The last thing the iPad needs is a spec bump

The last thing the iPad needs is a spec bump
Photo by Brandon Romanchuk / Unsplash

David Pierce writing for The Verge:

Before they even launch, I feel confident telling you these are the best iPads ever. But after all these years, I still don’t know how to tell you whether you should want an iPad. Or what you’d want to do with it. 
I think the iPad’s modular potential is actually much bigger. 

If Apple wants to get there, it needs more accessories — so, so many more accessories. The iPad is a screen and a processor, and everything else should be an add-on for whenever you need it. Give the gamers a controller and an external GPU. Give the music lovers a speaker dock, and give the smart home fanatics a bunch of buttons that connect to various devices. The photographers need lenses; the spreadsheeters need a keyboard with function keys. The Pencil and the Magic Keyboard are a start, but Apple needs to do much more. The company needs to spend less time worrying about the iPad itself — a device famous for how long it lasts and that hardly anyone is using to its full potential — and more time on how to make it more than just a tablet.
Ultimately, the biggest problem for Apple might just be math. The current iPad Pro starts at $799, which is already more expensive than some MacBook Air models. Want cellular connectivity so you can use the iPad anywhere? That’s another $200, but a good modular gadget needs it. The current-gen Pencil is another $129; the Magic Keyboard, another $299. (I don’t yet know what the new models will cost, but Apple’s not really in the habit of making things cheaper.) That’s $1,328 for the full iPad experience, and we’ve only scratched the surface of what this device could do with the right accessories and app support. And so far, when Apple does introduce new accessories, it has mostly just made things more confusing.

Where does all of this leave Apple? Stuck. The iPad is great, it’s a smashing success, it’s a terrific device, I love the iPad, but the iPad seems to be stuck in an endless upgrade loop without ever actually getting better. 
If Apple wants to make its tablet into the world-beating device it could be, it’s going to need to accessorize.

I love my iPad, but as I have said before, Apple doesn't care about their iPad-only users. It has seemed to have been a secondary or tertiary device behind the iPhone and Mac. I am hopeful that Apple will find a way to begin rectifying that and if a new Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard are in the works I think it is a good start.

But I agree with Pierce here, cost is going to be a major factor. If I can get a MacBook Air for significantly less than it would cost me to get an iPad and the necessary accesories to do the things I want with it then what's the point?