What does the ‘Pro’ in iPad Pro mean, exactly?

“What does the ‘Pro’ in iPad Pro really mean? And does calling a device a ‘Pro’ computer mean it’s an enterprise device?” Kevin Tofel reports for ZDNet. “Perhaps Apple should have called its new larger iPad the iPad Plus. Maybe then people would be talking about it differently.”

“By using the word Pro to describe the 12.9-inch iOS tablet, Apple has actually muddied the waters a bit. It also doesn’t help clarify matters when Apple CEO, Tim Cook, recently [asked] ‘Why would you buy a PC any more?’ when discussing the iPad Pro. With a comment like that and ‘Pro’ in the name, I think Apple has a small PR challenge,” Tofel reports. “Cook’s comment makes it pretty clear that he thinks for many people, the iPad Pro can take the place of a new laptop or desktop computer running a non-mobile operating system. I tend to agree with him, but only to a point: If you want or need to use Windows (or Mac OS X) apps, the iPad Pro isn’t a good replacement choice without a great deal of compromise.”

“Is ‘Pro’ the right moniker, then? For many people, clearly it isn’t. For Apple, though, it is,” Tofel reports. “Why not call the iPad Pro the iPad Plus? … Adding the word ‘Pro’ to a product name means different things to different people and even though we’re in the midst of a transition from desktop to mobile, some are still going to compare the latest iPad to current Pro-style desktops and laptops by confusing form factors with computing activities. Maybe iPad Plus would have been a better name after all.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Throughout its history, Apple has challenged the status quo. They killed floppies dead, for one famous example.

Apple leads.

They are making a statement with the “Pro” in iPad Pro. This is the future of computing for the vast majority of people, as it performs the actions for which the majority currently uses computers better than traditional PCs. That said, there’s nothing “Pro” about that – this is the immediate future of the general public’s personal computing experience, not yet the pros’; that’s still quite a ways off – and far enough away that “iPad Plus” makes more sense today. However, all that said, Apple is fighting a bit of intractable FUD that the iPad is mainly or even only a “consumption” device, so that’s likely why they decided to force the issue to the forefront by naming it “iPad Pro” and, in effect, saying, “Hey, in your face, this is not just a consumption device, but a powerful productivity tool, too.”

“iPad Plus” would make it seem to be just a larger iPad, ignoring things like Split View, the powerful Apple A9X SoC, 4GB of RAM, and other things that make it unique. “iPad Plus” naming would allow the “it’s for consumption only” naysayers to continue their lies. “iPad Pro” forces people to look at the device in a new way.


    1. It’s a professional grade TABLET. Why is that so difficult for people to get in their heads? “Pro” has nothing to do with applications… it has to do with how it’s used in specific professional markets.

      Professionals create their workflow with the tools they have on hand. You don’t need any specific application… what you need is the efficiency with in which you can get your task accomplished.

      How can you call any laptop a “pro” level device when it clearly lacks the power of most workstations? MacBook Pros are called “pro” because in their laptop line these are clearly aimed at pros who need a laptop. Just the iPad Pro is designed more for professionals than the rest of the iPad line.

      1. I agree with Michael and so disagree with Sensei, “Pro” in this case means a lot to all of the middle to top level managers I have seen walking around lately. They all have iPads.

        By Apple putting the “Pro” moniker on this beastie, they have ensured thousands of upgrades and purchases by corporations and high pay grades that can afford it. Status is everything in this crowd. Smart of Apple.

        As for the common man, when has a name really meant all that much to us? We care about function, style, quality and cost. The name means nothing to us. Call it the “Maxi” iPad for all I care. If it does what I need it to do, at a price I can afford, I’ll buy it.

    2. The iPad Pro is the latest ‘platform’ from Apple Inc.; the millions of iOS Developers will now use this platform to innovate their (soft)wares, so all naysayers watch out!!

