Apple’s joyless iPad Pro launch: WTF are the Apple Pencils and Smart Keyboards? (4-5 weeks away)

You can get your mitts on of Apple’s “epic” 12.9-inch iPad Pros today, but if you want an Apple Pencil (truly magical) or an Apple Smart Keyboard (truly meh), you’ll have to wait 4-5 WEEKS!

Utterly inexplicable.

How can an company like Apple be so utterly unprepared — oh, let’s just say it: incompetent — at the launch of such an important product as iPad Pro? Seriously, how?

If Tim Cook is an “operations genius,” why didn’t he teach Jeff Williams anything beyond jack shit?

Apple’s launch of the Apple Watch? Completely botched, momentum killing, shoot-yourself-in-the-foot malpractice. Great excitement, no product. Excitement evaporates. Massive marking effort deployed in a so-far-futile attempt to recapture even a fraction of the excitement that should have never been squandered in the first place with even a modicum of preparation.

Even frigging Microsoft or Samsung would have had their accessories ready for sale at launch.

And, now this, just a few months later? WTF is going on, Apple? You know, besides empty excuses. Whatever happened to simply getting the job done? Would these sort of botched, incompetent launches happen under Steve Jobs? No, they would not – especially the Apple Watch fiasco, with no product of which to speak for months! That’s not a product launch, that’s amateur hour.

“My review would have been very different if I had spent the last week using the iPad Pro without either the Smart Keyboard or Pencil — but that’s the only configuration people can buy today,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “It’ll all work out in the long run, but in the short term, getting a new iPad Pro without a Smart Keyboard or Pencil is no fun. Sort of a joyless launch.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s ineptitude here leaves us speechless beyond shaking our heads and muttering “Microsoftian.”

UBS: Apple botched the Apple Watch launch – May 1, 2015
Apple has totally botched the Apple Watch launch – April 17, 2015
Highly sought-after Apple Watch won’t hit retail store shelves until June at the earliest – April 16, 2015
Ahrendts memo: Apple Watches will not be available to buy in-store throughout May – April 16, 2015
Apple Watch sold out in minutes; didn’t preorder in time, how’s June sound? – April 10, 2015
Here are the dates you can expect to get your Apple Watch – April 10, 2015
Apple Watch on fire as Apple sells out fast – April 10, 2015
Apple Watch draws strong turnout at Apple Retail Stores – April 10, 2015
Apple Watch already sold out – April 10, 2015
Open thread: Did you get your Apple Watch preorder placed? – April 10, 2015


  1. … and the keyboards will initially only be available with US layouts, so not so good for users elsewhere in the world.

    There’s no way that I would pay that much for a keyboard that has the wrong characters printed on it, so the built-in virtual keyboard would have to do.

    One of the less well talked about advantages of a virtual keyboard, such as on an iPad is that if you select a different language, the characters displayed on the keys change too. Obviously on a physical keyboard they don’t, so if you opt for German language text entry, you get German spell checking too, but the ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ keys get switched. For a poor typist who only infrequently uses other languages, it’s much easier to deal with this on a virtual keyboard than a physical one.

    1. I’m not going away. I keep repeating Cook is wrong for Apple. Apple can no longer launch good new products. Their entire company from top to bottom just doesn’t operate like under Jobs. Cook’s ability to partner with people is absent.

      Jobs had industry lined up to launch products that made sense and with a bang. From iTunes with music sales to AT&T and many other carriers partnered with at the launch of the first iPhone.

      Look at the Apple TV. How many people would run to buy one if Apple had launched it with Apps as TV channels from day 1? It would then be “magical”. Right now, it’s a shell.

      Look at Apple Pay. It’s US centric. The initial excitement of Apple Pay is gone, and the rest of the world could give a crap about it.

      What you’re seeing is a CEO who has inherited the keys to a kingdom built by a visionary genius that is Steve Jobs with an established product pipeline who is haphazardly executing on that inherited product pipeline.

      This is Apple, without Steve Jobs. A shell of its former self. Products are flung out the door unfinished and not even half good in their implementation and Apple hopes the products will eventually grow and catch on.

