detail, it would have been really good. Unfortunately it was all about Mike's ability to speak fluent cockney and haggle, which isn't something you need to see every week.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

          Yeah I noticed a video from him on YouTube telling the world why. Basically Discovery bought the show from Attaboy, and they wanted him to cut corners with the work on the cars to make it more of a "show". Basically cut back on the very thing that was interesting about the show. Mike Brewer's alright in small doses, but those doses have started to get bigger.

          Ant Anstead is his replacement. He's the chap who was the mechanic on "For The Love Of Cars" with Philip Glennister. Not a bad replacement, although he's no Edd China or Fuzz Townsend. It is a shame. I learnt alot from Edd China on the program and he gave me the confidence to tinker with my own car (now cars).

          But er, yeah. Apple in Education? Bad bad very bad etc.

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

            Oh, him. He was good on FTLOC. Another programme plagued by the same problem of not wanting to be too informative.

        2. Anna Logg

          Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

          "Unfortunately it was all about Mike's ability to speak fluent cockney and haggle, which isn't something you need to see every week."

          My favourite episode is where he's buying an old DS (IIRC) in rural France and tries the 'crafty cockney haggling' palaver on with the seller, who doesn't speak any English.

      3. davemcwish

        Re: Edd China

        Aw c**p, that was the USP of the series. Along with James May on The Reassembler, he made the technical aspects engaging to watch and was a good foil to Mike Brewer

        1. DropBear Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Edd China

          Any hope for a "Grand Tour" encore...? A show of his own somewhere else...? Please say yes... Decade-long good shows keep ending (Mythbusters etc.) and I see nothing picking up the baton - are these the final days of TV or something?!?

        2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Edd China

          James May is another one. Threatens to be interesting but doesn't quite manage it due to dumbing down.

          1. MyffyW Silver badge

            My Apple and The Kitchen Sink

            My only iDevice, a Gen3 iPod Touch, sits atop my radio and it's purpose is to play MP3s from my Linux file server and Podcasts from Radio 4. It does that task admirably and its shiny chrome back also doesn't object to the occasional splash from the washing up.

            Not sure about the Pope being Catholic, but I heard a good argument that he might be a Marxist.

      4. Adam JC

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        Holy shit, this is not cool!! Aaron Kaufman leaving Gas Monkey Garage and now this..... At least he stuck to his morals!

      5. Grenou

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        Uh?? Who on earth is Edd China.

        I thought this was about Apple.

        I for one LOVE my iPad(s).

        I wish Apple continued success, their products are excellent.

        Too much negativity here, but I am not surprised.

      6. Bondy

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        Edd China leaving Wheeler Dealers? Now that's news.

        What a sad day.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        What?? EDD is leaving Wheeler Dealers??? To heck with the iPad.

      8. briesmith

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        Edd China leaving Wheeler Dealers? WTF? When did that happen?

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

      Having been in education (UK) from 1980 through 1990, kids in education in the 90s and working in education between 2000 and 2007 (Germany), I saw exactly one Apple device during that time, an old Apple II that never got turned on.

      When I was learning, it was all Commodore PETs and a few C64s and a BBC Model A, then at college it was PETs again, a handful of BBC Bs, which were then replaced by IBM PC clones.

      That remained the status quo, even when I became a guest lecturer in Augsburg, there it was all Fujitsu, with a few convertible Windows XP Tablet Edition devices.

      Apple might be big in the USA, but in the educational establishments where I studied / worked, they were pretty much non-existent.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        Apple might be big in the USA

        It is, partly because of the way it's financed.

      2. JohnMurray

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        On the other hand, the primary school where my grandchildren go to, has over 100 iPads...

        1. hellsatan

          Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

          Aye, i know at least one secondary school where Ipads are actually mandatory, with various finance options offered by the school. Bit crazy in my book but i'm sure somebody got a generous backhander to secure that deal

          1. ThomH Silver badge

            Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

            The Apple II didn't just fail to see much international usage in education, it generally didn't succeed internationally. But its method of colour generation* doesn't map to the world beyond NTSC** so that's not so surprising.

            * a pixel clock that is four times the NTSC colour clock, with the developer required to store a suitable pattern of pixels to create appropriate colours. So a hypothetical PAL version would need a clock rate around 20% faster, and developers would need to rewrite their software for a different aspect ratio display and to deal with the phase alternating part of PAL.

            ** although the Oric pulls a similar trick, outputting four discrete levels for per colour clock (assuming a solid colour; the clocks are asynchronous), it does it in hardware via a small colour ROM. The programmer just asks for colour N, and the rest is taken care of.

          2. Aqua Marina

            Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

            "Aye, i know at least one secondary school where Ipads are actually mandatory, with various finance options"

            I was furious when my lads school sent home a letter stating all children would need an iPad in the following term. They had an offering for the latest and greatest with finance, and a disclaimer stating that lesser models might not be capable of running the schools software.

            They were effectively painting a target on the backs of all the kids saying "mug me". Every kid in town now walks to and from school with a grands worth of iPad waiting for the bag snatchers.

        2. macjules Silver badge

          Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

          On the other hand I have several hundred 'creative types' working under my auspices ... and we have precisely 1 iPad Pro. Not even sure why we have that one though: I suspect it was a 'we have GOT to have one of those' fanboi reaction.

        3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

          "On the other hand, the primary school where my grandchildren go to, has over 100 iPads..."

          I used to work in schools, there were many, many iPads, and far too many 'Learnpads' (half decent Android tabs hampered by a crap custom UI).

          Problem was, the iPads were bought because the IT co-ordinators assumed they could do everything they needed, but they were wrong, many educational web sites still use flash, and then couldn't be accessed on the iPads. Some sites had bought the Puffin browser, which just added frustration rather than solving the problem. Plus iPads are a PITA to manage, for some reason Apple Educational VPP is an entirely separate entity to iTunes, you can't get educational discounts using the same account, you have to register twice, once for VPP and once for regular iTunes, Apple Configurator isn't exactly slick, and requires a Mac to drive it, or you pay for an MDM solution. Plus I worked in Junior schools, and iPads were just too fragile, even in Survivor cases we got broken screens, charging cables were mangled regularly, and I never saw a charging flight case (GoCabby) without bent hinges, as teachers got the kids to put the iPads away, and the kids just slammed the cases shut.

          The Learnpads never broke however. They were so dire they were never removed from their charging cabby.

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

            Problem was, the iPads were bought because the IT co-ordinators assumed they could do everything they needed, but they were wrong, many educational web sites still use flash

            They were handed out from a local uni for students on a occupational therapy course a couple of years ago. With exactly that problem.

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

          "On the other hand, the primary school where my grandchildren go to, has over 100 iPads..."

          My work takes me into many schools, and it always surprises me how many have recently (ie last couple of years) have bought in and issued iPads for all the pupils. Chromebooks do seem to be taking over, but considering how much cheaper Chromebooks are, I can't quite see the financial reasons for those schools which choose Apple. (Since the last thing on most educators minds is data slurping, I'll assume that's not a factor in not choosing Google over Apple)

        5. JJKing Silver badge
          IT Angle

          Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

          A university in NSW, Oztralia, got 13,000 iPads for their students (the stooodes had to pay for them obviously).

          I attended a training session where one of the speakers was a very senior Apple guy in OZ. He said, [quote] I am going to tell you 25 times (holds up an iPad) that THIS (gently shakes said iPad) is NOT a computer. [/quote] People tend to forget that. They, and the Android equivalent, can be a very useful tool but they are not a computer and as such have very limited use in the computing field. They are quite good for educational use but are a pain to weave into a Domain to make them network useful.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

            THIS (gently shakes said iPad) is NOT a computer.

            OED defines computer as "A calculating-machine; esp. an automatic electronic device for performing mathematical or logical operations; freq. with defining word prefixed, as analogue, digital, electronic computer"

            So presumably incapable of performing mathematical and logic operations. Maybe he was channelling John Sculley and mistaking the iPad for a bottle of Pepsi :-)

      3. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        Apple might be big in the USA, but in the educational establishments where I studied / worked, they were pretty much non-existent.

        Well, in the UK there is no money left after buying a couple of RM badged beauts. RM: the only company that makes Apple stuff look cheap.

      4. WylieCoyoteUK

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        Lots of schools these days have lots of iPads.

        However the logistics of managing them and their installed apps is a pain in the butt, even with Meraki or Lightspeed.

        They also fall short in many ways such as printing hires images over wifi networks, and the broadcast, non routable nature of most Apple protocols.

        Chromebooks are a much better fir for the education market.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

          They also fall short in many ways such as printing hires images over wifi networks

          Not sure if this is really a fault of the iPad per sa. Having repeatedly suffered from failed Airprint's and printers hung waiting for submission completion of an Airprint job - that according to the iPad were successful, I do wonder if the real problem lies in the way Airprint/IPP is designed and implemented, both by Apple and by the printer vendors. I draw this conclusion because whilst an Airprint can fail, the same print using the vendor's own utility or Google cloud print doesn't.

          Because printer vendors don't tend to list the Airprint/IPP pdl formats supported, I don't know what true enterprise grade printers support, but I note that it seems consumer grade printers only support the raster and/or jpeg image formats. So I've noticed that what I thought was a simple 4MB Jpeg print job, can actually be a 40MB+ transfer over the sub-50Mbps WiFi.

          It would be nice to get the protocol analyzer out and investigate further, but a complete investigation would also involve looking at the printer and how it manages memory, although you would have thought a 40MB print file shouldn't be a problem for a printer with 128MB of memory...

          As for the broadcast non-routable nature of the protocols, whilst I understand this can cause problems in enterprise deployments, in smaller deployments it's not so much of an issue, although things have been a little more problematic, I've had problems with routers and powerline adaptors not correctly handling broadcast traffic across all interfaces, although most have been fixed by firmware updates.

          However the logistics of managing them and their installed apps is a pain in the butt

          Agree, it does seem that Apple, like MS, aren't to keen on actually adding features to their OS's that actually improve provisioning and device management.