    3. While Apple seemingly abandons its Pro level Desktop market by not catering their needs and wants — how does that reflect a need of a almost invisible pro tablet market?
      We have here – Apple attempting to push people into the middle ground. Where fast enough or big enough is apparently different enough to convert from your Laptop Pro to a Tablet Pro.
      Keep in mind that iOS is and remains to be the most intuitive and simplest operating system in the world that granted every age group the easy, the fearlessness and confidence to use such technology. From age 1 to 99 the iDevices appealed to many and gave competing power to the masses – far beyond what OS X has – even though Macintosh aimed for the same. Hence without further thought, Apple had created a Pro level Market and a Consumer level market of products already. Many will say iOS is too dumbed down. Well it has its reasons and simplicity is at the core. So if you need more power and do far more complicated work then use OS X.

      1. But Tim thinks the Medical sector needs iPad Pro instead of Mac Air Pro. Why? Hmmm Solid State drives cost too much… a dead terminal with a touch display internally connected to the hospitals main frame is perfect I guess. However it needs a lame keyboard for some – clunky and a Pencil to sketch what a surgeon will do for your new nose. Oh wow, THx Tim.

  1. The beauty of the iPad Pro is the way it can be applied to so many situations.

    In the case of those who get that what Tim Cook says about “why would you buy a PC” iPad Pro is meant as a professional device for professionals.

    It’s so blatantly obvious that even a pedantic jouranalist like Kevin Tofel can’t avoid it in his article: “The Pro computers aren’t solely aimed at professionals;”

    Now he’s right, and normally calling a device a “Pro” computer mean it’s an enterprise device but weight Kevin there’s more and it’s for especially for you. It’s not just enterprise that it’s meant but the institute of jouranalism.

    And reading that article pretty well anyone can see that Kevin is a proinstitute kind person peddling their wares on the net.

  2. Are we moving away from laptops and desktops? Yes I would agree with that but Apple moves slow. The iPad Pro is no pro device. It’s simply a larger more powerful iPad, nothing more. The iPad will move in the same direction as the Surface (which is trying to transform the laptop into a tablet). The difference is that it will take Apple much longer to get to that point but when they do it will be a better product.

    I like the idea of a tablet running OS X. That would be a pro device. Apple could make one now but they couldn’t keep their very high margin so we have to wait.

  3. MDN is absolutely right, an iPad Plus has little attraction to most whereas the iPad Pro is a statement of intent even if it doesn’t exactly deliver everything right now. But that is the point it is telling software developers to get onboard and beef up their apps or create entirely new ones to fit in with the aim of the device. It may or may not work but the logic is indisputable and the fact is it is time to stop looking at everything from a desktop viewpoint all the time, fact is like Macs before it which gained similar claims years back life and work is changing and what we thought of as a ‘work’ or non suited work device is no longer necessarily that as millions of work used iPhones, even Android devices are proving extremely well. Not for everyone especially in traditional work environments, but then many of those work practices are as history shows because the thinking is traditional, outdated and potentially commercially suicidal. After all what happened to all those dinosaurs who used to come on here (a few still do) claiming the Mac was a toy and will never be used in Business outside of the Graphic arts.

  4. If you watch hospital doctors use their iPads you kinda see where “Pro” makes sense. As a medical device an Apple tablet has always been a winner. Ask any of the now old codgers who spent time and money on Newton applications for medical, sorta the one place it caught traction. (Now if iPad only had the battery life of the eMate.)

  5. Tim has done a very silly thing by calling the new iPad, Pro.
    Before the iPad Pro, iPad and iPhone were merely a difference in size. However iPad had one disability as it was unable to do true telephone capability calling. It was wired differently – lacking components — however today — iPad Pro paves a new differential reason for – What a Tablet should be compared to a Phone.

    My Humble Opinion is for Tim to kill all iPad today and make each size capable of what the Pro level can do… and hence we have a clearer reason and definition as to what iPad is or should be… it should not be a Pro device at all… but an iPad which all iPad should be measured.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.