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Yebubbleman

macrumors 601
Original poster
May 20, 2010
4,530
1,295
Los Angeles, CA
With both the iPad Air (Fifth Generation) and the iPad Pro (11-inch, Third Generation) being of similar size and with both having the M1, making them more or less equivalent for the vast majority of aspects, is there not some redundancy between the two?

Certainly the former has Touch ID instead of Face ID while the latter has a dual-lens camera setup, a LiDAR Scanner, and a ProMotion display. And certainly we have Thunderbolt on one versus...USB-C on the other?

I guess my point is that the price-points between the two are close enough and the overall product type is similar enough between both that it would make sense to go all the way and either give the iPad Air these features and just nix the 11-inch iPad Pro as a product altogether. The Air and 11-inch Pro are almost more similar to each other than the 11-inch Pro is to the 12.9-inch Pro. Certainly, it's always been the case that Apple has one small iPad (the mini), one large iPad (the 12.9-inch Pro), and then a multiple things in the middle. But with the standard iPad, the iPad Air, and the 11-inch iPad Pro, is it not crowded?
 
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ericwn

macrumors G4
Apr 24, 2016
10,496
8,388
It may seem crowded but I guess this situation also works as an upsell point for Apple - why not go for the Pro then to grab the nicest features altogether?
 
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SkiHound2

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2018
417
355
IMO, the Air is intended to lead folks to buy the Pro. Apple has often done that with product lines. A low end tier that offers pretty good value, a middle tier that is quite a bit more expensive than the lowest tiered product, and then an upper tier product that is not dramatically more expensive than the middle tier.They did it all the time with iMacs. I think the psychology is that folks want to upgrade from the lowest tier and then compare the middle and upper tier product and decide the upper tier product is not that much more expensive. That's not to say I don't think the Air is a good product. But I think it offers the most value to 1) persons who are comfortable with the 64gb base model and 2) persons for whom 128gb is not sufficient but 256gb is. A 128gb option is conspicuous by its absence. A 128gb Air at the current price of the 64gb (or even at $50 more) would be a killer product. But the price difference between a 128gb 11" Pro and a 256gb Air is not very wide and the pro-motion screen, better speakers, face ID, improved cameras, etc. make the 128gb Pro a comparatively more desirable product than the 256gb Pro.
 

Isengardtom

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2009
598
835
It might change a bit when (if?) the Pro goes Mini LED and gets a price hike of 100$

at that point the 300$ difference will make the Air more attractive for people on a tighter budget
 
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BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,986
2,100
Canada
The Air is at an attractive entry price point for the 64gb. Other than price alone, I'd much rather have ProMotion and the speakers an extra few $$.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
12,643
9,918
With both the iPad Air (Fifth Generation) and the iPad Pro (11-inch, Third Generation) being of similar size and with both having the M1, making them more or less equivalent for the vast majority of aspects, is there not some redundancy between the two?

Certainly the former has Touch ID instead of Face ID while the latter has a dual-lens camera setup, a LiDAR Scanner, and a ProMotion display. And certainly we have Thunderbolt on one versus...USB-C on the other?

I guess my point is that the price-points between the two are close enough and the overall product type is similar enough between both that it would make sense to go all the way and either give the iPad Air these features and just nix the 11-inch iPad Pro as a product altogether. The Air and 11-inch Pro are almost more similar to each other than the 11-inch Pro is to the 12.9-inch Pro. Certainly, it's always been the case that Apple has one small iPad (the mini), one large iPad (the 12.9-inch Pro), and then a multiple things in the middle. But with the standard iPad, the iPad Air, and the 11-inch iPad Pro, is it not crowded?

My guess is the 10-11” size class is the most popular.

Customers have different budgets so I guess for Apple, it’s good to have good-better-best options to capture more of the market.

As for giving the Air the Pro 11 features, I doubt Apple is willing to give up that extra $200 difference.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
12,643
9,918
A 128gb Air at the current price of the 64gb (or even at $50 more) would be a killer product.

Yep. Definitely agree. 128GB Air 5 at $649 would probably almost kill sales of the 128GB 2021 Pro 11 (at least if not factoring discounts).

Granted, the value-proposition would probably change again with the release of the next Pro.
 

JPack

macrumors G3
Mar 27, 2017
8,823
15,159
iPad Pro is intended for those who use it for work and need a good camera. Many iPad Air consumers buy it for media consumption and don’t need a fancy camera.

We’re in a 6 month overlap period where both have M1, but that’s not always the case. The same thing happened with iPad Pro A12Z and iPad Air A14. When the iPad Pro gets M2, the value for the Pro will be much stronger.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
12,643
9,918
The Air 5 and the current Pro have exactly the same RAM until you get to the 1TB/2TB storage models of the Pro. I would bet that Apple sells very few of those.

I believe that’s @Rafterman’s point. The Pro models offer much higher RAM+storage configurations whereas it’s capped at 256GB for the regular, mini and Air.

