The iPad Pro, which looks a lot like two iPad Air’s placed side by side and fused together, will go on sale in South Africa tomorrow through the 20 iStore outlets around the country and online. As expected, the rand/dollar exchange rate hasn’t done us any favours, and those looking to pick up one of the new, 12.9in/32.8cm tablets will have to fork out between R13,500 and R18,000, depending on the configuration they opt for.Billed as a tool for creative professionals, the iPad Pro promises the ability to edit 4K video thanks to CPU performance that’s nearly double that found in the iPad Air 2. Apple’s also managed to squeeze four speakers into the device that adapt according to the orientation of the device. It’s available in silver, gold and space grey. There’s no rose gold option, so you won’t be able to match it to your iPhone 6s, but if colour coordination is your primary concern, this probably isn’t the tablet for you.
Apple’s also released a Smart Keyboard in the same vein as the keyboard cover Microsoft offers for its Surface Pro devices, and a stylus called the Apple Pencil (yeah, we wonder what Jobs would’ve thought, too) for the iPad Pro, though local pricing and availability of these accessories has yet to be confirmed. If you opt for the top-end iPad Pro and accessories, it’s safe to say you can expect to hand over in excess of R20,000.Though the Pro is aimed at those who want to get real work done rather than those looking to play Fruit Ninja (although it’ll doubtless be great for games), we have to wonder how well it’ll meet the working professional’s needs given it’s powered by a mobile OS in the form of Apple’s iOS 9. It’s the same problem that faced early versions of Microsoft’s Surface range which ran a pared down version of Windows.
Will Apple be able to convince developers and software companies like Adobe to create full-blown, mobile versions of their desktop software, or will new apps come along to fill the gaps? Time, as it tends to do, will tell.