Apple hasn't demoed an iPad on stage all year

Speaking of Ben Thompson, here's an interesting response and extrapolation to his iPad event piece on Stratechery from Pavan Rajam on the rajam report:

The iPads didn't get much stage time and weren't featured in any demos. What is particularly disconcerting is that Apple has not done a single on-stage demo for the iPad this year. Nothing at WWDC, nothing at last month's iPhone event, and nothing at the Fall Event. Perhaps if they moved the iPad reveal to the middle of the keynote they could have done demos showing off how the iPad and Mac apps work together. By waiting to reveal the iPad at the end of the event, they weren't able to demo the new apps and the benefits of 64-bit without outing the new products. Imagine if Xander Soren had demoed GarageBand with 32-tracks on an iPad Air. That's something that's never been done before, and would have showed what the product can do in a very meaningful way.

One of the things I've kept hearing from people at last week's iPad event was how impossibly light the iPad Air felt. Like the iPhone 5 before it, it supposedly felt so light as to seem, at first, like it's a fake, a dummy, a hollow blank. Brian Klug talked about it just so on last week's edition of Vector.

Not coincidentally, Ben Thompson is this week's guest on Vector, and we discuss this very topic. We saw how thin it looked on slides. We were told how light it was during the presentation, but nobody, not Tim Cook, not Phil Schiller, not Eddy Cue - nobody - took one out on stage and spoke about how it felt to hold, to use, to experience.

With the iPad 2, Apple brought experience to a spec fight. That's the element that was missing last week, and the element I very much hope to see next time.

Technology alone is not enough.

Source: rajam report

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple hasn't demoed an iPad on stage all year


This! The live hands on, show off to audience is the key to mind-blowing presentation.

It's blow out the audience when Steve took macbook air from an envelope. Unforgettable moment!

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There was nothing new to take it out there and "demo". They already showed off all the new stuff for iOS 7 on the iPhone. That's why they just talked size and let everyone go demo it themselves afterwards.

I agree, too. This was a bit of a rough year for iPad. No iOS 7 at WWDC, took a bit to get there. I think the focus will return next year, but this may have just been a growing pains type of year for iPad.

Not trying to say anything was bad. But all the major refinements went into the iOS 7 and 5s demo, there just wasn't anything about the iPad Air and iPad mini to demonstrate.

I get why the demo for the iPad 2, it was a vast improvement inside and out. But the Air and mini were basic form factor improvements to bring it up to specs with the iPhone 5s and slim it down a bit. And since we all already got in depth demos of iOS 7 there would have been no point. I like what the did though. Talk tech then hand it off to everyone that came to go play with it. Those people that got to play did all the Demos for everyone and told us how much they liked it.

It wasn't the demo missing that was the problem, it was the story.

Apple events have traditionally been about telling a story about the product, not just reciting the details of the product. While badly-told stories can distract or even backfire, Apple has had ncredible success crafting narratives that clearly demonstrate to people beyond Moscone center why they should be excited about the new product du jour. This year, for whatever reason, they did not try, and the result felt rather like another generic cool tech unveiling, rather than an event.

I agree. I really miss Steve Jobs' keynotes ;( He was a kind of guy who just loves people clapping for him so he basically introduced all the Apple products by himself but I don't think Tim Cook likes to stand on a stage with over 1000 people staring at him. His jokes aren't really funny either. I hope to see the funny, and just ground breaking keynotes from Apple, once again. Plus, I like how Steve Jobs is just so great at appealing products. Anyone here remember Motorola ROKR? Everyone thought Apple would introduce a phone then. I could see how Steve Jobs was just deperate to appeal a failure product from Motorola. Everyone on that day was like 'what the hell? What is this s***

If Apple had just an iPad evnt they could have have done this. But there was too much to discuss and iPads were at the very end. They probably should have left the MBP to a press release and devoted more time to iPad.

I thought it was interesting Apple packed so much into the keynote. If they keep doing this I think they could easily unify the whole thing around story. They've pinned a lot on iCloud and that is the unifying factor between their products now. There's a story to be told there, I think.

Exactly my thoughts... When your down to overanalyze a product pitch, it’s like you’re down to milking an old and dried up cow.

The least Apple could do is have a platform center stage that rises up and slowly rotates with the product of topic on display for audience members to try and get a glimpse of. That could be fun.

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Th way I look at it it is just waiting for a killer app which will take full advantage of the 64 bit chip and it will be mind blowing if they can demo a photophop kind of app going through its loops on an iPad.

Totally agree with Ben Thompson.

Federighi was in charge of Mac OS X. Jony Ive was hardware design. Forstall was iPhone OS, and eventually, iOS, so he would have been the advocate for usability on both devices. Phil Schiller is enthusiastic about describing the devices and their specs, but not the actual use.

I would say that Steve Jobs was the biggest advocate for the iPad. Bringing a tabula rasa computing device to the masses. I believe there's a very touching video before where they focused on an autistic child being able to communicate with his parents through the iPad.

Compared to other tablets, it seems that the iPad has the best overall built-in accessibility options. How would a blind person use an Android tablet? Where would they go to get help?

It's the simplicity of the iPad that makes it appealing, whether it's a 2 year-old, 82 year-old, or even a cat.