          1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

            "Not sure if this is really a fault of the iPad per sa"

            Yeah, I had some printers print fine, and others just not accept print jobs, Bonjour print service was running fine, seems some printers needed firmware updates, and I wasn't up for that, I just made the staff pick up print jobs from the Library printer which worked. Plus it meant they had to think before they printed, the amount of printed waste was horrendous.

      5. Michael Sanders

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        Yes. Europe completely missed the boat during those years. I think you got screwed on purpose in exactly the same way the U.S. got screwed on phones until the iphone. What we used for cell phones compared to you was pathetic. All you needed for that Apple II was the software. And a lot less paid in tariffs maybe. You know that Apple clones were basically free right?

        1. StudeJeff

          Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

          The US had less need for cell phones because of our very advanced wired network. Pretty much anywhere in the country not only could you get a landline but it would be turned on within a day or so of your request.

          In places with a less robust wired phone network there was a shortage of lines and could often be a long wait before you phone was installed.

          It was a lot easier (cheaper) to install a cell network than expand the landline infrastructure.

          We get a lot of end of lease iPads where I work, the ones coming back from schools are usually pretty well trashed by the kids who used them (big surprise)! With my experience with Apple, (the company), when it was time for me to get a nice tablet I bought a Samsung.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

      the pope is still a catholic.

      It might surprise you to learn that this is indeed a matter of theological debate.

      1. applebyJedi

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        That would be an ecumenical matter

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

          That would be an ecumenical matter

          Yes!

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: A Matter of Theological Debate

        That would be an ecumenical question.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

        "the pope is still a catholic.

        It might surprise you to learn that this is indeed a matter of theological debate."

        it may however, err .. relieve you to know that bears continue to use wooded areas.

    4. zen1

      Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

      Ever since the days of the //e and GS, Apple has been trying to saturate secondary schools and high schools, as well as offering deep deep cuts to school personnel and university students. I remember back in the day, my apple rep implied that their goal was to go through the kids and teachers and stick with what they know.

      Unfortunately, Apple didn't extend the same kind of discounts to businesses, otherwise they'd be kicking the snot out of the wintel platform. Now that pi and chrome books are starting to saturate that vertical market, it's only a matter of time that they either force apple to focus on just iPhones and get out of the pc/tablet business all together.

    5. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Gimp

      Re: Education PC seller says Apple is no good in that market

      A few years ago the Dutch pollster and innovator Maurice de Hond started a chain of Steve Jobs primary schools, where the kids were taught individually relying heavily on iPads. These schools have now proven to be unsustainable.

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    And that's still a lot for a glorified picture frame

    Pretty much sums it up. Mind you TVs aren't much more than that and you can see the advantage of cheap tablets for families on long journeys. But then price really does start to matter.

    I still think there's something in it for Apple to go all out on ARM and make and I-Pad Pro worthy of the name: with a real keyboard. Maybe they're hoping the clearance sale will give them the room to do so?

    Kudos for the Pi-Top reference: great little things that you can run off AA batteries and tinker with the hardware.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      It's curious that the keyboard offered by Apple at the launch of the iPad Pro was branded Logitech. I mean, Apple know how to make keyboards themselves (though they do split opinion)

    2. big_D Silver badge

      The current Mac Book Pro seems to be making a case for replacing the keyboard with an iPad on their notebooks! The keyboard has to be the absolute worst I've ever experienced!

      And I get funny looks, because I still use a couple of older Apple keyboards on my Windows PCs!

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        @big_D

        I, too, love the Model M style Apple keyboard (I have a Model M as well but it's just so loud). Looks filthy because it's white but it's the one I can type best on.

        Which particular MacBook Pro keyboards are you referring to? Didn't notice much difference when I switched to an early 2016 model (Thunderbolt not USB-C). But seeing that this is usually hooked up to my KVM (Mac HDMI to DVI-Dual-link works great) I guess I haven't give it much of a workout yet.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Current 13" MacBook Pro with touch strip instead of function keys.

  3. djstardust

    As I have said a million times

    Apple are no longer innovators, they are just another tech company peddling average gear.

    Their laptops are mid spec and expensive

    Their phones are mid spec and expensive

    Their TV box has never been any good despite repeated tries selling it

    The ipad was a decent tablet, but charging £150 for a keyboard cover and £90 for a "pencil" is just ridiculous considering these things should really be included in the first place.

    Look at the Nokia N95, it was absolutely massive in 2007/2008 and pretty much everybody had one, even despite the high price. Then two things happened .... Nokia were stuck on S60v3 and never pushed forward, and the follow up N96 was rubbish. It gave competitors like Sony ericsson and Apple a chance to get in to the market. I can see the same thing happening to Apple with competitors like Huawei and such lining up.

    This new ipad is basically parts left over from the factory floor shoved in a clearance box.

    Apple may think they are too big (and arrogant) to fail but history tells us otherways.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: As I have said a million times

      Nokia couldn't have made an iPhone-like device based on S60 (an OS based around hardware memory constraints that were then becoming less relevant, and it wasn't designed for hardware graphics acceleration as iOS was), though they of course had a couple of Linux-y OSs in the works that would have done the job nicely. He'll, Nokia had some iPaddy concept devices too. Anyway, the Nokia post-mortem has been covered on other Reg articles.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: As I have said a million times

        Nokia released Symbian 3 in 2010 and followed it up with Symbian Anna and Belle. So maybe three years late, but the N8 also released in 2010 compared favourably to the iPhone 4, which you had to hold the right way if you wanted to make a call and had a rather naff camera compared to the N8's 20MP full HD one.

        Then Elop came along and burnt the platform.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: As I have said a million times

          The rot set in about 2003 in Nokia. They killed Crystal, S80 etc and various touch screen GUI developments back then. By 2004 the Nokia phone division was doomed (internally by infighting and bureaucracy). Despite how the market was going.

          Then was it 2008 that too late decided on Trolltech QT GUI and stupidly bought them instead of hiring them two years earlier. It killed off Trolltech.

          So Nokia did right thing concentrating on Networks and plan to scrap phones. They got billions from MS and MS got to pay the redundancy for phone division and not a scrap of IP or the name!

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: As I have said a million times

      > Apple may think they are too big (and arrogant) to fail but history tells us otherways

      I suspect that Apple employ some very smart analysts and supply them with very good, expensive data. Add to that the success that they have had eating other's lunch (portable audio, mobile phones) in the past, I don't think Apple are likely to be complacent.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: As I have said a million times

        Apple were lucky once: MS bailout before iPod.

        They made TWO good non-tech decisions:

        1:) Record label deals for iTunes made late comer to market iPod a success.

        2:) Big or all you can eat Data for iPhones on Contract, when every other smart phone for EIGHT years previously had be crippled by per second and/or per M byte charging. Yes the bought in fingerworks GUI helped.

        Apple (apart from failed Lisa, really Mac 1.0) has always entered ESTABLISHED markets and rarely innovated. An exception was the Newton, ironically one of the first portable ARM gadgets and killed off on Job's return to Apple.

        Lisa was a clone of Xerox and other innnovations

        OS X from NextStep itself based on BSD

        iMac, MacBooks, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch all followed proven established market entrants.

        iPhone was commodity parts and phone subsystem merged with an ipod. Samsung SC6400 ARM made it possible. Capacitive screens 20 years old but not used as other OS needed stylus resolution and the "holy grail" since early 1980s had been handwriting recognition and annotation with a stylus, you need high resolution resistive screen. Apple with iPhone was aiming at content browsing, not content creation (hence no copy & paste) and high end consumer market. Previous smart phones (e.g. Nokia communicator) were corporate orientated / content creation/annotation and thus keyboards or resistive because of the very high data usage costs.

        It's hard to see Apple replicating their only two really successful mass market entries, the iPod and iPhone, because those exploited non-techincal weaknesses in competitors (Content and Carrier data pricing).

        So Apple will become more a niche product.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: As I have said a million times

          At the start, Apple did indeed use commodity SOC's but not now.

          Please don't try to make out that the A10X ARM CPU is a commodity part. The Apple investments in thi area allow them to use far less CPU Cores than any of the competition.

          The benchmarks give lie to your claim about commodity parts use.

          Apple is by no means perfect and to many, on the surface it might appear that they don't innovate but under the hood they are doing a lot. The 'Secure Vault' concept is very well engineered and the simplicity of Apple Pay is innovation in my eyes.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As I have said a million times

          > iPhone was commodity parts and phone subsystem merged with an ipod.

          If the iPhone was so easy and obvious and non-innovative, why didn't someone else get there first and clean up?

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: As I have said a million times

            If the iPhone was so easy and obvious and non-innovative, why didn't someone else get there first and clean up?

            Well MS did get there first with Windows Mobile, however, due to typical(?) MS incompetence they failed to deliver the wow factor and thus failed to clean up. Apple did deliver on the wow factor and the rest is history...

          2. Mage Silver badge

            Re: iPhone was so easy and obvious and non-innovative

            While the bought in Fingerworks GUI was nice, it was the operator contracts / data pricing that made iPhone launch succeed. Not the HW.

        3. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: As I have said a million times

          "iMac, MacBooks, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch all followed proven established market entrants."

          What alternative universe are you living in?

    3. Tannin

      Re: As I have said a million times

      The one thing iPads do still have going for them is that they are one of the very few tablets to have a usefully-shaped screen. Nearly everything else is too shallow to be practical.

      Having said that, I looked at the Apple offerings,. liked the screens, looked at the insane prices ... and bought a perfectly functional Android tablet instead (despite the poorer screen). I spent the hundreds of dollars in change, but I could have bought anouther couple of pretty decent tablets with it if I'd a use for more than one.

      1. Steve the Cynic

        Re: As I have said a million times

        "The one thing iPads do still have going for them is that they are one of the very few tablets to have a usefully-shaped screen."

        There is another thing, and it is actually the reason I bought an iPad (Mini 4) rather than any other sort of tablet: it's more or less compatible (usually more), from an apps point of view, with my iPhone.

        It means I can download an app on my phone, and the tablet picks up a copy of the app automatically (unless it's a phone-only app).

        "liked the screens"

        Yeah, the iPads have *nice* screens.

