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I keep hearing this refrain from the Apple geeks, but long term I see the opposite happening. I see the Air replacing the Pro. Apple wants the mainstream market, they want thin and light and MBAs get more powerful every year. Eventually the lines between MBP and MBA blur so Apple kills the less sexy machine, thins the sexier one and gives it all the mod trimmings such as new keyboard, new trackpad, new display and eventually—yes, eventually, an Apple chip.
I agree with you that the two will merge but I think they're going to keep the Pro moniker. One reason I think that is because they just released a brand-new product called iPad Pro. Why would they get rid of the Pro moniker for laptops when they just added it to their iPad line. If anything I see them getting rid of the iPad Air/mini moniker and just having iPad and iPad Pro. And then MacBook and MacBook Pro.
To be a services company, they first need to iron out their cloud services. Way too inconsistent and outtages.
They're better than a few years back, but not as solid as Google, MS, and Amazon.
Apple's hardware is rock solid. Their services still leave plenty to be desired. I don't think anyone can argue that Apple's cloud services are best in class.
Exclusion of always-on "Hey Siri" on the iPad Pro.
Considering the iPad Pro runs the same hardware (M9) and software (iOS 9.1) as other devices with always-on "Hey Siri", one would expect this feature to be included.
You said removal not exclusion. Since iPad Pro has the motion co-processor isn't this something that could be enabled via a software update?
Having said that if this was excluded because marketing decided they wanted it to be a 6S only feature I think that's dumb.
I can't see how a new ?TV box or iPad "pro" would drive up R&D costs by $500M in one quarter. Unless Apple is spending a shit load of money buying up exclusive content. I suppose it could be iCloud related but I really believe those car rumors are much more than just rumors. Tim & Co. know having 70% of revenue tied to one product is dangerous but iPhone is such a big revenue driver there's no way services revenues alone could ever drive significant revenue growth. So if has to be something big.