Apple doesn’t have the ‘courage’ to release a foldable iPad

Macworld

Welcome to our weekly Apple Breakfast column, which includes all the Apple news you missed last week in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a Monday morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s cool if you want to give it a read during lunch or dinner hours too.

Folding money

As we approach the end of 2023, it’s hard to escape the feeling that it’s been a dull year for Apple fans. We didn’t get a spring event, the new iPhones and Apple Watches were workmanlike retreads of older products, and the most interesting announcement was for a product that won’t arrive until some point in 2024. As for the iPad, it didn’t get a new model all year, the first time that’s happened since the product first launched in 2010.

There should be new iPads before long, of course, but hopes of radical risk-taking were dashed by the news last week that Apple doesn’t plan to release a foldable tablet anytime soon. Instead, the company will focus on equipping its entire iPad range, starting naturally with the Pro models, with OLED screens. Now, I’m not saying this is a bad idea: OLED, indeed, is a big deal that could be a game-changer for the iPad. But it’s certainly not an announcement that will dispel the sense that Apple has grown cautious.

The company hasn’t always been this way. It started out as the 1970s equivalent of what we would now call a disruptor, throwing out received wisdom and frequently making—and then backing up—grandiose claims about its products. In a famous statement of intent, Steve Jobs declared that he’d rather be a pirate than join the Navy.

As recently as 2016, Apple boasted of the “courage” it took to remove the iPhone’s headphone jack, and while that word seemed a little silly at the time, it wasn’t entirely undeserved. In that case and others (such as the removal of headphones and chargers from iPhone packaging) Apple did what it felt was the right thing with the full knowledge that it would first be unpopular, then memed within an inch of its life, and finally copied by rivals who would get a fraction of the criticism.

When you’re the biggest company in the world, you should be willing to take a few risks, but often it works the other way around, with the massive revenues at stake pushing the minds of executives down a more cautious path. Apple presumably thinks of a folding iPad as a potential disaster—what if the hinge mechanism goes wrong and videos of it breaking go viral on social media?—rather than what it really is: a way of breathing new life into a product that has grown stale. The iPad’s biggest problem is that it doesn’t have any serious rivals, which pushes the maker into a mindset where simply releasing fractionally upgraded models will be enough to hoover up vast quantities of cash. Sadly, as financial reports regularly show, customers don’t agree, and many would rather buy no new tablet at all than one that hasn’t changed in any tangible way from the one they already own.

I will admit at this point, perhaps controversially, that foldables have never quite won me over, and that high prices and lingering doubts about durability have always put me off. Is a folding model the right way to revive the iPad’s fortunes? I genuinely don’t know–although I do tend to think that if anyone can do foldables right, it’s Apple. The main thing that worries me about this news, however, is what it says about Apple’s wider outlook, which is all about avoiding potential mistakes rather than taking risks by building something exciting. At this point, I’d rather see a few interesting failures than yet more sensible but punishingly dull successes.

Foundry

Trending: Top stories

The iPhone 15 was a big deal in 2023 but these three moves were even bigger.

How the Beep(er) is Apple to blame for Android’s latest iMessage woes?

We round up 5 awesome WhatsApp features that Apple needs to bring to iMessage.

Apple promised to deliver next-gen CarPlay in 2023. Will it get here on time?

Wanna see something cool? Try this awesome AI feature built right into the iPhone.

Podcast of the week

With 2023 coming to a close it’s time to take a look back at the year for Apple. What were the highlights? What were the letdowns? And what about those times that surprised us?

You can catch every episode of the Macworld Podcast on SpotifySoundcloud, the Podcasts app, or our own site.

Reviews corner

ESR Halolock 5000 mAh Power Bank Wallet for iPhone review: Three things in one.

The rumor mill

Here are 3 reasons why an OLED screen will be a game-changer for the iPad Pro.

The big-screen iPad Air we may or may not need is apparently close to launch.

Forget the M3, Apple is already eyeing 2nm chips for 2025.

Leaked iPhone 16 ‘prototypes’ point to possible return of vertical camera layout.

Report: Apple is willing to open up access to NFC payments in the EU.

Software updates, bugs, and problems

Here’s why you should drop everything and install iOS 17.2 right now.

If you just upgraded to macOS Sonoma, disable this setting immediately.

You can now diagnose iPhone and Mac problems without going to an Apple Store.

Apple begins beta testing for macOS Sonoma 14.3.

And with that, we’re done for this week’s Apple Breakfast. If you’d like to get regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Facebook, Threads, or Twitter for discussion of breaking Apple news stories. See you next Monday, and stay Appley.