      Steve Jobs said something in that famous interview with him and Bill Gates with Mossberg and Swisher. That Apple didn’t “know how to partner early on”, and it’s something they learned to do later.

      Cook “he’s not a product guy” has no ability to close deals. He’s too busy jogging or fighting for gay rights.

      The headless horse ride continues…

      1. Your selective memory is laughable. The freakin iPhone itself didn’t launch with apps, in fact Jobs didn’t want to have apps on it at all. His initial price was a flop and had to adjust. Initial iPad supply was an issue and many units had to be recalled for battery issues. Jobs was one of a kind visionary but the idea he was flawless at execution is laughable. Apple shows some weakness under Cook but the company has never done more, never been so successful or been such the envy of every other company in the world.

        1. The iPhone didn’t launch with a 3rd party App Store, the completeness of the dev kit demonstrates that Jobs did intend to have Apps eventually, putting the lie to your unsubstantiated “Jobs did not want Apps” false rumor.

          The price was high, and did come down a little bit but only because they adjusted the subsidy model. The original iPhone sold with no subsidy. Just like you can buy them now at around the same price.

          I do agree that Jobs being “flawless at execution” is false, but he did do a lot of things right. For example at the start of selling iMacs, Jobs purchased out all available Christmas air freight from China so that they could be air shipped and arrive in time for the holidays, he paid up front at least $30 million I believe, and that was a LOT for Apple back then. He was not afraid to take big gambles and they paid off.

          1. As you recall, (or in your case, don’t recall) the dev kit was way, way late. Sooooo late that story after story was written complaining that the crack developers had their dev kit for the iPhone out for months while everyone else was still waiting for Apple to show something.

            As for IOS 3, that was botched, under Jobs, so bad that many people (including me) had to completely wipe our iPhones and reinstall everything because of a bug that disabled all 3rd party apps.
            Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Steve Jobs, but he wasn’t perfect either.

      2. No anti-gay bigots like you aren’t going away but they are dying out. It’s only a matter of time before your diatribes become anti-gay because thats really what your all about with Cook. Apple has had record profits under Cook and under Jobs had many of the same launch issues.
        You’re pathetic.

      3. well, they do say that people rise to their level of incompetence….. i think it is pretty well agreed that tim was a maestro of supply line management, but once you take the maestro out of that position and put in the understudy, you only get second best, not the best.

        clearly steve jobs felt he saw ceo material in tim cook, but sometimes i wonder… even though under his leadership apple is rolling in money – which is not a bad thing by any means – the execution of new product introduction and finish of software, under his leadership, is definitely sub par, from what we have come to expect.

        there seems to be an accumulation of bullet ridden feet of late, things seem hurried, incomplete and not always well thought out.

        i am thinking that with all the financial resources apple has available to them they had best refocus on quality and hire the additional talent required to get things back on track.

        they can afford it, besides it is not only their damn job, to develop and sell, high quality products, but it is in their mission statement. mr. jobs didn’t dedicate his life to make pretty good products, he set out to make “insanely great” ones.

        granted apple products are, in most instances, much better than anybody else’s stuff out there, but they are letting things slip.

        unsurpassed quality is the key to success. get back to it.

      1. Translation: there’s no point getting a Smart Keyboard even if you normally use a US layout, since there’s a ton of third party US-layout keyboards already.

        So, why exactly did Apple make the Smart Keyboard? Oh right, because it has unique features that supposedly make it ideally suited for the iPad Pro. Features that non-US keyboard users might want as well.

          1. If you’d made that argument first there’d be no disagreement. What you did though was call a legitimate point “whining” so you’re now moving the goalposts of your argument to try and sound reasonable.

    2. When are you guys going to realize that TC can’t do ANYTHING but f*^k up!

      It’s amazing, he actually screws up more than Ballmer did… and I don’t have to tell you how that is an incredible feat in and of itself.

      But don’t tell that to Cook fanboys. They pretend that side of him doesn’t exist or is blown out of proportion by ‘Cook haters’.

      Then the Cook apologists put their spin on it, absolving Cook and blaming it on the perils of trying to run ‘the largest tech company in the world’.

      Something has to give. Cook has to go, in order to get Apple moving in a positive direction once again.

