Apple CEO Tim Cook says iPad Pro will return iPad to growth

11 Nov 2015

Tim Cook visiting iPad Pro app developers like TouchPress in London this week

Speaking in Dublin today, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was very bullish about the potential of the iPad Pro, which goes on sale worldwide this week. He said that he believes it will return the iPad product set to growth.

Tim Cook was speaking with students at Trinity College in Dublin where he was presented with an honorary patronage by the University Philosophical Society (the Phil) at a special ceremony.

Earlier today (11 November), Apple announced 1,000 new jobs in Cork, which will make Apple the biggest employer in Cork with more than 6,000 workers.

In recent months, Apple unveiled the 12.9-inch iPad Pro for the first time along with the new Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.

The device goes on sale today online and in retail stores on Friday, with prices starting at €939.

Tim Cook bullish about sales of iPad Pro

Responding to a question about the iPad Pro and whether it will compete with Microsoft’s Surface line-up, Cook said that Apple works closely with Microsoft on a lot of things.

However, when it came to the Surface device he said that it was trying to be two things: a tablet computer and a notebook. “That’s cool in some ways, but overall the result is not the best tablet and not the best notebook; it’s a diluted kind of thing.”

He said that the iPad Pro won’t be diluted or try to be something else; it is fundamentally an iPad.

“It gives you access to 1.5m apps, the entire iOS ecosystem, and there are apps that will come out that are oriented to the iPad Pro. It comes with a physical keyboard made especially for those of you who write a lot.

“I travel extensively with just my iPad Pro and iPhone. That’s all I carry. Are we losing share to Microsoft? I don’t see it.”

Cook said that, if anything, in the personal computing space Mac has been steadily gaining market share for over a decade. “We’ve been growing while PC continues to shrink.”

He nevertheless acknowledged that iPad sales have been declining. In the most recent Q4 financial results from Apple, the company revealed it sold 48.04m iPhone devices in Q4, up from 39.2m a year ago. iPad sales, however, fell to 9.8m from 12.3m last year.

“On the iPad side the touch space sales have been declining year-on-year, but we are confident with the iPad Pro that we will have a good shot at returning iPad to growth. We are very bullish on the long term, so we will see.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years