      2. War President
        Thumb Up

        Re: As I have said a million times

        "The one thing iPads do still have going for them is that they are one of the very few tablets to have a usefully-shaped screen. Nearly everything else is too shallow to be practical."

        hear! hear! The iPad's 4:3 aspect ratio is ideal, though I would say that Microsoft's Surface tablets are also decent at 3:2 (with much better pen input than the iPad Pro). The slavish conformity to 16:9 for most tablets and displays are counterproductive and waste valuable real estate in the hand or on the desk.

        The other thing iPads still do well that Android has pretty much given up on is consistently low-latency audio in/out. There are some great audio processing apps for iOS that blow away anything on Android. I do understand this is because Apple is the only game in town for iOS devices and Google lets anyone build an Android tablet

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: As I have said a million times

          Sadly 4:3 is even BETTER for a content creation device such as a laptop, where it's now nearly non-existent.

          I hate 16:9, though 18:9 or 27:9 (2:1 3:1) may make sense for a phone screen, so you can hold it in one hand. However, for most people's content browsing (and few use a tablet for real content creation), the 16:9 is fine, esp. video.

          Only a tiny minority of people that maybe also have an iPhone and add a keyboard are going to buy an iPad because it's 4:3

          I'd have loved my new Lenovo E460 laptop to be 1920 x 1200 (16:10) or 1920 x 1440 (4:3) but sadly I could only afford 1920 x 1200

        2. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: As I have said a million times

          iOS has always had low latency, and Wireless MIDI baked in. Compared to the price of specialist audio control surfaces at the time of its release (low volume of sales usually results in higher prices) the iPad's price looked more reasonable. And multitouch is a good UI for virtual mixing desks. I've seen a few bands in pubs using a virtual mixer on an iPad - the advantage is the soundman can stand amongst the audience and adjust levels accordingly.

          True, most iPads aren't used for this, but there are lots of niche applications instead of one 'killer application'.

          1. ADC
            Joke

            Re: As I have said a million times

            > I've seen a few bands in pubs using a virtual mixer on an iPad - the advantage is the soundman can stand amongst the audience and adjust levels accordingly.

            I would guess that the iPad is simply a wireless UI for a real mixer on or near the stage, that it's not actually doing any real-time audio processing or mixing on the iPad itself. Otherwise you need a really big adaptor to connect all the XLR mic cables to the iPad Lightning or 30-pin socket...

        3. juice Silver badge

          Re: As I have said a million times

          Agreed. I've been after an A4-sized tablet for a while for reading purposes - I've got a lot of scanned magazines from the 80s I'd like to read, but there's a little too much squinting required on a 9.7" screen and widescreen tablets make things even worse - a 12" widescreen display is only 5.9 inches tall, or nearly 2.4 inches narrower than a piece of A4 paper[*].

          Alas, the iPad pro is a tad too expensive to use for occasional archaelogical browsing. I do occasionally eye-up convertible laptops on Ebay, but they tend to either have archaic technology, or are increasingly also widescreen; at 16:9, I'd have to get a 17" display to be able to view A4 pages at their original scale, which in turn drives up the weight and lowers the battery life.

          [*] Can we stop using old money to measure screen sizes?

          1. andreas koch
            Devil

            @ juice - Re: As I have said a million times

            [*] Can we stop using old money to measure screen sizes?

            No. Brexit means Brexit.

            SCNR

            1. MarkSitkowski

              Re: @ juice - As I have said a million times

              Even the French have always used inches for screen sizes, way back when screens had implosion guards and weighed a quarter of a ton (tonne?)

        4. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: As I have said a million times

          with much better pen input than the iPad Pro

          Pen input is something that has been quite disappointing - unless you are using a high-end Wacom or equivalent tablet, across the market. In some respects Steve Jobs by deriding pen input at the iPad launch, did set realistic expectations about what the technology in the iPad was capable of.

          I've was impressed with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2014 tablet with S-Pen, as it really did seem to be a device that had the potential to replace both my A4 notebook and PIM. However, it would seem that Samsung hasn't done much in recent years...

        5. Rattus Rattus

          Re: Aspect ratio

          I am not sure I agree. I primarily use my old Nexus 7 as an ereader and 9:16 (vertical orientation) is perfect for books.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As I have said a million times

        You raised a valid point.

        The iPad is a different ratio to most of no-names and for many people, a widescreen format isn't suitable.

        Not for me, but I can see why many choose it for that reason alone.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: As I have said a million times

      Your powers of prediction are simply amazing! I think Apple charges a premium for its devices but they are generally very well specc'd and made. The notebooks in particular are competitively priced when you go like-for-like: compare a MacBook Pro (without the stupid bar) with a similarly specc'd (weight, big SSD, screen, etc.) Lenovo or HP and you'll not find much difference. Which is why I stayed with Apple when I recently bought a new notebook. But I've never had an I-Phone or an I-Pad.

      Since Jobs died Apple has largely rested on its laurels and earned billions and billions doing so. I'm in general agreement that if they don't do something new then they will hit the DEC/Nokia wall but in the meantime all the best to them for selling what the market likes.

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: As I have said a million times

        ...they are generally very well specc'd...

        Not particularly, As the contract for my Note4 does not run out for a couple of months, why am I frequently surprised just how poor the latest iShiny is?

        The notebooks in particular are competitively priced

        Not particularly although they are not as overpriced for their spec as iPhones and iPads.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: As I have said a million times

          Not particularly although they are not as overpriced for their spec as iPhones and iPads.

          Provide examples. When recently considering a new machine I did some research and, when it came to finding a powerful but light machine, I found that specs and prices at the high end are pretty close. The Windows machines maybe a bit cheaper but there's not as nice to develop on as the Macs, stupid touch bar thingies aside.

    5. xanda

      Re: As I have said a million times

      Hear hear!

      Nokia got stuck too far 'up itself' and became too busy with internal bickering and infighting to be able to go forward or produce anything useful. At the same time, it rested on its of "4 out of 10 phones in the world" laurels/mantra to feel the need to really do something about it.

      Apple has been in much the same boat for a while now and, a bit like Nokia, hasn't 'read the writing on the wall'.

      We bought Apple kit for the very first time back in 2004 (Mac Mini + OS X). We were really impressed with their outgoing nature. At the time it seemed like they couldn't do enough to please their public and add value to customers investments.

      But since then they have gone the other way and have spent far too long selling everybody short across their entire range, be it stuff or services, besides behaving like some school-yard bully toward their customers (and everybody else).

      So the fact the latest iPad is so mediocre is kind of immaterial because most of their stuff has been for a while anyway - its skill was in doing it looking fabulous is all.

      Apple still have a lot of cash to sit on so maybe they don't really care?

      But if they do, it then follows that they it can't go on this way: nobody (really) wants to pay top-dollar to be held captive in some despots walled-garden with a lot of broken toys.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Why does every product manager, marketroid and sales person think their product sales are crowing exponentially? They're not. They're on a sigmoid curve. And that's a sigmoid curve of the total number of devices in use. In time the sales are bound to drop off and the only sales will be for replacements.

    It's happened to PCs, it's happening to tablets.

    Expect it and be prepared to move on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You forgot one important(sic) catagory

      Those who speak out of their backsides namely, the Analists.

      They more than ever think that product sales will rise exponentially and give their tarot card readings to the market which drives the stock price. Guestimates at worst but are more influential at driving a price than sales figures from a company.

      As for the iPad... IMHO, it is a mature device in a mature market segment.

      It works and I see more and more being used in business especially the unloved iPad Mini.

      I do all my presentations using a Mini (+ TB to HDMI dongle)

      Thr aspect ratio is perfect for 35mm/DSLR pictures. Not everything is in HD Widescreen you know.

      Is the iPad done? Not but it is more of a niche product like most tablets.

      As for the Amazon Kindle... It worked up to a point. That's why I got the iPad.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You forgot one important(sic) catagory

        @AC - "The aspect ratio is perfect for 35mm/DSLR pictures. Not everything is in HD Widescreen you know."

        Most advertising boards are and displays are widescreen, take note DSLR manufacturers 35mm is out of date.

        1. Toltec

          Re: You forgot one important(sic) catagory

          "Most advertising boards are and displays are widescreen, take note DSLR manufacturers 35mm is out of date."

          Given the optics produce a circular image a 16:9 sensor cannot be any wider physically than a 35mm sensor. If anything a 1:1 sensor would give you maximum flexibility to crop the image as required, no more rotating the camera 90 degrees to take portraits...

          A rectangular sensor will affect the mechanics of the TTL mirror so a 16:9 sensor might be able to let you reduce the external height of the camera body.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: You forgot one important(sic) catagory

            @Toltec & LDS

            What are you two up to? Coming here with facts...

          2. jeffdyer

            Re: You forgot one important(sic) catagory

            The exciting developments in photography are already mirrorless......

            1. quxinot Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: You forgot one important(sic) catagory

              >The exciting developments in photography are already mirrorless......

              Anyone else read this as 'pornography'?

              Just me then. It does bring up interesting questions of which aspect ratio is best, but you'd think it'd depend on the content.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          " take note DSLR manufacturers 35mm is out of date."

          As long as lenses project circular images, going too far from square images just waste a lot of the image circle. You may use anamorphic lenses, but they have some disadvantage as well, especially for a SLR.

          Nor for stills panoramic formats are always good, it may be very difficult to frame in a good way many subjects. There's a reason many depicts are the format they are.

        3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: You forgot one important(sic) catagory

          And how do proper portraits look in widescreen eh?

          The Human face is far more suited to a 4:3 (or similar) aspect ratio.

          Displays are widescreen bevause of Hollywood. The world at large is not 16:9. Things have height as well as width.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: You forgot one important(sic) catagory

            The Human face is far more suited to a 4:3 (or similar) aspect ratio.

            Been thinking about this as I'm watching a lot of older shows with a friend (stuff like Hogan's Heroes, Mash, U.N.C.L.E to name a small few). 4:3 works well where you're more inclined to be up close on a person's face. Mash and HH took place largely indoors in confined spaces, so there really was no use for widescreen formats. Even a lot of UNCLE and other shows (Mission Impossible (the real one not the cruisewreck) and probably even Space99 (yet to start so not sure) were based on small areas (like a small room) where there was bugger all point in going to widescreen.

