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Tim Cook: Apple won’t merge MacBook and iPad


Apple CEO Tim Cook

Microsoft’s Surface Book hybrid has received plenty of praise, but Tim Cook isn’t so keen on the idea.

The Apple CEO described the product as “diluted” earlier this week, and has vowed that Apple isn’t going to follow Microsoft’s suit.

Speaking to the Independent, Cook said: “We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad.”

Related: iPad Air 3

He continued: “Because what that would wind up doing, or what we’re worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants.”

Microsoft hasn’t been shy about combining laptop and tablet form factors, as seen with the Surface and Surface Pro range, and more recently with the Surface Book.

However, Apple’s recent launch of the iPad Pro signals that the firm isn’t ready to give up on tablets just yet.

“So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either,” explains Cook. “You’d begin to compromise in different ways.”

Related: Surface Book vs MacBook Pro

Speaking to the Telegraph earlier this week, Cook questioned the worth of Windows PCs in 2015.

The CEO asked: “I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?”

He added: “We don’t regard Macs and PCs to be the same.”

Do you think Apple should evolve its MacBook series to be more like the Surface Book? Let us know in the comments.

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November 15, 2015, 5:56 pm

"neither experience would be as good as the customer wants"

Translation: why sell them one product when we could sell two?


November 15, 2015, 8:30 pm

This is either going to turn out really bad, or they'll just make out like it was their idea all along. Like phones never having screens larger than is usable with one hand. Nowadays you need at least 2 sizeable hands to use an iPhone comfortably.
They're just waiting for the market to grown before dipping their toe.

Dead Words

November 16, 2015, 12:27 am

Apple is so stuck to their traditions it's insane. Yes, Apple, continue to run four completely separate operating systems and charge an extortionate amount for every device running those operating systems.
Oh no, Apple your software is pretty good. Well designed and well programmed. Oh, Apple your hardware is actually very good. Well built and good quality.
But I still refuse to buy three different products and three different operating systems when I can buy a single product form Microsoft that does everything I need it to do at the same level or even better than Apple.

Kit Walker

November 16, 2015, 1:55 am

IMHO Apple is suckling on the last bit of genius nectar left in the pipeline by Jobs. Before him the company had no idea what would make them great and after him, nothing has changed. Jobs changed the consumer world with so many original products (and if not original perfected) that it took the competition years to catch up. These days, they have not only caught up, but they have surpassed...even Microsoft who is not known for innovation, but rather imitation. I cannot see how Apple can sustain its role as a leading innovator and industry definer. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Over the years I have bought a considerable amount of apple gear and I've had a lot of problems with hardware and software alike, but I put up with it because the products were new, cool, useful, and most importantly - unique. These days there are many alternatives and I'm glad because I became sick of Apple's bigotry.


November 16, 2015, 12:07 pm

Bigotry?! I may not agree with your position up to the last line of your comment, but I can at least respect your point of view. But bigotry? Apple is tremendously inclusive. Apple takes great pains to showcase its equal opportunities employment policy. Its CEO describes himself as "proud to be gay". Where is the bigotry?


November 16, 2015, 12:11 pm

Four OSes? Do explain. There's OSX on desktops and laptops; there's iOS on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Are your third and fourth OSes WatchOS and TVOS? If so, please feel free to show me the single magical OS that works on everything. Which single MS product do you use / propose to use that replaces (and is equal or superior to in all respects) three separate Apple devices running three separate OSes?

Gareth Burleigh

November 16, 2015, 12:28 pm

Every product category (apart from Watch) Apple have I own in some version or other but current Apple are beginning to frustrate me more and more. I actually thought Cook as the face of Apple would be the beginning of Apple seeming less elitist and smug but they just seem to be treading water. Maybe it was Jobs master salesmanship but I can't remember the last time I watched a Keynote and just HAD to have something.

Back on topic, on recent track record Apple saying they won't be doing something holds about as much water as a sieve (written on my big phone they would never make)

Gareth Burleigh

November 16, 2015, 12:31 pm

Ha ha Jmac, DeadWords has become my new favourite comic relief on this site over the last few months. His Apple stance is usually were he is at his best

Dead Words

November 16, 2015, 12:46 pm

Windows 10 runs on PC's, tablets, smartphones, IoT devices, and now the Xbox One. The Surface Book could replace a Macbook, iPad, and Apple TV as your main productivity and media consumption device. The Surface Book has the power, the display quality, and the portability necessary.


