“Apple continues to profess optimism for the iPad even as sales continue to decline. In particular, the company hopes the new, beefier iPads will lure content creators away from conventional (and also declining) PCs,” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for Monday Note. “But how far will Apple go to blur the line between an iPad and a Mac?”

“The iPad’s elongated upgrade cycle, an affliction to which the iPhone appears to be immune, has ravaged sales,” Gassée writes. “After an initial burst of interest in the iPad, content creators quickly realized that they couldn’t conduct their most important productivity tasks on such a machine… Let’s divide tablets into two groups. The… ‘lean back’ consumers [who] watch videos, browse the Web, read email… Over in the ‘lean forward’ camp… content creators quickly realized that they couldn’t conduct their most important productivity tasks on such a machine… In other words, for many people and most uses, an iPad couldn’t replace a Mac. Hence the flagging desire.”

“The [iPad] Pro, in name and in organs, is both an admission of error and a proposed solution: The original iPad can’t do enough for content composition/production, but the newer Pros will fill the previously unmet productivity needs. So far, the remedy hasn’t worked,” Gassée writes. “If we extrapolate the iPad evolution — a risky exercise in derivative thinking — we’re led to assume that the iPad Pro will usurp more MacBook functionality. One can imagine a version of iOS that offers multiple resizable windows, more file management features… Follow this line of thinking and you’re led to a quasi-MacBook that has a detachable keyboard, a touch screen, a Pencil 2.0 with a magnet, a somewhat simpler — but not too simple — user interface… To me, this is an uncomfortable contemplation; it could lead to a Swiss Army knife.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, you need a simple “iPad” for the “lean back” consumption crowd, but you also need it to be able do more for the “lean-forward” computer-using creators?

As we wrote two-and-a-half years ago, back in December 2015:

Imagine an “iOS Pro” mode.

Turn on iOS Pro on your iPad Pro
1. Tap Settings > General, and make sure iOS Pro is turned on.
2. There is no step two.

Hey, we can dream, can’t we?

Shouldn’t such a thing already exist? Where would iPad sales be if it did?