When Apple last week quietly announced that its 128GB iPad is shipping tomorrow, it was so quiet that I didn't notice that Autodesk had twice received top billing in the accompanying press release -- until I read Jean-Louis Gassée's Monday Note on Sunday, "iPad Pro: The Missing Workflow."
The first "first" mention for Autodesk comes in the third paragraph:
Companies regularly utilizing large amounts of data such as 3D CAD files, X-rays, film edits, music tracks, project blueprints, training videos and service manuals all benefit from having a greater choice of storage options for iPad.
(I boldfaced the file types Autodesk software works with.) Never mind that the sentence makes no sense (if you have large data, you have no choice). The other mention comes as Autodesk is given First Quoter status:
“Our AutoCAD WS app for iOS was designed to give customers seamless access to their designs anywhere, anytime,” said Amy Bunszel, vice president of AutoCAD products for Autodesk. “These files are often large and highly detailed so having the thin and light iPad with its Multitouch display, integrated camera and all-day battery life, is a real advantage for iPad users to view, edit and share their AutoCAD data.”
Curiously, the quote make no mention of the larger capacity of the updated iPad model. Autodesk wants you to pay them to store your proprietary data on their cloud storage service, and not have massive amounts of data laying around on easily-stolen portable devices. Perhaps this is why the Autodesk quote ignores the 2x capacity jump for iPad.
Of course, part of the problem is the faux-minimalist design of the iPad, which has no memory card slot. My ASUS TF101 tablet has two such slots, and so it can carry 16+64+64GB of storage -- all for about the price of a regular iPad.
Back to Mr Gassée, who normally is an Apple cheerleader. For this shiny new iPad, he does not understand why Apple positioned it as a device for professionals. He provides several examples of tasks he does effortlessly on his MacBook are nigh-impossible on any iPad, no matter how much storage space it has. As Exhibit #1, he gives the example of how difficult it would be to assemble his Monday Note newsletter on iPads.
Instead, he figures this new model is simply a way for Apple to increase the average selling price of iPads, which has fallen 18% over the last year.