Apple Inc

​Macworld Macworld

Welcome to our weekly Apple Breakfast column, which includes all the Apple news you missed last week in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a Monday morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s cool if you want to give it a read during lunch or dinner hours too.

Folding money

As we approach the end of 2023, it’s hard to escape the feeling that it’s been a dull year for Apple fans. We didn’t get a spring event, the new iPhones and Apple Watches were workmanlike retreads of older products, and the most interesting announcement was for a product that won’t arrive until some point in 2024. As for the iPad, it didn’t get a new model all year, the first time that’s happened since the product first launched in 2010.

There should be new iPads before long, of course, but hopes of radical risk-taking were dashed by the news last week that Apple doesn’t plan to release a foldable tablet anytime soon. Instead, the company will focus on equipping its entire iPad range, starting naturally with the Pro models, with OLED screens. Now, I’m not saying this is a bad idea: OLED, indeed, is a big deal that could be a game-changer for the iPad. But it’s certainly not an announcement that will dispel the sense that Apple has grown cautious.

The company hasn’t always been this way. It started out as the 1970s equivalent of what we would now call a disruptor, throwing out received wisdom and frequently making—and then backing up—grandiose claims about its products. In a famous statement of intent, Steve Jobs declared that he’d rather be a pirate than join the Navy.

As recently as 2016, Apple boasted of the “courage” it took to remove the iPhone’s headphone jack, and while that word seemed a little silly at the time, it wasn’t entirely undeserved. In that case and others (such as the removal of headphones and chargers from iPhone packaging) Apple did what it felt was the right thing with the full knowledge that it would first be unpopular, then memed within an inch of its life, and finally copied by rivals who would get a fraction of the criticism.

When you’re the biggest company in the world, you should be willing to take a few risks, but often it works the other way around, with the massive revenues at stake pushing the minds of executives down a more cautious path. Apple presumably thinks of a folding iPad as a potential disaster—what if the hinge mechanism goes wrong and videos of it breaking go viral on social media?—rather than what it really is: a way of breathing new life into a product that has grown stale. The iPad’s biggest problem is that it doesn’t have any serious rivals, which pushes the maker into a mindset where simply releasing fractionally upgraded models will be enough to hoover up vast quantities of cash. Sadly, as financial reports regularly show, customers don’t agree, and many would rather buy no new tablet at all than one that hasn’t changed in any tangible way from the one they already own.

I will admit at this point, perhaps controversially, that foldables have never quite won me over, and that high prices and lingering doubts about durability have always put me off. Is a folding model the right way to revive the iPad’s fortunes? I genuinely don’t know–although I do tend to think that if anyone can do foldables right, it’s Apple. The main thing that worries me about this news, however, is what it says about Apple’s wider outlook, which is all about avoiding potential mistakes rather than taking risks by building something exciting. At this point, I’d rather see a few interesting failures than yet more sensible but punishingly dull successes.

Foundry

Trending: Top stories

The iPhone 15 was a big deal in 2023 but these three moves were even bigger.

How the Beep(er) is Apple to blame for Android’s latest iMessage woes?

We round up 5 awesome WhatsApp features that Apple needs to bring to iMessage.

Apple promised to deliver next-gen CarPlay in 2023. Will it get here on time?

Wanna see something cool? Try this awesome AI feature built right into the iPhone.

Podcast of the week

With 2023 coming to a close it’s time to take a look back at the year for Apple. What were the highlights? What were the letdowns? And what about those times that surprised us?

You can catch every episode of the Macworld Podcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, the Podcasts app, or our own site.

Reviews corner

ESR Halolock 5000 mAh Power Bank Wallet for iPhone review: Three things in one.

The rumor mill

Here are 3 reasons why an OLED screen will be a game-changer for the iPad Pro.

The big-screen iPad Air we may or may not need is apparently close to launch.

Forget the M3, Apple is already eyeing 2nm chips for 2025.

Leaked iPhone 16 ‘prototypes’ point to possible return of vertical camera layout.

Report: Apple is willing to open up access to NFC payments in the EU.

Software updates, bugs, and problems

Here’s why you should drop everything and install iOS 17.2 right now.

If you just upgraded to macOS Sonoma, disable this setting immediately.

You can now diagnose iPhone and Mac problems without going to an Apple Store.

Apple begins beta testing for macOS Sonoma 14.3.

And with that, we’re done for this week’s Apple Breakfast. If you’d like to get regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Facebook, Threads, or Twitter for discussion of breaking Apple news stories. See you next Monday, and stay Appley.

Apple Inc 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *