12 Sep

Did Apple steal concept for new iPad Pro from Microsoft, or a Comic Strip?

On Wednesday, September 9, 2015, representatives of Apple unveiled their latest piece of awe-inspiring technology, the iPad Pro. But if we take a step back in time to 2012, a déjà vu moment occurs for anyone who follows the amusing comic strip publications of Joel Watson, a web-cartoonist who seems to have accurately (if not freakishly) predicted this day would come.

Apple iPad Pro with KeyboardThree years ago, Watson drew a rather hilarious comic strip following the groundbreaking introduction of the Microsoft Surface, a tablet that converts into a laptop by simply clicking it onto a separate keyboard. The cartoon was aptly titled, “Surface Tension” (see full, explicit cartoon graphic below).

The first column of the illustration depicts a caricature of Steve Balmer, who was the CEO of Microsoft at the time, showing off the new Surface tablet. “We call it the Surface,” says Balmer, to which an unseen respondent replies, “Booo! Your iPad sucks!”

Balmer replies brusquely, “It’s not an iPad! It’s a Surface!”

Another unobserved ogler profanely yells, “Suck my surface! The surface of my d**k!”

In the next column, former-CEO Balmer appears to become incensed by the crowd’s ignorance, defending Microsoft’s latest and greatest technology. “It’s got a kickstand and a cupholder!” he shouts.

“Your iPad still suck!” responds one onlooker.

“Hey f**k you buddy!” Balmer fumes. “We put a damn keyboard right in the cover! In three years when Apple copies this, you c**kwads will think it’s genius!”

The only reply he gets – “Do the monkey dance!”

Then comes the third and final column of the comic strip, with a ‘WWDC 2015’ tag to denote a 3-year time lapse as a sly looking Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, appears at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

“We call it the Smart Cover Touch, and we think you’re going to love it,” says a grinning Cook, holding up the new futuristic iPad with a flip-out keyboard built right in.

With implicit awe, a member of the audience responds, “You invented that!”

“Yes, yes we did,” extolls Cook.

Joel Watson's 2012 Comic 'Surface Tension' predicts iPad Pro

2015 Arrives, Apple Introduces iPad Pro

Watson’s interpretation of future technology was eerily accurate. On September 9, at the Bill Graham civic auditorium in San Francisco, California, Tim Cook took to the stage at WWDC 2015 to unveil several new products, including the new iPad Pro, equipped with—you guessed it—a flip-out keyboard built into the cover!

After Cook’s brief introduction, Apple’s Chief Marketing Officer Phil Schiller took to the stage to deliver the details of the new 12.9in iPad Pro, saying “we’re very excited to tell you about a brand new accessory, just for iPad Pro. It’s called the Smart Keyboard.”

Built directly into the cover, the keyboard flips out and becomes a stand, as well. Sound familiar? As Joel Watson might say, “Yes, yes it does.”

About Joel Watson

Joel Watson is a devoted husband and father of one daughter (and two cats), residing in Dallas, Texas. In 2008, tired of his “high-paying” but “hectic” job, Watson chose to leave the office life and pursue his true passion of being a cartoonist, which also allowed him to stay home with his beloved daughter, Gracie. Watson has been publishing webcomics ever since.

The 2012 “Surface Tension” cartoon was part of a series entitled Hijinks Ensue. Watson’s latest series is called Sharksplode.