November 16, 2015, 1:02 pm

Windows 10 does indeed run on PCs, tablets and Xbox One. I have no idea which "IoT devices" you are referring to, and Windows 10 Phone has not yet been released and is not Windows 10 (in fact it runs a modified Windows NT kernel in much the same way as iOS runs a modified OSX kernel). The various iterations of Windows 10 may very well share a lot in common, but good luck getting full fat desktop apps to run on your smartphone or Xbox One.

iOS and OSX also share a lot in common and work very well together as an ecosystem. In fact, in my experience (your mileage may vary), the seamlessness with which Apple products interoperate is still a step change ahead of Microsoft's equivalent offerings. I'm not sure what advantage you think is conveyed by having the "same" OS on all the devices you list, even if it were actually the same.

Your comparison isn't fair - yes, you could use a Surface Book to do much of what you can with an iPad and a MacBook. You could also use an iPad with a keyboard, or a Macbook, to do much of the same. This is exactly the point Cook is making - the three options are at different points on a spectrum - the iPad sits at the end of maximal portability; the Macbook towards the more productive/less portable end. The Surface Book is somewhere in the middle, and Cook's argument (with which you are of course welcome to disagree) is that the consequence of that is compromise - it may be a very good tablet and a very good laptop, but it is beaten on both counts by a dedicated device. If you want a hybrid device then the Surface Book is great. But it's less portable, immediate and intuitive (by necessity, since it is more customisable) than an iPad and it's too top heavy to be the perfect laptop to actually, y'know, use it on your lap.

And in order to use it as your main media consumption device (replacing Apple TV in your example) you'd need to connect it to your TV, which requires either a cable (in which case you could just as easily connect an iPad or Macbook) or some sort of receiver (in which case you've still got 2 devices).

Dead Words

November 16, 2015, 3:34 pm

The reason you disagree is because the Surface Book isn't perfect for you. For me, however, it is a far more productive and portable device than toting an iPad and a Macbook. The Surface Book can do everything either one can do in an intuitive, beautifully built product and works, for me, far more than any number of Apple products would. It would replace the Apple TV because I wouldn't use it plugged into my TV, I'd watch everything on the Surface Book itself, and that works just perfectly for me.
In addition, you're wrong. Windows 10 does run on mobiles and the benefits can be found in Continuum and UWP. It won't be long before Continuum is expanded to run full PC apps on phones and possibly even Xbox's. Windows 10 IoT is a thing, even if you've not heard of it. Just because you believe Apples method is better does not mean it is better for me.

Paul Brasington

November 17, 2015, 2:07 am

Seems to me that Cook is having his Ballmer moment, the moment where he's so stuck in his notion of superiority that he's not noticing what's going on around him. He's right that putting together a desktop and touch-driven OS is difficult, hence all Microsoft's pain with Win8. It's true too that Win10 still has plenty of room for improvement, but what it's showing is that with a bit of ambition and genuine innovation you don't have to compromise anything, that the two modes can co-exist and use the same fundamental design language. Apple placed its bet on this not being possible, the position Cook is trying to defend, but he's simply, evidently wrong. I don't know what's going to happen with Windows Phone, and maybe it will fade, which actually would be a loss to the world. But it seems to me the debate has already moved on. Microsoft has focused on productivity while Apple is still fretting about form factors. Cook wants to say that a Win10 desktop is a compromise, but it really isn't, and it makes OSX look antediluvian. Apple fans won't see this, but the fans don't matter. All the research I've seen suggests that the tablet moment has already passed, and that the future lies in hybrids (which ironically is why you now have an iPad Pro, even though it's iOS rather than Win10 and so offering a sub-par productivity experience). Cook, like Ballmer before him, is trying to bluster his way around the fact that Apple is now hopelessly behind the curve. Lovely hardware, but the software is less than lovely


November 17, 2015, 1:37 pm

And there the troll gives himself away - I never made any suggestion that Apple's solution is better for you. You're clearly (zealously) in favour of your Microsoft solution, and good for you. That's the beauty of capitalism - you're welcome to vote with your wallet and buy all the Surface Books you can afford.

Your comparison is still unfair though - you could just as easily watch everything on a Macbook or iPad as on a Surface Book, so the Apple TV isn't needed for your usage pattern. So you're really only replacing two devices with a Surface Book, and even then only if you're willing to accept the compromises inherent in a hybrid device. I could argue just as fervently that a Macbook does everything I need, so I don't need an iPad either. I have one because I like it and it's convenient.

I'm not wrong. Windows Phone 10 (whatever you choose to call it) is a different OS from Windows 10 (though it shares a reasonable amount of its code base), operating on different (typically ARM rather than x86) hardware and not capable of running all Windows applications. By the same measure, iOS shares a lot of code with OSX. In any event, even if WP10 magically COULD run every Windows application, the user experience of most desktop software on a phone would be woeful without a special interface, in which case you're not far off building a separate app. On which note, the Apple App Store annihilates the competition in terms of range and quality of apps.

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