The new Mac Pad Air (Speculation)

by Colin Berkshire

Colin here.

Predicting the future comes in two forms: 1) extrapolating the logical next step or 2) Unbounded wild speculation. I have found nobody is very good at unbounded speculation.

So let me propose to you what Apple’s next amazing product will be. It’s a logical extrapolation from their current strategy and product line.

I believe Apple is likely to introduce their next MacBook Air as a combination OSX and iOS iPad computer.

The Apple reveal goes something like this: Tim cook is demonstrating the new MacBook Air OSX computer. It features a 12.9” Retina display and is thinner than any previous MacBook Air. Just as he finishes, he picks up the display from the computer and it pops off, leaving the keyboard base behind. He then says: “And, it is also our new iPad Air 12.9”. It’s the best iPad for business because it can display a full page of paper at 90% size.

Here is why this is a logical extrapolation of their current direction:

  • The current iPad Air is only 6.1 mm thick. This is thinner than the current MacBook Air display. It has a Retina display.
  • The current MacBook Air is 17 mm thick. Clearly, a keyboard/base unit can be built that is 10 mm thick. So the thickness of the iPad top and keyboard bottom would be less than the current MacBook air. The base unit would only need a battery for the processor, not the display.
  • The use of the word “Air” in the MacBook and iPad lines brings them together. The public has been groomed to thinking they are somehow related (or going to be related.)
  • It is widely rumored that the next MacBook Air will have a 12.9” display, and it is also widely rumored that Apple is developing a 12.9” iPad for business. Coincidence? I think they are one-and-the-same.
  • Tim Cook keeps mentioning that the iPad has some surprising new life in it…and that certainly wasn’t the lackluster ipad Air 2. So what could it be that is remarkably different?

The combination of an IOS and OSX device isn’t as crazy as it may seem. I have an iPad and a MacBook and I love both of them. I switch between them, and I recognize the different needs of a desktop/laptop and a portable iPad. With iCloud, documents move pretty seamlessly between IOS and OSX. The latest Apple Office suite is comprehensive and functionality is very similar between the iPad and MacBook…with a common file format.

A MacBook Air can be purchased (with display) for $900 and an iPad Air can be purchased for $500, for a total of $1,400. Of course, there would be the savings of the unneeded duplicated display, so the price could be right in the $1,200 range. Now, for the price of a MacBook Air you can have a MacBook Air AND an iPad Air 12.9”. That would be sweet.

So the size, weight, and price all work out for this combo unit. Plus, it would be a surprising move such as Tim Cook keeps promising.

I think it will happen, most likely in early summer 2015 when Apple normally refreshes the MacBook Air line.

Let’s see. I do believe in speculation when it is a logical extrapolation.