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iPad and Mac won't merge despite using the same M1, Apple confirms

iPad Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

The recent announcement of the iPad Pro 2021, which brought Apple's M1 SoC to the tablet, has caused a resurgence in the theory that iPad and Mac are destined to merge given that the same chip is now found in many of Apple's laptops and desktops.

One group that seems pretty certain that isn't happening is Apple itself. In an interview with The Independent this week, Apple VP of hardware engineering John Ternus and VP of worldwide marketing Greg Joswiak both were adamant that the platforms are not on a collision course with one another (via Tom's Hardware).

According to Ternus: "We're pushing to make the best Mac we can make; we're pushing to make the best iPad we can make. And people choose." He says that they aren't looking to limit either platform simply to avoid crossover with the other.

Those who want to see the two intersect argue Apple is limiting what the Mac can do by virtue of not adding a touchscreen to it. And the iPad is being limited by its inability to run macOS apps, something that is well within its power now running a virtually identical hardware stack on many Macs.

It's always difficult to argue with success and there is no denying that Apple is the most dominant player in the tablet space by an order of magnitude. However, it's also hard to look at the entire picture and not see this as Apple fighting against a natural progression for its hardware and software. 

The hope is that iOS 15 has some significant changes in store for the iPad that will better leverage its newfound power, but so far there, is little evidence that is happening. Beyond that, more professional apps coming to iPad OS would likely diminish the cry for the platforms to come together, but until Apple itself sees fit to deliver apps like Final Cut Pro X for iPad, it is hard to see too many others taking that plunge.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.