            A person's focus is something like 3degrees off centre. With a widescreen, especially when one character is focused, you get a lot of "wasted" space for most people (course, people who let their eyes wander are looking at the background in more depth). I think for much stuff 4:3 is ideal, while 16:9 can show off a nice panorama.

            That said, when I had it I loved my 16:9 tablet, mainly for the ability to use it in portrait mode and read.

        4. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: You forgot one important(sic) catagory

          Re: @AC - "The aspect ratio is perfect for 35mm/DSLR pictures. Not everything is in HD Widescreen you know."

          Actually, the perfect aspect ratio for camera's is 1:1 ie. square, because it is easier to produce high-quality circular optics and lenses than any other format. So to arrive at all other aspect ratios, the issue is how much of the image you are prepared to discard...

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: You forgot one important(sic) catagory

            >Actually, the perfect aspect ratio for camera's is 1:1 ie. square,

            The sensor on the Lumix LX range of cameras lets you choose between 4:3 and 3:2 (also 16:9 and 1:1 but seldom used cos they throw away more pixels than they add) because there are different rectangles that can fit in a circle. The lens is the expensive bit, so might as well put in a sensor that uses it.

            The idea of DSLRs going 16:9 only has to be the daftest comment of the week.

      2. Mage Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: As for the Amazon Kindle

        Which Kindle?

        1) The real eInk ones killing off all competition for people that want to read books.

        2) The "fake kindle" Fire tablet, not a kindle at all, but a crippled Android LCD tablet with a Kindle reader app. Overpriced and locked into Amazon store, compared to generic Android. Yes, an Apple iPad is better than the Fire.

        No way can an eInk Kindle and ANY tablet, Apple or other be compared. They have totally different applications.

        Though it's true that people reading eBooks:

        1) Phones

        2) Tablets

        3) Dedicated eInk readers

        4) Laptops.

        But it's to do with cost (a decent eInk Reader is only good for text and costs x2 to x5 a Tablet), flexibility and the fact everyone has a phone, and handier in bus etc.

        Not many people except those that read a lot AND have seen modern eInk are going to spend the extra on an eInk reader (the lovely waterproof Kobo Aura HD H2O is x4 price of cheapest eInk Kindle) after a phone and tablet.

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      "Why does every product manager, marketroid and sales person think their product sales are crowing exponentially? They're not."

      Apparently getting your brain surgically removed is a requirement before you're allowed to make ANY financial predictions. My pet peeve is the utterly retarded thing Kicktraq does (for those who might not know, it's a companion-site for tracking progress of Kickstarter campaigns, since KS doesn't provide a user-visible funding graph): their only "prediction" is a simple line passing through zero and the latest data-point, which is utterly meaningless considering most KS campaigns follow a characteristic curve of steep rise at the start, flat plateau in the middle, another steep rise in the last 48 hours - the slope of NONE of those being anywhere close to the actual final slope. Sure, it eventually converges on the actual result, but only when the campaign actually ends, showing meaninglessly hyper-inflated predictions all the way up to that point (also failing to account to the final surge). No number coming out of KT has ever had any prediction power, yet for some reason the bloke in charge is convinced everything is just perfect as is, instead of trying to fit early data to a known curve shape to see if it might actually predict anything. Idiots, the lot of them...

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Why does every product manager, marketroid and sales person think..

      that their premium product will maintain market dominance, it won't. History tells us that high-end products set expectations by showing what is possible. However, if there is a real market the 'discounters' will spot an opportunity and get in, creating 'good enough' products to satisfy demand and create funds to iteratively improve and so sell enhanced replacement products.

      The question is therefore, is this really a "clearance sale" or the first signs of Apple cannibalising it's own base.

  5. AMBxx Silver badge
    Windows

    Chrome in US

    I thought the only reason Chromebooks were successful in the US was the way that Google have gamed the system providing IT to schools.

    Elsewhere, they just don't exist (to my knowledge).

    Apple have just run out of ideas. They dominate 2 markets, but small player elsewhere. In 10 years they'll be an interesting comparison to Microsofts drop since 2000ish.

    1. ridley

      Re: Chrome in US

      They saw a market and decided to fill it.

      Now the infrastructure they provide to schools is free (and is superb for Schools BTW) so why they are doing it is open to debate esp as any attempt to exploit the students data (which they explicitly state that they do not) would ruin their education market PDQ.

      The reason I think they are doing it? To get students used to something other than MS and to hope that they continue to use it after leaving education, bit like banks used to give students great deals on accounts on the assumption that they would be with the for life. Oh and the other reason? To annoy the hell out of MS.

      (Written on an HP Chromebook. I love them as they are so much faster than a MS Windows based equivalent. Of course you cannot run some software but it all depends on what you want the laptop for)

    2. DougMac

      Re: Chrome in US

      No, Chromebooks are popular in the Education market because they are cheap, disposable terminals into Google Docs (and to a lesser extent the spreadsheet and presentation modules), and using them as a "computer" is never done.

      You could replace 'chromebook' with anything that could get a web interface to Google Docs and the schools would be happy. Replace Google Docs with anything collaborative text editing and they'd be good, but nobody else has a realistic replacement. Maybe if Apple actually made firm their iCloud collaborative editing years ago instead of offering some different weak beta only to be ripped out and replaced every few years..

      Unlike in the far past (ie. when I was in school), "educational software" aka games that teach something are long gone and not used hardly at all in any curriculum for my kids. That seemed to be the main reason for the large banks of Apple II's in schools in the past, plus teaching programming and hardware hacking, etc of years past don't seem to exist. I remember having classes on basic programming on Commodore and Apple II's in school, and interfaced hardware to science experiments, but my kids have none of those options. (One went to summer school to have a class on 'Sketch' but that is about the only offering).

      My kids use the iPads in school mostly as a treat for downtime for the teacher. All the promised educational full-on multi-media immersive textbooks never materialized. Nor are there any good educational apps that augment what the teachers are looking for. There are plenty of web apps that do that job so much better. Which of course usually means flash..

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Chrome in US

        "You could replace 'chromebook' with anything that could get a web interface to Google Docs and the schools would be happy."

        And competitive in price.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Chrome in US

        > cheap, disposable terminals into Google Docs

        And nothing wrong with that. If you want a web-based office suite, Google Docs is *so* much better than Office365 (for example: in a text document you can insert an inline drawing which is editable in-place). And Google Drive works way better than One Drive.

        Of course, you don't own the in-browser code, and Google could radically change it at the drop of a hat; but since they now have *paying* customers for it, I'd hope they'd think twice before doing anything too stupid.

    3. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

      Re: Chrome in US

      Chromebooks aren't exactly popular in the US. They're basically just the cheap junk laptops that schools let the kiddies use. They have no traction, the second the schools can find something cheaper, they're gone.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Chrome in US

        It's not just the cost of the Chromebook hardware, it is the low cost of supporting them that is attractive. Shit, I know friends and family I would like to have use a Chromebook, so I don't have to support them.

    4. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Chrome in US

      "They dominate 2 markets, but small player elsewhere."

      They take almost all profits in the phone market, almost all profits in the tablet market, over half the profits in the personal computer market, and almost all profits in the smart watch market.

      I wonder what percentage of the portable music player market they hold - if that market still exists :-(

  6. Dave 126 Silver badge

    The iPad Pro was always waiting for software to make it work to its potential. Thing is, Apple have to actually make and ship it before 3rd party devs will create software. I don't know what the current state of play is on that front, or how much digital artists have integrated iPad Pros into their workflow. (Even if people have bought them, I wouldn't expect to see too many on public transport, seeing as they are expensive items aimed at studio use).

    There has always been a niche of users who might pay a lot for an iPad Pro type of device, as the likes of Wacom and Modbook have shown.

    Personally, an iPad Mini-sized device with flawless stylus support would suit me nicely (I don't actually use any Apple kit, but them I don't use Android for anything creative, either) for playing with concepts on the hoof... Something a bit like Microsoft's canned Courier concept device.

    1. OffBeatMammal

      totally agree... I used an iPad Mini4 and love it both as an eReader and for note taking, but having to use the on screen keyboard is limiting and sadly because it's not a "Pro" their Pencil won't work with it, and while there are a bunch of third party active bluetooth stylii available a lot of apps like OneNote don't provide support for them (I know OneNote supports "Pencil by 53" but that's like using a crayon!)

  7. Toc-H-Lamp

    IPad Pro owner

    And very disappointed. I bought it for the size of screen (reading music on smaller screens is a real eye strain) but must admit I expected the OS to be more than the My First Computer crud that is IOS10. Zero access to the file system means each app has to have it's own copy of a file. So, I struggle to get a PDF onto the damn thing, then I have to import it into the sheet music app. That's the same file, now in two different apps. Updating/version control, forget it. If I use email and want to send a bunch of files (say, PDFs to the rest of the band) I have to send a separate email for each file. I can attach as many pictures as I like, but if it's not a picture I have to "Export" each one from the PDF app, and it creates a new mail each time.

    iOS, should be spelt POS.

    1. tentimes

      Re: IPad Pro owner

      Try dropbox

  8. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    IT Angle

    I've said it before...

    ... and I'll say it again.

    You can't do real work on a tablet.

    1. Emmeran

      Re: I've said it before...

      I do all my best work on a tablet, I prefer a Black-n-Red but always seem to end up with a yellow legal tablet.

    2. Doc Ock

      Re: I've said it before...

      You can't do CAD on a laptop, only a workstation will do. Horses for courses.

      1. War President

        Re: I've said it before...

        "You can't do CAD on a laptop, only a workstation will do. Horses for courses."

        What? Of course you can. I've done it, and to do "real work." You may not enjoy it, but you can do it. If you're doing 3D, it may be much more of a challenge, but you can certainly spec out a 15"-17" laptop today with 32GB RAM. I would suggest at least adding a USB trackball for input, very few laptops have decent trackpads and IBM's Trackpoint have all but disappeared (is Lenovo still pushing out laptops with the nubbin?) which was only marginally better than a trackpad anyway.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: I've said it before...