Iirc, he has the 2TB version of the iPad Pro.
 
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Bug-Creator

macrumors 65816
May 30, 2011
1,432
4,355
Germany
With both the iPad Air (Fifth Generation) and the iPad Pro (11-inch, Third Generation) being of similar size and with both having the M1, making them more or less equivalent for the vast majority of aspects, is there not some redundancy between the two?

With every update one of these gets the other one looks pointless.

When the Air went A14 the A12z in the Pro looked weak, when the Pro went M1 the saving were too low for the Air to make sense and now it is the Air again being the smart move......
 

chrfr

macrumors G4
Jul 11, 2009
11,527
5,078
Sorta' kinda'. Thunderbolt is for video only.

USB-C is a port only, not a protocol.
Thunderbolt on the iPad does more than just video. Ethernet and storage both work, and with a dock connected, you can do audio out as well (and probably audio in, but I haven’t tested that.)
 

IJBrekke

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2009
497
418
Long Beach, CA
Just as a perspective, I offered to get my wife a new iPad for Mother’s Day. She cross-shopped the new Air 256gb and the 11” Pro 128gb. She went with the Air because:
  • She has never really liked Face ID.
  • She feels the ProMotion display looks like the “soap opera effect” (motion blur) on TVs that we both admittedly hate and turn off immediately. The Air screen “just looks like a regular Apple screen.”
  • The Air comes in non-boring colors (her words)
  • She will never notice the difference in speaker quality unless side-by-side
  • She will never EVER know or care that they have different USB-C ports and transfer abilities
  • 256 is more than 128
Her takes are a perfect example of the populations that don’t visit tech forums and rarely read the specs. This is exactly who the Air is for. With the M1 now, it’s actually vastly overqualified for this role.
 

Josieb1

macrumors 6502
Nov 3, 2013
290
157
London
IMO, the Air is intended to lead folks to buy the Pro. Apple has often done that with product lines. A low end tier that offers pretty good value, a middle tier that is quite a bit more expensive than the lowest tiered product, and then an upper tier product that is not dramatically more expensive than the middle tier.They did it all the time with iMacs. I think the psychology is that folks want to upgrade from the lowest tier and then compare the middle and upper tier product and decide the upper tier product is not that much more expensive. That's not to say I don't think the Air is a good product. But I think it offers the most value to 1) persons who are comfortable with the 64gb base model and 2) persons for whom 128gb is not sufficient but 256gb is. A 128gb option is conspicuous by its absence. A 128gb Air at the current price of the 64gb (or even at $50 more) would be a killer product. But the price difference between a 128gb 11" Pro and a 256gb Air is not very wide and the pro-motion screen, better speakers, face ID, improved cameras, etc. make the 128gb Pro a comparatively more desirable product than the 256gb Pro.
I’ve just bought an Air 5 256gb. Hubby is having my Air 3 256gb. I did look at the Pro 11 just as you mentioned because the difference wasn’t much but tbh it’s still £190 more (£130 without AppleCare) as I need the 256gb. But as you say it’s getting very close.
 
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Mark Stone

macrumors demi-god
Mar 20, 2022
182
172
In its case.
With both the iPad Air (Fifth Generation) and the iPad Pro (11-inch, Third Generation) being of similar size and with both having the M1, making them more or less equivalent for the vast majority of aspects, is there not some redundancy between the two?

Certainly the former has Touch ID instead of Face ID while the latter has a dual-lens camera setup, a LiDAR Scanner, and a ProMotion display. And certainly we have Thunderbolt on one versus...USB-C on the other?

I guess my point is that the price-points between the two are close enough and the overall product type is similar enough between both that it would make sense to go all the way and either give the iPad Air these features and just nix the 11-inch iPad Pro as a product altogether. The Air and 11-inch Pro are almost more similar to each other than the 11-inch Pro is to the 12.9-inch Pro. Certainly, it's always been the case that Apple has one small iPad (the mini), one large iPad (the 12.9-inch Pro), and then a multiple things in the middle. But with the standard iPad, the iPad Air, and the 11-inch iPad Pro, is it not crowded?
I think they are redundant for the same reasons expressed by the OP. I’m wondering if the bump in the Air is in preparation for a bigger bump in the Pro this autumn?

My Air (v5, 2022, 256g, M1) in concert with the Magic Keyboard is awesome for my purposes: research, documentation (both photographs and Word documents) and online sharing of Southwest architectural studies (see link in sig). I take the photos with my iPhone 13 (which has wonderful cameras and is better in hand for photography) and AirDrop them over to the iPad, do research on the full-featured Chrome browser, write the articles using Google Docs and upload the finished product to my websites. I also run a handful of Excel spreadsheets on the Air, and it handles them with ease. The iPad Air/Magic Keyboard combo is the size of the old Netbook computers (remember those?) with 20x the power. I’m discovering that I’m very, very rarely using the device for videos or music, although I am a heavy Roblox and Minecraft player. This Air has **a lot** of power and is very useful.
 
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