Mac, iPhone, and iPad are all computers, but they are not the same; similar in some respects, yes, but definitely different tools for different situations. You can’t stick a Mac into your pocket. Yet, screen real estate still matters and no iPhone will ever have what iPad and Mac come with in natural form.
Apple has a problem with the iPad as a Mac. iPads outsell Macs by perhaps two-to-one but also have a much smaller average selling price. In other words, Apple makes more money on fewer Macs, but mobile devices are not going away so will iPad ever be as powerful as the Mac?
First, it depends upon what you consider to be powerful.
Already an iPad is more powerful than more than 90-percent of most Windows PC notebooks or Chromebooks, and has about 1-million apps in the App Store, so, as always, power is in the eyes of the beholder.
Second, both iPadOS and macOS are works in progress, but have different environments; they may overlap, but work most of us do on our Macs will not easily be handled by even an iPad Pro. Steve Jobs, when he introduced the iPad at $499 in 2010, had the device perfectly positioned between iPhone (size) and Mac (capabilities).
In recent years, particularly with iPadOS 13, Apple has added more functions that are Mac-like in capability. Mouse and keyboard support. Split-screen. Easier access to multiple apps on the display. Match up an iPad Pro with similar storage and size to a MacBook Pro and you get a price tag that is similar, too.
A fully tricked out iPad Pro weighs in at almost $1,900 with keyboard, mouse, and 1TB SSD storage. Add 1TB storage to an entry-level MacBook Pro and you’re at $1,900, too.
That’s by design.
As a hardware company, Apple packages each product on a carefully crafted price migration table where price, storage, power, and capability need to remain in lockstep to avoid constant cannibalization.
Apple wants customers who need desktop-like power to buy a Mac. And an iPhone. And an iPad. iPhone is less competition because screen real estate matters, but iPad and Mac can be competitive, especially where the sales numbers are the fattest– the average user.
What Apple closely over the next few years.
What we will see is an ever-increasing encroachment from iPad to Mac, from iPadOS to macOS, but with no place to meet. An iPad will work as a Mac, but totally dependent upon your requirements. A Mac does not have the same mobile capability of iPad or iPhone, but has capabilities– thanks to screen real estate and different applications– that mobile devices do not carry.