My problem with Apple's assumption, and you are 100% correct in what you are saying, is that portable computing is so much more than mundane tasks on one side of the spectrum and then video encoding on the other. Apple seems to think there is no in-between, no intermediary where people require professional applications that do much more than basic word processing but significantly less than professional audio or video production, nothing between dreadfully (mis)typing emails with your fingertips and supercomputing powers to edit the latest Hollywood blockbuster. The truth is that there is a giant in-between, and the 12" MacBook filled that gap quite nicely along all the other portable Apple computers.
And regarding the iPad (Pro) as the future of portable computing: excuse my language, but the iPad (Pro) is hot garbage. Don't get me wrong, I love my iPad and it's a great couch surfing and media consumption device for the living room. But that's it. Serious business applications are suspiciously lacking (and by that I mean more than a Slack client for chatting with my office mates) and Office applications such as Microsoft Office are nothing more than massively dumbed-down versions of their macOS/Windows counterparts and lack the most essential and basic features required for serious office work. The iPad (Pro) is a great device, but it is definitely not the future of mobile computing, and never will be. It's an expensive toy, and that's pretty much it. Things I cannot possibly do on an iPad (Pro): access network shares to download files; edit massive budgeting spreadsheets in Excel; use extensive macros and formulas in office applications, including but not limited to, Excel; software development of any kind, be it shell scripting or Java development; multiple VPN connections to multiple sites; extensive word processing; ODBC connections to hook into databases, be that PostgreSQL, Oracle, or MSSQL; and so on. I dread the day my 12" MacBook dies, because that will mean I will have to get a much larger, heavier, and most annoyingly active cooled MacBook Air, and lugging around another pound of computer with a fan in it is going to feel like a 10 year setback.
That said I agree with everyone else. Apple does not care about its Mac division anymore. It's not the big cash cow it once used to be, and Apple's future of mobile computing is definitely the iPad (Pro). I see no chance of another 12" MacBook or a 12" MacBook Air. That ship has sailed with the discontinuation of the last gen fanless MacBook.