Just this week, the small subsection of the Interne that is the tech media is abuzz with the Tim Cook interview where he vowed that Apple will never merge its two operation systems, iOS for the iPhone and iPad with OS X running on the Macs. Anyone call for that needs to stop because we always knew it would never happen. However, with each annual iOS update, the iPad will feel more and more like a Mac with new features.
Case in point is the new multitasking feature and picture-in-picture in iOS 9 that is available to the latest iPads. Whether tech pundits call this move as a natural improvement to iOS to make the iPad more of a productivity tool or an answer to Microsoft's resuring Surface tablets, you can be sure that Apple is moving to address iOS's shortcomings as a productivity OS and sell iPads to enterprises.
What's more, iOS 10 should bring more features that addresses even more issues some users have. What is one glaring difference (omission as some might call it) is that iOS does not support a mouse, something OS X and Windows 10 running on the Surfaces do. Right now, anyone using a keyboard with an iPad or even iPhone has to use their fingers, hands, and, by extension, arms to touch the screens. Imagine doing that 8 hours a day. You can't right? It's why Apple has not added touch interfaces to the iMacs. This is an issue that Apple will need to address. And let's be honest: moving a cursor and clicking makes things a whole lot easier than pressing your finger against the screen.
The reason why I'm bring this up now is because of this T-GAAP post I read (recommended reading even if I disagree with it) is that Apple is likely to replace Intel chips in its Macbooks with its own A-series chips. The cost savings aside, I do not think it will ever happen unless Intel suffers a catastrophic meltdown down the road. And even if that were to happen and Apple's A-series chips ended up being 4-5 times faster and more efficient, that is quite likely years and years away. In the short term, Intel is firing on all cylinders as far as its mobile chips are concerned.
And Apple does want to differentiate the two lines of computers. Apple sees a different world ahead for mobile computing while the rest of the PC industry is saddled with legacy expectations.
While Apple is not going to launch a Macbook with its own chips in 2016, 2017, 2018, or ever, I'm going to predict that Apple will in the near future allow developers to create apps on the iPad with its own version of Xcode. This makes a lot of sense. Also, quite possibly iBooks Author as well.
So, two ways Apple will address any real or imagined shortcomings of the iPads: continue to improve iOS and highlight productivity tools and bring over development tools over to iOS.