          I've helped bring products to market by using solid modelling CAD on a laptop, and that was a few years back (there are phones with as much RAM now!). Yeah, I was designing a kitchen device, and not a power station or battleship, but hey. I haven't yet seen a brilliant CAD interface for tablets, but I have no reason to believe it can't be done.

          Anyway, I can imagine lots of real work being done on a tablet, from site surveying (Leica Instruments make equipment that interfaces with iDevices) to audio mixing.

          I really thought this 'real work' gripe has been put to bed some time ago.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: I've said it before...

            I really thought this 'real work' gripe has been put to bed some time ago.
            Have an upvote...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I've said it before...

          "You can't do CAD on a laptop, only a workstation will do. Horses for courses."

          What? Of course you can. I've done it, and to do "real work." You may not

          -------

          You can cut the lawn with a pair of scissors but it doesn't make it practical to do it, use the right tool for the job. I wouldn't want to design an A380 on a laptop.

          1. 100113.1537

            Re: I've said it before...

            My laptop IS my workstation!

            With a docking station, two big screens, external mouse and keyboard. And when I need to go on the road, I just pick it up. Saves all that cloud bullshit.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I've said it before...

              Re: I've said it before...

              My laptop IS my workstation!

              With a docking station, two big screens,

              -----------

              It's not really a laptop anymore is it with two external screens ? You are now using it as a workstation.

            2. dajames Silver badge

              Re: I've said it before...

              My laptop IS my workstation!

              With a docking station...

              When it's docked it's no longer a laptop for the purposes of determining what can usefully be done on a laptop.

        3. LDS Silver badge

          Re: I've said it before...

          There are some workstation-class laptops, i.e. the Dell Precision line. Sometimes they are more self-propelled and not a truly thin, light laptop - but they pack what is needed for demanding applications.

    3. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: I've said it before...

      Yep. I have a Surface Pro. Works great as a tablet for games, browsing and the odd email. As soon as I need to do any real work, the keyboard is unfolded.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: I've said it before...

        Eventually, Apple will be forced to copy the Surface Pro, and release a model running macOS and its applications. It's just because pride and prejudice they didn't yet.

      2. WylieCoyoteUK

        Re: I've said it before...

        Bluetooth tablet keyboards do exist.

        1. Dave 15

          Re: I've said it before...

          Yes but then you have two things to cart around and extra batteries etc etc etc. They are typically not much use unless they have a mount to hold the screen. The psion series 5 managed to have a keyboard, a mount, a screen all in one nice neat package that balanced well and worked a treat. It strikes me as totally unbelievable we are still not capable of inventing the wheel a second time.

          Seems to be very common in computing and most other fields, ever more concentration on bigger numbers and forgetting basic utility. Like having an electric motor driven emergency brake in my car... what egit thought of that and why? More weight and when the electrics in my car fail it is totally and utterly useless... can't take the brake off if I have stupidly put it on when I parked before the battery went flat, can't put it on when the engine has failed rendering the over servo helped footbrake practically useless.

          Nope, give me a series 5, then if you can make it a colour screen as well I would be ecstatic.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: I've said it before...

            >My definition of a real work device vs a toy is "can you write software for this device from this device" if the answer is no, then it's a toy. iPads, by that definition, are toys.

            That's a stupid definition. You can't make a shovel with another shovel, that doesn't make it a toy.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I've said it before...

              >My definition of a real work device vs a toy is "can you write software for this device from this device"

              Hmm... the assumption that tablets are only for computing is rather misplaced. You can log data, write papers, do research, access VLE on an iPad. Teaching computing is a couple of hours a week if your kids are very lucky and likely to take place in a 'traditional computer suite' - it's also likely to consist largely of scripting languages and web based development which is entirely possible from an iPad.

              My kids have learnt loads from a Raspberry Pi, hack python, html & JS - develop Minecraft mods and much else (they're still at primary) but the idea that they could ever build up the skills they have at school in a class of 30 in an hour a week, with teachers who have their work cut out to get the same 30 literate and numerate, is a middle-class fantasy or marketeers wet dream.

              .....and for younger kids Swift Playgrounds on iPad is the best software in its class period.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: I've said it before...

              "You can't make a shovel with another shovel"

              Not on its own but you can use it to shovel coke onto the forge.

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: I've said it before...

                Not on its own but you can use it to shovel coke onto the forge.
                You can also shovel coke with a rolled up banknote :-)

          2. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: I've said it before...

            When I first used CAD it was still on the mainframe, so the machine I sat at was just X-windowing in. The CAD came down to the desktop, and now there are some serious moves to make it cloud-based. Why? A couple of reasons, one being that a simulation or render can be done more quickly by just renting more computing resources, and two, large projects usually involve lots of engineers so it reduces bottlenecks if your colleagues can see your changes in real-time. In fact, grown up CAD software has been for a long time very good at managing documents, references, changes etc.

            With that bring true, the most the actual laptop or desktop you use can bring to the party is good ergonomics - i.e a good screen, mouse, keyboard or other HID.

            So this idea of a 'workstation'... that's largely a hangover from when CAD software wasn't as stable as it is today, so the CAD vendor would list specific hardware combinations as being 'Certified Workstations'... it just made support and troubleshooting much easier. After that, there is ECC RAM, which is useful if an error in your simulation might result in a real bridge fall on someone's head. And of course the whole 'professional' graphics cards (FirePro instead of Radeon, Quadro instead of GeForce etc) which for many years often only differed from their consumer equivalents by having more suitable drivers and a 4X higher price.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've said it before...

      Define real work.

      I found laptops pretty shit for digging out coal. And desktops are utterly useless welding oil rigs underwater.

      1. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

        Re: I've said it before...

        My definition of a real work device vs a toy is "can you write software for this device from this device" if the answer is no, then it's a toy. iPads, by that definition, are toys.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I've said it before...

          My definition of a real work device vs a toy is "can you write software for this device from this device" if the answer is no, then it's a toy. iPads, by that definition, are toys.

          ---------

          You don't know yer born lad, try hex coding old school.

          I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day hex coding, and pay Bill Gates for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah."

          But you try and tell the young people today that... and they won't believe yer.

    5. kmac499

      Re: I've said it before...

      Quite right unles you have a decent keyboard.

      How aboiut this for an idea; Take a Nintendo Switch flip the controllers so the buttons are on the back of the device and install some kind of GKOS chording keyboard..

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: I've said it before...

        Take a Nintendo Switch...

        Funny enough, I had a similar idea when I was reading the article, except I was thinking of something a bit older (MicroWriter, ca. 1980). Figured it'd be best used in a two-handed configuration so you can grip the device while looking at the screen. Is eye tracking good enough that you could use it for moving a cursor or tabbing?

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: I've said it before...

          (too late to edit my last post above, so ...)

          Come to think of it, chord typing could be pretty comfortable using touch sensors rather than buttons and 2-handed operation instead of one hand. Use your four fingers in the rear for ASDF + G on one side, and thumb up/down on the front to select a different row, or move to top left/top right for numbers/punctuation. Use pressure-sensitivity rather than taps to "squeeze out" the chorded key. Same thing for H + JKL; on the other hand, and two thumb squeezes together for space. It might take a little bit of getting used to for someone used to touch typing (since thumb is moved instead of fingers going up/down (in/out, relative to the edge of the screen), but it might be sufficiently similar to be able to transfer your muscle memory over.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've said it before...

      >You can't do real work on a tablet.

      Have you tried reading The Reg on a laptop while taking a dump, balancing a laptop on closed knees doesn't help things pass. A tablet is much better in those situations.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I've said it before...

        "Have you tried reading The Reg on a laptop while taking a dump, balancing a laptop on closed knees doesn't help things pass. A tablet is much better in those situations."

        And worth a guinea a box.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: I've said it before...

          Have you tried reading The Reg on a laptop while taking a dump,
          No, nor have I tried wiping my arse with a laptop. Isn't that what newspapers are for?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The tablet market will not go way, a touch screen slate is damn handy. Apple made the slate work after others repeated attempts failed to get out a mass market slate and now the market is saturated so prices have to be cut and spec increased to gain sales. PC's and LED TV's once cost the earth to buy, my first PC (an 8086) cost £1138 with printer nearly 30 years ago.

  10. Mage Silver badge
    Flame

    Even Amazon Fire is overpriced.

    The Fire is a crippled Android tablet. It sells because of Amazon home page adverts.

    I got a perfectly good Android tablet on Amazon (with SD card slot) for £50. Cheaply added 32G SD card and a £8 USB keyboard (better action and instant use on Tablet wake).

    The Apple tablet is a locked eco-system (need iTunes to transfer) and twice the price of "good enough" tablets.

    Fire sale icon.

    * * *

    There was a silly article on a UK paper website this morning about Apple being "for everyone" and "egalitarian" and now they are going "Champagne" with next iPhone. This is nonsense as the whole point of Apple has been premium pricing and people showing off that they can afford it. It's the only reason why they sold as many "Apple Watch" as they have, though that has fallen off a cliff? Is it 50% down?

    Shops that used to have a whole counter for Apple now have one niche spot or none at all. Instead they have Samsung, Lenovo and even Huiwei.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Even Amazon Fire is overpriced.

      'There was a silly article on a UK paper website this morning'

      To be fair it was in the Guardian, the alternate reality they inhabit, everyone has an iPhone.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Even Amazon Fire is overpriced.

        "'There was a silly article on a UK paper website this morning'

        To be fair it was in the Guardian"

        I'm glad you told us. A silly article in a UK paper isn't very specific.

  11. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Apple and Edumacation?

    Seriously? Apple has left the educational channel... years ago... As someone who supports Apple in Education, I can say their efforts are completely misdirected. The last roll out of portables should be evidence of this. Why would you kill the MacAir 11"? It's a great form factor for students, I just can't for the life of me figure out why apple would kill it off??

