November 30, 2023

Think about making a product that requires you to create two extra merchandise somewhat than with the ability to use two completely good ones you have already got. That’s what Apple did with the Tenth-generation iPad.

At this time, the corporate introduced a brand new model of the Apple Pencil. This isn’t a next-generation mannequin, however a less expensive, much less feature-rich model of the $129 Apple Pencil 2 that has been in the marketplace for some time now. The “new” Apple Pencil misses out on wi-fi pairing and charging, strain sensitivity, the power to Double Faucet to alter instruments, and free engraving.

What it does get is a USB-C port, which can enable the brand new pencil to cost with the Tenth-generation iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Professional. Why does it want this USB-C port? Properly, that has all the pieces to do with the Tenth-generation iPad and its lack of assist for wi-fi pairing and charging for the Apple Pencil. Up till now, customers have had to make use of the 1st-generation Apple Pencil with a Lightning to USB-C dongle as a way to pair and cost their pencil with their iPad.

USB-C Apple Pencil launched in October 2023. Picture supply: Apple Inc.

This product shouldn’t even should exist

Whereas that is definitely an enchancment for Tenth-gen iPad customers in comparison with the 1st-generation Apple Pencil, it’s a product that shouldn’t even have needed to exist. As a substitute of making a brand new Apple Pencil as a way to appease Tenth-generation iPad clients, Apple ought to have simply added the appropriate options to the iPad itself to assist the corporate’s present equipment.

The USB-C Apple Pencil isn’t the one accent that Apple has needed to create as a way to make the Tenth-generation iPad make sense. The corporate additionally determined to forgo compatibility with the present Magic Keyboard or Sensible Keyboard Folio keyboards for the iPad and, as a substitute, created the Magic Keyboard Folio for the Tenth-generation iPad.

iPad 10 (2022) Magic Keyboard Folio

The sacrifices that Apple accepted with the Tenth-gen iPad — possible as a way to attain a worth level it felt it wanted to — has created a complicated accent lineup that offers clients a worse product expertise. The USB-C Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard Folio shouldn’t even exist. Apple ought to have made the brand new base mannequin appropriate with the present Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard, and Sensible Keyboard Folio.

Certain, this could have resulted in clients having to pay just a little extra for a setup, nevertheless it’s not a ton — particularly when you concentrate on how a lot the “cheaper” merchandise really are. A tenth-generation iPad with the brand new USB-C Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard Folio is available in at a base worth of $780 — hardly a “price range” setup. What if Apple made it appropriate with the higher and already present Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard? That might be $100 extra. $100. That’s it.

The iPad itself might also want a worth bump, so perhaps it will find yourself being an additional $150. Whereas that’s notable, it doesn’t actually appear to be a deal breaker for somebody who’s already paying $780 for a worse expertise. Apple is already in a dropping battle in comparison with Google’s Chromebook right here, so it would as properly embrace that it’ll are available in at a better worth level.

Apple Pencil 1, 2, and USB-C.Picture supply: Apple Inc.

I’m additionally confused as to why Apple took this strategy contemplating its environmental targets. For an organization that’s targeted on the atmosphere, it certain is capturing itself within the foot and complicating its product lineup for the sake of perceived worth for its clients. This, little question, additionally requires a much bigger impression on the atmosphere as a way to assist the manufacturing of all of those equipment.

As a substitute of fixing the Tenth-generation iPad with a brand new mannequin that provides assist for higher equipment just like the $129 Apple Pencil and the $299 Magic Keyboard, the corporate seems to be doubling down with the USB-C Apple Pencil. I hope this doesn’t final and that the corporate makes an Eleventh-generation base mannequin iPad that resets all of this complexity.

Will probably be higher for everybody, particularly the poor Apple Retailer workers who want to elucidate the distinction between THREE Apple Pencil fashions now. Good lord. Talking of which, for those who’re making an attempt to determine which one is best for you, we put collectively a comparability that breaks all of it down.