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The iPad line up is a bit of a mess. Here's what is should be
iPad at 10.9" with an A Series Processor
iPad Air 10.9" with an M1 Processor
iPad Air 12.9" with an M1
iPad Pro 11" with M3
iPad Pro 12.9 with M3
iPad mini 8.3" (8.5" with thinner bezels) with an M1. (Basically, a Air Mini)
That gives people enough of a difference between models and two larger size models to pick from. The idea of a 14.1" iPad is just dumb.
Having worked for Apple's post order service team, I took more than a few phone calls where the shipping box had been tampered with. The worst was a customer who ordered at 16" MacBook Pro and with the FedEx delivery guy present, opened the shipping box to find nothing but cut up FedEx boxes inside. His computer was gone. Of course, all of these shipments are insured by the delivery carrier and the customer had a replacement order created and got his desired computer- he just had to wait another two or three weeks for it.
My guess, in this case, is the same. The DPD shipping box was not tampered with... well, what people would have access to such boxes to repack something? I'm more than confident Apple sent out a real 15 Pro Max, but sometime after that box left Apple, someone opened it, stuck in that fake phone, and sealed it up in a new packing box.
One final note- these instances are incredibly rare. Consider that I would take dozens of calls a day and most were about credit card issues, order changes, order delays, etc. Stolen merchandise during shipping happened literally just a couple times in my year doing that work. (Porch pirates stealing delivered goods was another story.) Now, think of all the people who place and order and have no issue and never need to call order support. In short, when you order something from Apple directly, the chances that you will not get the item you wanted is astronomically slim.
What I was trying to write, and didn't, was for a desktop experience, maybe we are at a stage where a MacBook (yes thats a mac and my bad for being particularly bad about implying otherwise) can feed a nice desktop sized display...or maybe a iPad or even iPhone will do that. I'm reminded of my very first Mac, the PowerBook Duo 230 with a docking station. But still...the macOS (and iOS and PadOS) need help being much simpler. I think that was what I was trying to express, but didn't.
My last iMac was a mid 2009 27" version. I would still be using it, but it has developed thermal problems requiring manual control of the internal fans, making it noisy.
Beyond that, the Air is more than enough computer for a large majority of users.
eightzero said:I'm all for choices and options. I am sure these new "scary fast" macs will be important to many people. And at some point in the future, I know I will benefit from them as I replace my gear. But...I have abandoned the iMac line, after using many many iterations of it, in favor of a third party 4k display and mac mini that serves my present needs. I am not a "pro" user and what I'd really like is a reliable, easy to use home desktop computer for simple, everyday tasks.
Apple does not make devices that appeal to low cost consumers. If you want a simple desktop computer, the mac is not for you. I do like the interoperability between the varied devices, so one intriguing possibility is that Apple does make a more versatile and affordable monitor "system" that can display, on a desktop, content from any source - iPhone, iPad, legacy devices like a mac mini, or...straight from internet sources, and just skip any local processing or storage.
First, there are a still a ton on Intel Macs out there where an upgrade to M2 or M3 (we assume) will make a huge difference in performance and capability for even average computer users. I see many 2014, 2015, 2016 MacBooks being upgraded.
Second, as far as low cost... true, the least expensive M2 MacBook Air is $1099 and you can find PC's a lot less than that. But how long is that PC going to last? Three years? Four years? That M2 or M3 Air will almost certainly go seven or eight years for the non-pro user. So they have a large expense at the outset, but over time, they are saving money. That was true with my first iMac in 2012- it cost me easily $1200 more than a PC, but it lasted seven years. I was needed to upgrade PCs every two to three years.
Third, "If you want a simple desktop, the Mac is not for you." No. Seriously, no. The Apple user interface is by far better than anything Windows can offer and dealing with settings is most certainly better.
Finally, as far as using a Mac mini or Mac Studio with an external monitor- that is absolutely a great choice for a lot of people. I do wish the Studio Display just wasn't so expensive.