Apple still hasn’t solved their MacBook vs iPad problem

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It’s crazy that it’s 2019 and Apple still has not solved their big computer problem: their customers/potential customers have to make huge compromises when they choose between getting a MacBook or an iPad with a keyboard, it’s a horrible customer experience. They could easily make this problem go away if they simply added true, proper mouse support (and put a trackpad on the iPad keyboards), and make some more improvements to iPad OS. (making macOS touch-friendly and giving it a detachable screen is simply not going to happen). Microsoft should thank Apple because this “MacBook-or-iPad” situation is one of the only things Surface has going for it.

Comments (13)

13 responses to “Apple still hasn’t solved their MacBook vs iPad problem”

  1. jimchamplin

    I don’t think they’re having much trouble selling both systems to the same people.


    I can’t afford that, but a lot of people have tons of credit debt and do have both machines.

    • Vladimir Carli

      In reply to jimchamplin:


      I have both systems but that’s the problem. I want to go around with only one device, not two. Actually nor apple nor microsoft are really willing to sell a product that is viable as a tablet and as a laptop. The exact same argument of the missing features on the iPad can be made for the crap experience that is using windows on a tablet

  2. rob_segal

    I don't think Apple has a problem. Modern and mobile versus traditional. Both have their audiences. The main uses for an iPad doesn't require mouse input and the main uses for a Mac doesn't need touch. In fact, merging too many features of one into the other would compromise the experience. Cramming touch into an old desktop operating system isn't a formula for success and adding a mouse to a modern, touch, mobile operating system is effort that may not be worth making.

  3. Paul Thurrott

    If Apple is serious about the iPad (Pro) being a laptop replacement, it does need this functionality. Period.


    It's like touch on Windows. No one has to use it. But if it's there, it opens up a new world of possibility.

  4. F4IL

    The people who buy them, prefer devices with specifically defined feature sets that serve particular use cases and as a result don't perceive the above as a problem. In fact, those people consciously avoid buying ill conceived attempts like kitchen-sink type devices running Windows, because they think they are inferior to ones that do one thing and do it well. If you take a look at their sales numbers, you will see that the MacBook and iPad product lines completely dwarf Surface. In other words, it is a problem Microsoft, or any company, would very much like to have.

  5. Thom77

    I got into an argument with a 23 year old college student a couple weeks ago about the Ipad. I told him I wouldn't buy another one until they gave me a complete and "real" file system. He argued with me for 10 minutes that the Ipad has a real, complete file system. I explained the multiple examples on how it obviously doesn't have a "real" file system. He ignored the examples and retorted that it does. We went on and on until I realized I was talking to a fanatical Apple supporter, gave up, and was reminded on what kind of person argues with an idiot.


    I dont think most of the young people that you see with an Ipad with keyboard, leaning over to tap things, really care about the compromises ... because they don't even know what they are because they have been in the eco-system so long that it has become the norm. I cannot imagine buying a 12 inch Ipad with keyboard over ANY LAPTOP, Apple or PC, but i see those damn things a lot and it blows my mind on why anyone would buy it.


    Every time I get my Ipad out to use as a traveling tablet, I remember why I wasn't using it before, and go back to my Surface Go, whose hardware is absolutely inferior to the Ipad, yet whose basic functionality surpasses it.



    • jchampeau

      In reply to Thom77:

      I find the best way to handle these things is to ask them to pull out their device and do something on it that it can't do, like copy a bunch of files from a flash drive, zip them up, and attach them to an e-mail.

      • lvthunder

        In reply to jchampeau:

        Except you can do that. Or at least something close to it. You can if you have the right dongle copy files from a flash drive to a cloud service and email a link to it. It's probably better to do it that way instead of using email attachments anyways.

  6. lvthunder

    Another iOS needs mouse support thread. Good grief. If Apple thought it was important it would have been done by now. So if it's important to you then make another choice. That's why competition is good.

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