  12. tentimes

    Phones are now big enough

    I stopped using my fondleslab when I started buying larger phones. I can now do what I need on my phone.

    Meanwhile, my iPad 2 is a stuttering mess with the OS updates and is totally useless anyway. That put me off fondleslabs for good.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Phones are now big enough

      At least you got some updates. How many tablets get more than one or at most two.

      Not saying even remotely that Apple is great but at least you do get updates with them which can be more than said for many Android based tablets.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Phones are now big enough

        In this scenario, I'd rather have security fixes only and stay on an older version of the OS. My ipad 4 suffers from all sorts of slowdowns and is quite annoying to use these days.

        1. 100113.1537

          Re: Phones are now big enough

          This is a good point. Our iPad2 used to be communications as well as entertainment (for when you don't want to fire up the PC to check email), but now the phone does that and even the quick browsing (IMDB to settle the arguments about who that actor is and what did he play in before....).

          Still good to watch Netflix in bed though as the screen is good - even if the upgrades are getting a bit tedious and clogging up the storage. Seen no reason to upgrade so just hoping we don't drop it it (like we did to our original iPad) as that is the only reason to get a new one.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Phones are now big enough

            Phones Vs tablets...

            It depends on if you want to chop up enough cocaine for just yourself, or for the whole party. It should go without saying that the pricier devices with glass screens are more suitable for this.

    2. Jon B

      Re: Phones are now big enough

      Basic things like displaying the on screen keyboard having a five second lag, and safari being a crashing mess too. iPad2 still good for casual gaming, that's about it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What will be the market maintenance level when iPad batteries reach end of life? IIRC once the battery is dead you effectively have a doorstop?

    1. War President

      "What will be the market maintenance level when iPad batteries reach end of life? IIRC once the battery is dead you effectively have a doorstop?"

      I've got an iPad Pro, but my original iPad 1 with iOS 5.0.1 is plugged in permanently. It is absolutely useless except for cross-your-fingers website browsing and a few productivity tools that I use it for. Some of those apps have been updated to run on the Pro, but some are abandoned and pre-iOS 7. Fortunately, the apps have both Dropbox compatibility and filesharing via an http server. Oh, and the Netflix and Pandora apps still work, too. That is, until anyone changes their API, then it becomes less useful. Still, waste not, want not.

  14. Syntax Error

    Tablets

    I always though tablets were crap.

    1. Your alien overlord - fear me

      Re: Tablets

      When you're sick they ease the pain and can be a life saver.

      I could say an Apple a day keeps the doctor at bay but that might be construed that iPads can last a whole day :-)

      1. Fink-Nottle

        Re: Tablets

        Kids today ... huh.

        I remember the frustration of owning an HP iPAQ hx4700. In those days I dreamed of a touchscreen device the size of a DVD case.

    2. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

      Re: Tablets

      Before the iPad, tablets were crap. After the iPad, they became a very useful device as can be seen by the number of people using them as well as iPhones.

      Alan Kay's original 1970s idea of the Dynabook was not sufficiently implemented until the iPad.

  15. Fihart

    Still too dear.

    I confess that when the iPad appeared my reaction was WTF would I want with a device without a keyboard ?

    A decade later I'm instead asking why anyone would still pay £300 for one when a decent brand like Lenovo offers a pocketable 7 inch pad for around £60 ?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Still too dear.

      > I confess that when the iPad appeared my reaction was WTF would I want with a device without a keyboard ?

      A lot of the Reg readership thought that. I guess they were trying to imagine a single 'killer app', rather than lots of quite handy uses. At the time of the iPad's release, I was confident that 'lots of quite handy uses' would win the day - even though my only tablet ( a Samsung Tab 10.1) is gathering dust somewhere. A have a diverse range of friends in different fields, and I've seen iPads used for all sorts of things. But heck, I even know someone who used XP Tablet Edition ( on a touchscreen laptop for car engine diagnostic software).

      If only there was a Reg avatar system that reflected the accuracy of the commenter's predictions over the years! :)

  16. Chz

    Mid-range market for tablets is depressing

    The Asus linked to seems not such a bad deal, until you realise it has:

    - a slower processor

    - a lower resolution screen

    - a higher price

    than Tesco's own Hudl 2 had over 2 years ago.

    The truly sad thing is that there aren't really any better deals. You've got your premium units over £250 and the sub-£80 units (with all the trade-offs you'd expect), but there's nothing in the £100-200 range that's actually worth the price.

    Personally, I snapped up a second Hudl when Tesco found a box of them at the back of a warehouse late last year and flogged them for £69. Since the first one was exclusively for the six year-old's use, I'd forgotten what a stunning screen it has next to the Amazon line-up.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...

    When are iphone prices going to drop to something more realistic? I mean, I've got a cheapo ZTE A110, which won't win any awards, but it cost me £30 on PAYG and has better wifi reception than my wife's iphone 5. Ultimately, the iphone has generally better components, but I simply don't believe it costs more than 10 times as much to manufacture.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: So...

      > I simply don't believe it costs more than 10 times as much to manufacture.

      It didn't. But cost of manufacture is not how you set a price for your products.

  18. 0laf Silver badge

    Bloody educationalists

    Teachers love iPads, but education managers who don't teach love them even more. At one point in the recent past it appeared that a KPI for education was the ratio of iPads to pupils. It didn't matter if they sat in cupboards flat or that they were nicked. They just had to show they'd spent a lot of money on Apple kit and all was good.

    iPad = educashun = digital

    Shiny and political buzzword compliant.

    They never had any idea what to do with the fucking things and still don't.

    I accept fully that there are circumstances where a tactile display are very useful and that there apps on the Apple store which are genuinely wonderful for kids with special needs.

    But the rest? Shiny shite.

    And they're a bastard to set up in a multiuser environment where the users are fundamentally evil.

  19. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Perhaps, one day, we can get a reasonably priced laptop with a screen of the iPad quality..

    I'm using an Air 1 as a secondary screen with my cheapo tricked out Acer laptop. The iPad screen is far, far superior. I'm sure they would sell like hotcakes at (much) less than half the price of Macbooks.

  20. PonsonbyDeVille

    I have an iPad Pro 12.9 and it has worked out as a great productivity tool......ish.

    Interested in the poster who saw someone using one of these on the train...aside from the worries about breaking an expensive piece of kit, I'm surprised they bothered...the battery on mine discharges so quickly with the keyboard attached and a couple of apps running that its hardly worthwhile taking it out of its case.

    Apple are so cheapskate that the charger supplied cannot even keep up with the power being drawn from the unit when under charge but with a keyboard attached.

    You can of course invest in an additional 29W power supply and USB-C charging cable for another £80.

    Style over substance. Wont be investing in another, it's Surface Pro for me next time around.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      "it's Surface Pro for me next time around."

      Doesn't that have a fan that will suck in dust, and a couple of years down the line it will crash constantly, or desolder it's own components if you are unlucky? Not to mention the effing noise.

      1. Dave 15

        I often wonder

        My laptop sucks air from underneath and pumps it out the side... so also sucks in dust, gets blocked if you put it on a sofa/jeans whatever... stupid. Why do laptops continue that basic design mistake rather than taking air from above the keyboard with a filter you can easily remove and clean?

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: I often wonder

          > Why do laptops continue that basic design mistake rather than taking air from above the keyboard with a filter you can easily remove and clean?

          Convection.

    2. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

      >>Style over substance. Wont be investing in another, it's Surface Pro for me next time around.<<

      Surface Pro? You must be kidding. Who would want the nightmare of running Windows on a tablet. Surface really is an unintegrated device just cobbled together to grab some market. They come with a trackpad which means MS has not integrated touch screen sufficiently. It has also not encouraged/forced developers to embrace the form factor - just run same old tired crummy Windows apps.

      I don't know what apps you are running to draw down the iPad's power. Have you tried terminating some apps?

      >>aside from the worries about breaking an expensive piece of kit<<

      I just used my iPad Pro 12.9 on a 5 week trip through Africa - came back without a scratch, very useful.

      >>Style over substance<<

      That is the old lazy argument against Apple - it is completely wrong. Apple have adopted the form factor and made it work. Made touch screen work so you don't need a track pad for anything. But you can't get away without a trackpad on Surface.

      The inclusion of a trackpad shows that Microsoft really don't understand touchscreen. With touchscreen a trackpad should be obsolescent. I pointed that out to someone with a touchscreen computer that included a trackpad the other day. His response was that all he can do with touchscreen is scroll up and down, otherwise it is useless without the trackpad.

      That indicates that Microsoft has not thought it through and has not required application developers to also rethink their applications for the smaller form factor with touchscreen.

      Apple - on the other hand - took significant trouble to completely rethink the user experience, design their software around it and encourage application developers to do likewise.

      Had Apple done the same as MS, touchscreen would just be a curious fad, instead of the very useful input mechanism it has become. So your "style over substance" comment is quite wrong.

      1. dajames Silver badge

        With touchscreen a trackpad should be obsolescent.

        Not at all. When using the device as a tablet the touch screen is essential, but when using it in "laptop mode" and typing on the keyboard it feels more natural to use the trackpad ... and avoids tilting the whole contraption over backwards.

        Having both input mechanisms available means that each user can use the device in their own preferred way.

  21. Packet

    I don't get it - it's just a refresh to the older non-Pro line of iPads

    I do not get the doomsday preachings - this is just an upgrade (and replacement) of the older iPad Air 2.

    They replaced their older model as they do every couple of years.

    Only difference this time, rather than introduce a new model and push the previous one, they upgraded the processor (the A9)

    The iPads seem to have a support lifecycle of 5+ years (based on personal experience/observation)

    I imagine there will be a newer iPad Pro series release this year.

    The iPad is still the best technology device I've seen, period - even better than the iPhone (which itself, is a bloody marvel).

    I haven't seen a better tablet that does everything as seamlessly or as well.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it - it's just a refresh to the older non-Pro line of iPads

      > I do not get the doomsday preachings

      Do bear in mind that when the original iPad was first announced, a lot of the Reg readership thought it would flop. I base my assertion from the 300 comments (and attached votes) from the first related Reg article following the announcement of the iPad.

      https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2010/01/27/ipad/

      There's probably some documented psychological phenomena that explains why people forget their past errors of judgement.