      He’s just a gatekeeper, and a lazy and incompetent one at that. Apple needs a visionary to move it forward or Apple will lose it’s most loyal fanbase!

  2. I’m getting mine next week. However, I ordered mine at the same time as the iPad Pro. Right after the site went live both the keyboard and the pencil were shipping in 5 to 7 days. Early yesterday, it was 3-4 weeks, now it’s 4-5…

    The longer you wait, the longer it will take to get it

    1. More excuses from the fanboy peanut gallery.

      The fact remains: Apple obviously made far more iPad Pros than they made Pencils and Keyboards. Why? And who’s responsible?

      MacDailyNews is 100% correct: “Even frigging Microsoft or Samsung would have had their accessories ready for sale at launch.”

        1. No kidding, what a bunch of whiners. Most successful company in the world, and they think it gets easier to run the larger it gets.

          If you’ve ever worked for a company going through extreme growth – and I have – you do your best. Sometimes thing suffer a bit. I think they could do better, but they could be doing far worse.

          I’ve waited years to see them be this successful and I think Tim is doing a good job considering the size of the organization.

  3. Apple can’t seem to sell themselves out of a wet paper bag. Maybe they need to hire a crusty, old high school dropout who’s been in the sales business for over 30 years to kick some ass and take some names. I work much cheaper than the $68,000,000.00 “wonder” woman.

    1. Yeah, their bank account says they can’t sell anything. And of course, the millions of people who DO buy Apple products are all fanboys and sheep. Your comment makes no sense.

  4. Pffft … Supply chain glitches occur. Companies like MS and Dell just ship the “off-color” devices anyway and will expect customers not to notice or care about the degraded performance.

  5. Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone in Jan. 9, 2007 and it was actually released on June 29, 2007. I seem to recall that “delay” did not dampen enthusiasm for the product then, nor since. Initial supply and demand issues for new Apple devices is not exactly a new problem. As always it gets sorted out pretty quickly.

    1. Apple was still a relative underdog then, and they were entering a totally new market for them. A lot of leeway is given when that happens.

      (Also, that lead time was because they had to apply for FCC licenses months in advance of actual launch, making it impossible to keep it secret, so they had to announce ahead of that)

      Apple is now the biggest company by market cap in the world. Expectations are naturally much higher.

      1. Yeah but initial demand for new Apple devices is still an issue making as many as the market demands in the initial demand spike. Even when Apple makes and builds up millions in anticipation. Bottom line is everyone who wants one can usually get one within the first month or so. But I know we’ve become a world of spoiled brats who want chewing satisfaction NOW.

        1. Apple CEO Tim Cook would rather take the PR hit for a product delay or undersupply issue, than overestimate demand and later face excess inventories and write-offs, taking a bigger PR hit.

          Apple is an aggressive juggernaut plowing through the competition and is bound to take some damage as a result. — Shelve Tim Cook and replace him with a more conservative CEO with a risk-averse approach to design, production, and sales. Then watch the competition overtake and trample Apple.

  6. Got my iPad Pro yesteday by in store pickup and though i really wish I had a pencil, i’m not missing the smart keyboard in the least. The on screen keyboard works great at this size and I’ll probably return the smart oeyboard when It arrives by mail.

  7. I don’t need the pencil. Nor do I need the keyboard. I just want a bigger iPad. Most of us are like that. We’re happy that it is now available.

    I’m sorry for those who wanted all the accessories, but in reality, I don’t think they represent a large portion of iPad Pro buyers. They surely make a lot of noise, though…

  8. Here is what that moron twink focuses on instead of doing business: From Apple … “We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.”

    They are concentrating on gender identification instead of getting their product launches right. Dumbasses.

  9. I’m surprised about them not making more pencils because designers and artists are the ones that will be buying these. and there are a lot of them out there . the keyboard- meh

    1. Don’t get the “designers and artists” thoughts. What about the scientists, engineers, business users, etc. Basically anyone that does more than just type, game or web surf on their devices.

      My kid is majoring in Molecular Cellular Developmental Bio major and has a strong need for the pencil. (used third party stylus with this prior iPads).

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