After meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner told clients in a note — as reported by “V3” (http://macte.ch/zf70V) — that Apple may be redesigning the iPad. I beg to differ. It won’t happen — at least in the way Gardner hints.
The analyst thinks Apple may redesign its tablet to meet the needs of those wanting an ARM-based hybrid device with, say, a keyboard. “We have wondered whether Apple might offer an ARM-based version of the MacBook Air at some point; we walked away from this meeting with the impression that Apple feels the iPad satisfies — or will soon satisfy — the needs of those who might have been interested in such a product.”
There’s no way Apple will introduce an iPad with a keyboard other than a virtual one. It goes against the entire “post-PC’ aesthetic of the tablet. Want to use a physical keyboard with your iPad? Apple expects you to spring for one of the dozen-plus models available from third parties. That’s not to say that Apple won’t release a tablet/laptop combo. However, if it did it would most likely be a modified MacBook Air (still running an Intel chip, not an ARM processor). It would have a touch screen that would fold flat against the bottom of the body of the hybrid device, allowing it to be used as a tablet.
Pop it up and snap into keyboard position and you could use the device as a traditional keyboard. What to call it? How about the MacPad?
I don’t think Apple is in any hurry to introduce a MacPad. They’ll make more money selling you both a Mac laptop and an iPad. But an iPad designed with a physical keyboard in mind? Ain’t gonna happen.
— Dennis Sellers