      1. Packet

        Well said.

        It seems detractors tend to forget we live in an imperfect world.

        It's all about comparison.

        When the iPad first came out, Windows 8 was the newest offering out of Microsoft.

        They still haven't come out with a Windows version that is more appealing.

        The surface series of Microsoft hardware is nice, however, it's the software that's the problem.

        At the same time, Apple themselves have only released super expensive laptops.

        Android has either been a security nightmare or suffered from a lack of ongoing support for many tablet product lines.

        That pretty much leaves the iPad as an ongoing viable option - why is this so difficult to accept?

        Sure, at some point in time, there will be a better product by someone - but until that time, why deride what works rather well?

        (Typing this on an iPad for the additional bewilderment - as the hardware and software work really well...)

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          When the iPad first came out, Windows 8 was the newest offering out of Microsoft.

          Windows 7 - released in July 2009

          iPad was launched in April 2010

          Windows 8 was released in October 2012

          ...

          1. Packet

            You're correct - I had my timelines messed up.

            I'm going to try and explain my viewpoint - under broader terms.

            Windows 7, nowadays is regarded as rather welcome compared to the inquisitions of Windows 8 & 10 - however, back then in 2010, it was still windows with the issues inherent of it.

            So the iPad upon release still offered something different and better.

            Seems to be the case today too.

  22. OffBeatMammal

    so new processors, more memory and price reductions are not a good thing these days?

    pundits calling the iPad "done" should perhaps compare how well they're selling vs an even faster declining PC market.

    for sure, there are areas where the iPad could do with improvement, and certainly areas where iOS could become less crappy but unlike so many of the Android tablets Apple continue to create a product that actually meets the needs of it's users and while we nerds may get pissy about incremental improvement sometimes slow and steady is a good strategy.

    while Apple have lost the plot at the moment with their Pro laptops I think the reaction has been strong enough that they'll get their head back in the game and we'll see things continue to innovate, but there's no point adding features if they just add cost and not benefit

  23. William K Kelley

    In certain niches, they're still revolutionary

    For pilots, tablets -- and in particular iPads -- have been nothing less than revolutionary. Airline pilots have been able to dispense with tens of pounds of charts and manuals that they used have to carry with them, and private pilots (at least in the US) now have situational awareness that they couldn't have dreamed of (or afforded) ten years ago. For less than a thousand dollars, I can fasten an iPad mini to the yoke of the Cessna I fly, wi-fi attach it to a Stratus GPS and ADS-B in source, and running the Foreflight app have a moving map display of my position, with near real-time weather, and other nearby traffic. The combination really puts to shame the Cessna's built-in Garmin GPS (yes, I know the Garmin is TSO'd and the Stratus/iPad isn't). Rather than focus on what tablets don't do as well as laptops or workstations, maybe the point is that there are things they are capable of doing where laptops and others need not apply.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: In certain niches, they're still revolutionary

      Management types (and governpukes too) look for the Golden Nail to do all things in one app/device/format. When I want to edit photos I don't grab for a tablet, I power up the desktop. When I want to remote control the camera I use the tablet. When I need to write a report, I don't pull out the tablet, I use the desktop. If I need to edit the report while traveling, I use the laptop. The cell phone gets used to talk to people. I had the text function blocked and use email instead (better message error handling and better records).

      Read Michael Crichton's "Airplane" for a great prediction of where tablets (and this was long before tablets) could shine.

  24. rh587 Silver badge

    If Apple wants to revive the tablet division, it could start taking those upscale creative types seriously: rethink the user interface, taking it beyond the simplistic design it's always had, and improve the wretched Apple keyboard.

    Nevermind User Interface, a proper productivity machine needs a proper OS - macOS.

    i5 with a full fat OS (with proper access to file system, etc), in a tablet-laptop package (or as Microsoft call it, the Surface Pro 4).

    If Apple ripped off the Surface Pro 4 and made macOS work on it, there's a reasonable chance it would be my next laptop. Unfortunately that seems unlikely (they went with the two-OS strategy, so touch support in macOS is non-existent, as compared with MS who converged their mobile and desktop environments), and the new Macbook "Pros" have no wired I/O, which leaves one in a quandry... :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > they went with the two-OS strategy

      No, they didn't. iOS and macOS are the same under the hood, the UI that you see and interact with is however different and quite suited to the task they are designed for.

      > so touch support in macOS is non-existent

      macOS has awesome touch support, just not in the way you think. It's not direct on screen touch manipulation of the interface, it's an indirect interaction via the track pad. So, you get to to all the gesture stuff with your fingers, but without getting your fat fingers in the way of the content you are trying to manipulate. Not to mention the finger prints that get all over the screen.

      > no wired IO

      Now you are just kidding right? They have four of the most versatile and standards based interfaces that you can get!

  25. Dave 15

    ipad/whatever copy

    I have one (a cheap tesco android based tablet thingy), it is very useful for keeping the kid happy on flights (at the moment before some person blocks me from saving any of the 'free' films on youtube with some poxy drm) However with no keyboard it is pretty useless for surfing, searching, emailing etc. and with limited power and zero keyboard no use at all for anything further. The fact it is a cheap tesco pad not an ipad is not the issue, it is the keyboard and performance.

    Now, if someone could do something a bit like an oversize psion series 5 where I can use a touch screen and then a keyboard for those email messages and put it on a desk, and ... you get the picture.

    1. Steve Gill

      Re: ipad/whatever copy

      "Now, if someone could do something a bit like an oversize psion series 5 where I can use a touch screen and then a keyboard for those email messages and put it on a desk, and ... you get the picture."

      You mean like coughing up a tenner for a Bluetooth keyboard, maybe a touch more if you want a stand built in?

  26. Dave 15

    Its ok because the UK government is going to start banning them...

    Well at least on 'direct flights' from some middle east countries (similar to a US imposed ban it has to be admitted).

    They clearly don't think any terrorist happy to blow up a flight into Heathrow is able to book two tickets... one from Turkey to Germany and one from Germany to UK, or, heaven forbid driving to Germany first. Heaven help us when our security people are so stupid.

    Add this to the fact that Stansted features as a stunning terrorist target given their inability to staff more than 40% of their security belts leads to several thousand men, women and children in an enclosed space with metal barriers, suitcases and rucksacks... God the world has gone potty

  27. DougS Silver badge

    They are changing their idea of what a tablet is

    The iPad Pro is their target demo now. The trend for larger phones has greatly reduced the potential market for tablets, but they need to keep a cheaper option around for the education market. They can use last year's SoC and limit other premium features to the Pro line, and the non-Pro line becomes the entry level (the equivalent of the iPhone SE for tablets) to capture more "price conscious" (in quotes because Android tablets are still far cheaper) Apple customers like education and those from less affluent countries.

  28. Michael Sanders

    Hey. It's the 90's.

    This is the CEO John Sculley/Guy Kawasaki years folks. Don't you understand that? They are just cranking out product. You thought innovation was happening? That was the Mac circa 1985. Since then every market or device matures to that 1985 point then stops. Windows 3.11-Windows 7 all caught up. Then we had to wait for the phone/tablets to do it. Linux still hasn't made it yet. So Apple did that with Unix. Now that's all caught up with 1985. Thought we'd be doing it with watches too. But I suppose your TV needs it now. Or is it your refrigerator?

  29. Nezumi

    Margin is the issue here...

    Apple are addicted to profit margin.

    If they want to remain relevant in the mid to longer term, then that must change. They can still have a healthy margin and a reputation as a premium product, but putting out under-powered, overpriced crap so they can make 40%, damages the brand in the longer term.

    The writing is on the wall. It won't happen *anytime* soon, but it will happen.

    Apple, all this has happened before and all this will happen again. You didn't learn last time and I don't expect this time round to be any different.

    1. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

      Re: Margin is the issue here...

      >>Apple are addicted to profit margin.<<

      Where do you get that simplistic analysis from. It is wrong. Companies must make a profit to stay in business. Apple are addicted to that.

      Other companies try to compete with Apple by undercutting on price. That does not mean the make their devices for less - equivalent devices cost more or less the same.

      How do they do it? They cut the quality - drastically. They use free open source from Google and Android - software that has been developed freely by many open-source developers.

      Secondly, a large, diverse company like Samsung can subsidise their tablet/phone market from other sources. Once they succeed in putting Apple out of business (not that I'm saying they will), they put up the prices again.

  30. sitta_europea Bronze badge

    I bought the wife an iPad for Christmas 2014. It cost getting on for a grand.

    I'm a Chartered Engineer with a first class honours degree and she's a PhD physicist.

    We spent three days trying to do something useful with the iPad, nearly got a divorce, and then threw the fucking useless thing in the bin.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Tim99 Silver badge

      @sitta_europea

      I'm a Chartered Chemist, and started writing software in 1971. I now use an iPad more than a conventional computer.

      If you actually threw the iPad in the bin, I hope the satisfaction that you got was worth the money that you lost - You could have asked Apple for a refund, or sold it...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >Apple has regarded the education market as its backyard for over 30 years (because, "ease of use").

    Not in the UK - Apple Xemplar (Acorn as was) went from total dominance to nowhere fast - was a dreadful experience for Apple in part down to the DFE as was. They'll hit 750K deployed iPads in UK education this year, but it's the first success story for Apple.

    > But last year Chromebook sales claimed 51 per cent of the K-12 market – up from 1 per cent in 2013.

    Not here thankfully, though sadly my kids school went for Chromebooks instead of iPads as they couldn't raise sufficient agreement from parents (we have to rent them as the school has no money and low-end Chromebooks are much cheaper). The kids universally hate them - they're a hopeless idea on typical school network infrastructure - constant data loss, 5 minute logins, crappy hardware with easily a 20% failure rate, few decent applications, poor multimedia.

  32. Lotaresco

    Death of Apple Predicted, News at Eleven

    Again. It seems to come around as regular as clockwork that someone tells us that Apple is dead. And every time it sounds like another sour grapes story.

