Tim Bajarin: Why Apple will never merge iOS and macOS

“When Apple introduced its new MacBook Pro lineup in October, the company made it clear that these machines are meant for so-called ‘creatives,’ or people working in design, advertising, music, and so on,” Tim Bajarin writes for TIME Magazine. “The standout feature is a new interface called the Touch Bar, a touchscreen panel that sits above the keyboard and changes functions based on what software is running at a given moment.”

Apple CEO Steve Jobs “believed that PCs are like trucks designed for specific uses, but the iPad and tablets in general are more like everyday cars — and that’s where the growth will be,” Bajarin writes. “Although I believe Apple will always make Macs, which represent about 12% of its quarterly revenue, it’s the iPad that’s more vital for Apple’s vision of computing’s future. Current Apple CEO Tim Cook was a disciple of Jobs, learning a great deal from him. We’re now seeing Cook use Jobs’ playbook more aggressively as he encourages many users to move from Macs to the iPad lineup and its mobile operating system, iOS.”

“For some time, many people thought Apple might merge macOS and iOS. But it seems clear to me that this will not be the case,” Bajarin writes. “Instead, I believe macOS will be pushed to those who need the Mac as a “truck” while iOS will evolve to become Apple’s mainstream computing software in the form of iPads.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last December:

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?

Also, as we wrote in March:

When on the road, we want the ultimate in portability (hence why we’re still carrying 11-inch MBAs until the next-gen 12-inch MacBook arrives) — but we want the 4GB RAM packed into the bigger iPad Pro vs. the reported 2GB in the smaller iPad Pro. Screen redraws due to a lack of RAM have been the stumbling block for us really using iPad in the field since its inception. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro finally has enough RAM.

And, as we wrote in February:

Here’s the thing: The iPad saturated its addressable market so quickly and the iPads are so well made and last so damn long that unless Apple provides a really compelling reason to upgrade, most people are just not upgrading yet. We handed off our original iPads to relatives a couple years ago and they’re still being used! Yes, they lack sensors to support many modern iPad games, but they are still in use. We also have immediate family members still using perfectly working iPad 2, iPad 3, and older iPad Air and mini models. The obsolescence cycle for iPad rivals that of the Mac. It’s very long.

The iPad is not a niche product. It had unprecedented uptake and the devices have such long, useful lives that the replacement cycle still hasn’t really kicked in. When it does — and when the macroeconomy improves to the point where users can consider adding the joys of iPad to their computing lives — then we’ll see iPad unit sales growth again. In the meantime, Apple should redouble their efforts at improving iPad – adding Apple Pencil, Smart Connector, and multi-user support (to mention just three things) — that will make the iPad even more appealing to buyers.


  1. I do not agree with the article. If we look at the iPad Pro now and compare it to laptops from a few years ago, we should see that the iPad is just as fast. Check out Geekbench for the numbers. I belive we will see an iPad Pro/iPhone which, in a few years time which will have the same processing powere as current laptops. This iPad or iPhone will drive an external monitor for when we want a large screen to work from. This could explain why we have not seen an major (Mac) hardware updates. Apple will have us using our iPhones/iPad as we use our computers now.

    Think of the benifets. Wherever you go you will have access to all our files (in the cloud), programs or Apps. I may be wrone but Apple is not spending money on developing hardware outside of the iOS family.

    Mac Pro
    Airport – Routers
    Displays – This one confuses me.
    Macbook Air

    And a halfbacked update to the MacBook Pro.

    I could be wrong, but I do not think I am.


  2. Why can’t anyone say what they actually mean? The core operating system functions in iOS and OS X are one and the same. It’s the UI that is different as well as the hardware abstraction layer to talk to Intel versus A series processors.

    As Seb B above pointed out, components developed on one platform are moving to the other. So we are seeing continued alignment/convergence. Initially the movement was from OS X to iOS but now it’s the reverse. If only Apple could create a real database driven filing system for both platforms…

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