Rumors of a complete re-tooling of the iPad Pro product line and the release of a new advertising campaign have Apple watchers pondering the company’s strategy for its workplace, small business-friendly tablet.

(See “Background” at the bottom of this article for earlier coverage of the iPad Pro.)

Based on a report by Japanese website Mac Otakar (MacRumors), Apple is planning to unveil a top-to-bottom refresh of the iPad Pro product line next month (March, 2017). New 7.9, 9.7, 10.5, and 12.9-inch models are all said to be on tap, according to the site.

Simultaneously, Apple has launched an advertising campaign (see ads at the bottom of this article) consisting of four 16-second ads that position the iPad as an alternative to a computer. Earlier ads implied the iPad could replace certain types of computer usages with the iPad, but not a computer, itself. As observed by graphic designer and longtime iPad observer, Khoi Vinh, each of the new ads “highlight the device’s suitability as a PC replacement.”

“In past campaigns, the iPad was focused on specific use cases—the iPad as a liberating device for making home videos, dee-jaying, cooking, doing homework, etc. Those ads basically existed in a post-PC world, or at least one that nearly ignored the traditional personal computing. This time, perhaps emboldened by the formidable horsepower of the iPad Pro line or perhaps chastened by declining iPad sales, the spots speak squarely to desktop/laptop-centric issues.”

Khoi Vihn


Starting in late 2015, we began to report on Apple’s attempt to position a new version of its iPad as a business tool, the iPad Pro. Amidst slowing iPad sales to consumers, Apple designed this iPad and an electronic stylist, the Apple Pencil, as a  platform tool for professions like product design and engineering.

While sales of the iPad Pro line had stemmed a slide in iPad sales last year, the lack of new models last fall (2016) caused a slow-down in sales during Apple’s first fiscal quarter of 2017, according to arstechnica,

Video on also reflects the “next computer” theme for iPad Pros.

The New iPad Pro Advertisements

In our earlier coverage of the iPad Pro, we noted how it was positioned as a professional, workplace tool. This new campaign focuses more on product features. While in a kinder, gentler fashion, this campaign returns to a theme Apple used in the “I’m a Mac,” “I’m a PC” campaign of the late 2000s. In these, Apple clearly positions the iPad against a Microsoft product–in this case, the Microsoft’s Surface.

The ads:

iPad Pro: Better than a computer

Don’t hunt for wifi

Do more with Microsoft Word (on an iPad)

iPad Pro – No PC viruses



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