LG: Julian, what did you think of the new iPads?
JC: I do think that there is an air of a complacency with the iPad, the base model. I think they know that there is not much else in terms of competition that you can get at that price range that’s really good. So, yes, it’s a very good iPad, and grateful that they’re continuing it, and improving it, and adding a better processor, but I do think they could be a little more competitive and offer some of the features that they’re bringing in the new Air to that base model.
Like why is there still a first gen Apple Pencil? It makes no sense. They shouldn’t be selling an iPad that you can’t just slap an Apple Pencil on and have it wirelessly recharge and pair. The other thing is USBC, which I think is just, at this point I’m so tired of having this one Lightning cable. I charge my iPhone with wireless charging because that’s more convenient than holding onto Lightning cables, but the iPad has just been the sole thing that I need to have a Lightning connector, just to be able to charge it, and it’s …
I’m super thankful that the Air is finally also going USBC, but it’s just things like that, and another thing I think someone else pointed out on Twitter was 32 gigs of storage in the base model, which, in 2020, should be pretty … that’s a no-no.
LG: Yeah, it’s this interesting combination of seeing the high-end iPads become these delivery mechanisms for really interesting new technology, like LiDAR or new display technology like ProMotion and things like that, but then as you get down the product line, it really just becomes classic product differentiation, right?
MC: That’s something that I’d like to point out, which is that it’s really important that Apple has an iPad at $330, or if you’re in the education market, for $300, because it’s the cheapest way into their app ecosystem. It’s cheaper than the cheapest iPhone, and the Apple Watch can be less expensive, but you still need an iPhone or an iPad to pair to the Apple Watch.
So it gives Apple a cheap skew, right? Something that they can sell to anyone in the world, families, schools love iPads. They’re never going to not have a cheap version of the iPad, and that iPad does not need to be exciting. It needs to be capable, it needs to not require any maintenance, and it needs to be cheap. 330 bucks is not cheap, but for a fully functioning mobile computer that has all of those amazing apps and works with the Pencil, that is a bargain.
LG: So it’s interesting, because I’m hearing Julian say that it’s not very exciting, but what you’re saying, Mike, is that it doesn’t need to be, because there needs to be something at that end of the market, that can just suit a mass audience, or people who are just looking for the cheapest iPad they can possibly get.
MC: Yeah, exciting doesn’t matter at the low end. It just, like, cheap, and it works, and it never breaks. That’s all that matters.
LG: And you know when exciting doesn’t matter? When you’re just using it to deliver a bunch of services-
LG: … and get people into subscriptions. OK, let’s take another quick break and when we come back, we’re going to do our recommendations.
LG: All right, Julian, our guest of honor, what is your recommendation this week?