Tim Cook Is Already Subtly Telling People Why We Need An IPad Pro

Tim cookRobert Galbraith/ReutersApple CEO Tim Cook holds an iPad during a presentation at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California October 16, 2014

Apple is reportedly working on a larger 12-inch iPad, which some have been calling the “iPad Pro.” It’s expected to have a 12-inch screen and may even come with a stylus.

That sounds a bit like Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, which also comes with a stylus and a screen of the same size.

Such a move would be strange for Apple, especially since CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about the idea that tablets should not be made to compete with laptops, which exactly what the Surface Pro is trying to do.

He even called PC makers “confused” for producing devices that combine the elements of a tablet and a laptop.

So what would make Apple change it’s mind? The iPad has been in a slump — sales are down, and now it seems like Cook thinks the enterprise could be the answer that would make the iPad relevant again.

He started laying the foundation for the need for an iPad Pro in Apple’s earnings call on Tuesday. Cook talked for a bit about how there’s room for Apple to innovate in the workplace, especially now that the company has partnered with IBM.

“And so the real opportunity is to bring mobility into the enterprises and change how people work,” Cook said on the call.

Cook also mentioned that although Apple products are being used in Fortune 500 companies, enterprises are only deploying iPads to “a small percentage of their workforce.” That seems to be one area where Windows could have the advantage. When speaking with David Schmoock, Dell’s president of global sales and client solutions, he said many companies are deploying Windows 8.1-powered tablets and devices to employees.

Schmoock explained why Windows 8.1 tablets may seem more appealing than iPads for some businesses. In the consumer market, people consider a tablet to be a larger version of their smartphone, which is why the iPad has proven itself to be more popular among everyday users. But, commercial users and businesses view tablets as an extension of the PC, and since Windows 8.1 looks similar on both tablets and laptops it’s a relatively easy switch.

Apple is integrating its iOS software and Mac software more tightly than ever with the latest version of OS X called Yosemite, and a larger screen would only make that transition easier.

We’re expecting to learn more about Apple’s plans for the future of the iPad later this year.

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