Disillusioned Apple fans hate its new M4 iPad Pro advert — "The symbolism of indiscriminately crushing beautiful creative tools is an interesting choice"

Let Loose 2024
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's brand new M4 iPad Pro was unveiled at the company's May 7 Let Loose event this week. The most advertised feature of this product is how thin it is, which Apple demonstrated through a hydraulic press advert. But it seems not all fans like this video, with it drawing a ton of criticism online.

The advert for the new iPad Pro with the M4 chip was shown shortly before its reveal. In the clip, you can see a hydraulic press crushing a bunch of tech products and other creative or artistic items. If you look closely, you'll even spot the Pixar lamp. The press then reveals the new iPad Pro in place, highlighting just how thin the device is. And it's incredibly thin. The 11-inch model is 5.3mm thin, and the 13-inch model is even thinner at 5.1mm – it's the thinnest product Apple has created.

But fans aren't all that happy about the new iPad Pro advert. It's drawing lots of criticism online for being wasteful of all of these products, which would have been destroyed during filming. Some people also perceive the advert to be dismissing all of these developments from the past, and find it disrespectful to Apple's core audience. No pun intended.

"Just a terribly cruel image. this ain’t it chiefs," one developer remarked. Another commenter added "The symbolism of indiscriminately crushing beautiful creative tools is an interesting choice," a third stated "I can't relate to this video at all. It lacks any respect for creative equipment and mocks the creators. According to popular developer Sebastiaan de With, the advert has gone over particularly badly with Japanese viewers. "I found it interesting to read the Japanese backlash responses to this, some particularly disturbed because of a belief in “Tsukumogami” — the idea that creative tools can possess a spirit of their own (a beautiful notion), so destroying them is truly evil," he noted. 

The video, shared on X by CEO Tim Cook, has been viewed more than 43 million times, it large reach buoyed in part by the intensely negative reaction to the ad. 

What did Apple really mean?

Despite drawing a bunch of criticism online, this probably isn't what Apple intended to show with this advert. The more likely scenario is that Apple was trying to demonstrate how many features and how much tech has been crammed into the new best iPad. Especially when it's so thin. Rather than dismissing the technology from the past, it's supposed to be a representation of how it's all been combined into this device. At least that's the idea. Apple's new iPad Pro includes AI-powered session musicians and supports the brand new Logic Pro for iPad 2 and Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 apps. 

Advertising is all about how people perceive your product. And, despite Apple's intentions, consumers aren't a fan of this ad. It'll be interesting to see if the tech giant continues to push this clip to demonstrate how thin the device is, or if the brand opts for other footage instead.

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Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.