by Jim Lynch

The iPad Pro should have been called the iPad Plus

Feb 24, 2016

Apple goofed by stressing professional uses for the iPad Pro instead of simply emphasizing that it's the best iPad ever. And some folks probably won't buy the iPad Pro because of its name.

I a recent post I shared my thoughts about my new iPad Pro. In short, I love it! I’ve found it to be the best iPad that Apple has ever created. It has put my iPad Air 2 to shame to the point where I wasn’t sad to part with the smaller iPad.

But at the end of that post I also mentioned that Apple had goofed by naming it the iPad Pro, it should have been called the iPad Plus. And I want to elaborate on why I feel that way in this post.

The name “iPad Pro” is exclusionary and discourages some users from buying it

One of the biggest problems Apple created by using the name “iPad Pro” is that the name itself is essentially exclusionary. It casts the iPad Pro as a device totally geared toward professionals who want to do work on the device. And that attitude has the potential to discourage folks that might otherwise buy an iPad Pro and use it for non-professional purposes.

For example, I’ve found the iPad Pro to be far better than any other iPad ever created for things like Netflix, games, comic books, ebooks and even just simple web browsing. Once I started using the iPad Pro, I realized that my iPad Air 2 wasn’t even close in terms of providing such a great experience.

But many people might never discover this if they let the “pro” in the device’s name make them think that it’s more of a work tool than it is for anything else. How unfortunate for them, and it makes me wonder how many people have skipped buying the iPad Pro already because of its name.

The emphasis on professional uses for the iPad Pro also causes heated arguments online

Another problem with the iPad Pro’s name is the heated arguments it has caused on various sites in discussion threads. Instead of talking about how the iPad Pro is the best iPad ever, many discussion threads devolve into flame wars about whether or not the device is “professional enough.”

I’ve seen this happen over and over again on many different sites. Somebody brings up the iPad Pro and then some other participants start slamming it because it’s “not for real work” or iOS isn’t “professional enough.” On and on it goes, and what gets lost in the maelstrom of comments about work is that the iPad Pro provides a much better overall experience than any previous iPad.

In a nutshell, the iPad Pro’s name has really poisoned the well in terms of how the device is perceived and discussed online. And if you don’t believe me about this, just visit your favorite Apple news site, discussion forum or read some of the reviews of the iPad Pro. You’ll quickly see people continue to argue about its professional uses while completely ignoring how much better it is overall than every iPad that has come before it.

The iPad Pro’s name conflicts with how the iPhone is named

Another reason I don’t like the name of the iPad Pro is that it conflicts with the naming convention used for the iPhone. Can you imagine if the iPhone 6s Plus had been dubbed the iPhone 6s Pro? It would have been a really stupid idea, and the same applies to the iPad Pro.

Apple would have been much better off if they’d simply called the iPad Pro the iPad Plus instead, as they did with the larger iPhone. At least then we wouldn’t have two different naming conventions going on for two products that complement each other the way that the iPhone and iPad do.

I know that some folks will consider this to be a very minor point, but it does highlight a weird inconsistency in how Apple names its products. Why should the biggest iPad be treated so differently than the biggest iPhone? It makes no sense to me.

Perhaps Apple will consider renaming the iPad Pro to the iPad Plus

It’s still very early in the life of the iPad Pro, so it’s quite possible that future releases of the product could be renamed by Apple. If that happens then I think the company might broaden the appeal of the iPad Pro, and encourage folks that haven’t bought it to consider it as a replacement for their current iPads.

Don’t get me wrong here, I have nothing against using an iPad for work purposes. For some folks such as Federico Viticci the iPad is a great productivity tool, and more power to them for using it. But the iPad Pro can do far, far more than just work and the name should really reflect that in a way that it doesn’t right now.

Hopefully someday we’ll see the “iPad Plus” make its debut after Apple finally retires the well meaning but inaccurate “iPad Pro” name.

Did you miss a post? Check the Eye On Apple home page to get caught up with the latest news, discussions and rumors about Apple.