  33. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

    Register Bias

    Once again Register bias shows in an Apple story. Most of the article is just spin.

    For example 'Apple makes your device go slower with each iOS upgrade' as if this is a deliberate strategy by Apple to force and upgrade. Each OS upgrade provides new features, things like better graphics, etc. The trade off here is that new features use more processor. Apple optimize the hell out of anything they do due to their integrated hardware/software approach. Other manufacturers can't do that. A five-year-old device will naturally start to groan under the load.

    Apple has also upgraded the processor from A8 to A9. Imaging if Samsung did that - Register would be singing Samsung's praises.

    As many of us know - from other technology news sources - Samsung has had many woes in the last few months. Samsung's reputation has become severely tarnished. They rush things to market, and they have had dodgy dealings in South Korea.

    But stories about Samsung, Register lovingly calls it 'Sammy' and has been pretty silent on Samsung's woes.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Register Bias

      Most people would like the security fixes on their existing OS, instead of forced upgrade to newer more resource hungry OS. SO uses apple products, made conscious derision to be more at risk by not upgrading due to bad previous experience of once zippy device becoming too slow & useless to use effectively.

      1. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

        Re: Register Bias

        >>Most people would like the security fixes on their existing OS, instead of forced upgrade to newer more resource hungry OS. SO uses apple products, made conscious derision to be more at risk by not upgrading due to bad previous experience of once zippy device becoming too slow & useless to use effectively.<<

        This is difficult to answer - because your second sentence barely makes any sense.

        The first sentence uses emotive language like 'being forced'.

        Apple users don't feel forced to upgrade iOS - they gladly do it for the improvements made.

        Security fixes do come more frequently.

  34. Fenton

    Keypad and touch screen

    Why do you need both? You don't but if you are typing on a keyboard it is quicker using the trackpad that is only a thumb away than the screen.

  35. Rattus Rattus

    So...

    ...if iPads are getting progressively cheaper and improving hardware with each version, there's really only one question to ask: Can I install Android on it?

    In all seriousness, though, we really need tablets to become commodified just like PC hardware. Buy according to size, RAM, processing power, budget, etc, and pop whichever OS and software you like on there.

    1. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

      Re: So...

      >>Buy according to size, RAM, processing power, budget, etc, and pop whichever OS and software you like on there.<<

      No, you buy according to the usefulness it is and what you are using it for. About the only measurement there that applies is screen size. RAM, processing power, and OS are irrelevant. These measures are all relative and depend on the software being run. Some software runs poorly and hence makes fast processor irrelevant compared to software that runs efficiently.

      But really, it is still the user functionality that is important - not raw tech specs.

  36. dave 93
    WTF?

    If you wish hard enough - it might come true

    More Orlowski 'Apple is dead!' bollocks.

    Pull your head out of your backside and visit some actual schools and universities, then bask in the glow of illuminated Apple logos.

    Those who choose their own portable computing devices choose Apple, especially if Mum & Dad are paying!

    iPhone is still better than Android.

    iPads make other tablets look like a poor joke.

    Macbooks are a beacon of high-quality consistency in a world awash with crappy laptops. MS Surface is a pathetic attempt that doesn't even know what it is!

    Again I ask Andrew Orlowski directly (even though he never answers)...

    * What phone do you use?

    * What laptop do you use?

    * What type of computers sit on the desks at El Req HQ?

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: If you wish hard enough - it might come true

      Pull your head out of your backside and visit some actual schools and universities, then bask in the glow of illuminated Apple logos.
      In the dim and distant maybe. Two decades ago, UTas was awash with Macs. A decade ago, there were more PC labs than Mac labs and if you wanted to get some work done, the Mac labs were the place to get it done. Hardly any in use versus queues in the PC labs.

  37. STZ

    So, what are tablets actually good for ?

    Tablets are great for *consuming* digital content. Such as for sitting on the couch and watching some film, or showing family pictures at tea time. There is certainly a market for this, but it is near saturation in the developed countries.

    A couple of years ago when this tablet trend started, many tourists would run around in sightseeing places actually blocking their view by big devices with an Apple logo on it, which they abused for taking pictures. Not a very clever idea, this caused some avoidable accidents and also at that time there were already smaller, better and cheaper alternatives around (so-called "cameras"). But at least it served the purpose of demonstrating that its owner had enough funding or credit limit to buy such a gadget.

    But when creating or editing digital content, having a keyboard and a mouse (or similar pointing device) makes a big difference ...

  38. Joerg

    Apple sold 46Million+ iPad in the 2016 alone !

    Apple sold 46Million+ iPad in the 2016 alone !

    So why would the iPad be done as a product ? A dead product ?

    What nonsense is that?

    So selling 46Million+ units of any product is a financial failure now ? PLEASE !

  39. VulcanV5

    Arsus

    Been a lonnnnng time since I saw the word "superior" and "Asus" coupled together in the same sentence. Certainly doesn't do much for this article's credibility.

  40. STZ

    46 million iPads

    Apple certainly makes good profit on iPads still, and is nowhere near to chapter 11.

    But the iPad hype is over - selling 46 million of those last year means a 19% decline versus the previous year ...

    Same about iPhones, in the long run their market share is declining while the Android market share has grown to over 80%.

    iWatch (and other smart watches) did not create too much impact so far.

    Apple needs to come up with something new and spectacular, or shift their focus to boring lowtech iTune cards.

  41. gnasher729 Silver badge

    Apple can increase prices, then everyone complains that they are going mad increasing prices and will go bankrupt. Apple can keep prices the same, then everyone complains that they are too expensive and need to drop prices to compete. And Apple can reduce prices, then everyone complains that it is a "clearance sale" and the iPad is over. Since _anything_ they could possibly do will lead to harsh criticism, we can discard that criticism.

    In reality, Apple is selling two kinds of iPads (expensive Pro and not so expensive non-Pro). The expensive ones are not affected by this. Apple will never do anything about the £80 devices. But this move will have significant impact on the £200 - £300 devices and should increase iPad sales that way. Or force the competitors to reduce prices and lose any tiny bit of profit they are making now. It is a lot easier to convince someone to get an iPad for £339 instead of a £250 Android device than to convince them to pay £379 instead of £250.

    1. dave 93

      'Victim' of their own success - Apple's $750b 'mistake'

      My iPad 2 is still going strong, and has only just been made obsolete with iOS 10. That is Apple's only real problem with the iPad - they made them too well, and they kept supporting them too long, so nobody bothered upgrading, yet...

      TBH the same is true of Apple laptops and desktops - 10 year old Macs are still perfectly usable, and have only just been made obsolete with Sierra. Unsurprisingly, customers like devices that 'just keep working', and they remain loyal because of that.

      Android and Windows are such fragmented environments, with most devices abandoned at birth by their manufacturers, and that is why users and developers continue to support iOS and MacOS devices.

  42. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    iSheeple gonna mnaaarh

  43. localzuk

    Cheaper is better

    In a school, the price cut is very much welcomed. iPads in schools won't be disappearing any time soon. So, with our budgets being squeezed, cheaper is better.

  44. Pompous Git Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Actually

    I hope the era of the iPad comes to an end ASAP. The main purpose of owning one appearing to be to obscure what's happening on stage from those unfortunate enough to be behind the wankers holding them above their heads!

  45. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Computers in education

    Some studies I have seen reported on show no improvement in core skills between kids that are given a computing device (tablet or laptop) and those that are taught in a more traditional manner. There is a huge difference in school budgets to support the technology which might lead to less investment in the classroom.

    There are some things that computers are very good at, but they can't think and they only do what they are told. I find it frightening to see younger people at the post office that can't properly address an envelope. I see job postings with bad spelling, incorrect word choice and horrendous grammar. I would think that in the very least, the spelling would be correct.

    If you need to calculate the stress of a mechanical part in an assembly, a FEA application can greatly speed up the process but if you don't know the basics and can set up the problem all you will get are incorrect results. If you need to hand in a book report, a computer will compensate for poor handwriting, catch spelling mistakes and count the words for you, but it can't do the writing.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Computers in education

      "Some studies I have seen reported on show no improvement in core skills between kids that are given a computing device (tablet or laptop) and those that are taught in a more traditional manner."

      Obviously they weren't measuring all the core skills then, since being able to use computers is now a core skill.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New in stock - Flexibility and wearable tech

    Wearable tech should be coming soon - you know, the flexible screens that were demonstrated a few years ago that can be rolled up or moulded into different shapes and the small tech devices that can be incorporated into clothes.

    With well-being and mental health being talked about so much more by most people nowadays there is definitely a market to produce garments that have these body proximity sensors to measure an individual's health.

    When they become Internet of Things devices that can talk to one another it will also become possible to measure the collective health of a group of individuals. Lots of potential there for businesses to measure how well their staff learn in group meetings or work in open plan offices!

    1. hitendudhatra

      Re: New in stock - Flexibility and wearable tech

      I think " Platform Portability" is the bigeest challnge in Wearabale Application Development. If the app developed is cross-platform, it would help app developers to reach multiple user bases. If the app is designed for specific platforms like Android or iOS, you are restricting the opportunities from such widespread app market.

  47. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Ofcom's Communications Market survey last year showed 5 per cent more households owned a tablet than in 2015, at 59 per cent. Laptop penetration is 64 per cent. We can surmise that everyone who wants computing at home already has one.

    That's quite a non sequitur, if you don't mind me saying so. I'm 100% certain that a significant chunk of that 35% of the population who don't have a laptop in the household would rather like one, but can't afford it. (I myself have only a £200 quid Happy Shopper craptop at home, which just about suffices for basic web, multimedia and Office usage, whilst enabling me to practice controlling my temper and developing a zen-like tranquility whilst waiting for Twitter, Facebook and other bloated script-framework heavy sites to start reacting. (Remember the good old days when web sites just used a browser's native implementation of standard FORM elements to interact with the user, rather than recreating everything from scratch with Javascript? And when having to reload a page to see it change was, well, just what you had to do? And you could write a website in Notepad... uphill, both ways... *sigh* ... )

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    more importantly

    what about Edd China?

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