Skip to main content

Apple scores deal with MLB to get an iPad Pro in every dugout

ipads for mlb app
It wasn’t so long ago that the battle for major tablet contracts was happening in the skies, with countless reports detailing which airlines were opting for which device, whether for pilots, cabin crew, or passengers. The partnerships are certainly serious business for tech firms seeking bulk sales, and of course the kudos brought by a large company’s acceptance of a particular platform can also come in handy.

As the tussle for the airlines’ business seems to have fallen off the radar somewhat, Apple and its rivals have been looking around for other opportunities to keep their tablets in the headlines.

The news this week is that the Cupertino company has scored a deal with Major League Baseball to equip every dugout of all 30 teams with 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablets “to help coaching staff make better use of data,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

The tablets will come loaded with a custom app called MLB Dugout, created by MLB’s New York-based Advanced Media division together with help from the tech giant.

The provided data will be tailored to each individual team instead of coming from a central database, the Journal said. At the start the app will offer, for example, performance stats from seasons past and present, information on possible pitcher-hitter matchups, and “spray charts” giving information on on a hitter’s ball placement. Videos of players in earlier games will also be viewable.

While at the beginning the data will be loaded prior to each game, it’s hoped real-time data can be incorporated before too long.

Commenting on the deal, which follows the lifting of a ban prohibiting the use of such devices in the dugout, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said, “I started in this game 25 years ago and the single biggest change has been the emergence and predominance of analytics,” adding, “It affects the way we judge players, make decisions on the field and the way fans consume the game.”

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing, said the tablet will give coaches all the data they need “right at the touch of their fingers and when it matters most, during the game.”

Apple’s deal should serve to boost the profile of its largest iPad Pro, a tablet it launched in 2015 in a bid to kick start its slowing tablet business. It also recently unveiled a 9.7-inch Pro for consumers who want the computing power of the original Pro but not the size.

The tech company’s partnership with MLB follows a similar deal involving Microsoft and the National Football League in 2013 that provided coaches and officials with Surface tablets for use on the field. While Microsoft’s deal was reportedly worth around $400 million, the terms of Apple’s deal have not been disclosed.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
9 new Apple products that could launch in 2023
The back of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

As it currently stands, 2023 has already been a busy year for Apple. The company launched a new yellow iPhone 14, brought back the HomePod, and refreshed its Mac lineup with an M2 Mac mini and M2 MacBook Pro. But what else is on the docket? As it turns out, a lot more. From new iPhones, an upgraded Apple Watch, and possibly an AR headset, here are nine products we still expect from Apple in 2023.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro

If there is any Apple product with an upgrade cycle that’s literally like clockwork, it’s the iPhone, which is always out in the fall. This year, we can expect the iPhone 15 lineup to include an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, it is rumored that the iPhone 15 will have a bigger 6.2-inch display this year, but the rest of the lineup will have the same sizes as before.

Read more
Own an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook? Install this critical update right now
IOS 16.4.1 UPDATE.

Apple has released software updates for iPhones and iPads that are light on features, but they are critically important from a security perspective. The updates — iOS 16.4.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1 — started rolling out on Friday, but you should install them on your iPhone and iPad as soon as possible to protect your devices from attacks.

In its official release note, Apple says the updates patch two security flaws that “may have been actively exploited.” Now, Apple doesn’t disclose security issues before conducting thorough research, both in-house and in collaboration with cybersecurity experts. In a nutshell, when Apple publicly announces a security flaw, and it comes with a “Critical Vulnerability” badge, you should grab the fix as soon as Apple makes them available.

Read more
Surprise Apple sale brings big discounts on iPad and Apple Watch
Data from a workout showing on the screen of the Apple Watch Series 8.

There are plenty of great discounts on Apple devices over at Amazon right now. That means substantial price cuts on the latest Apple Watch range as well as plenty of iPads too. If you're keen to learn more, we're here to help. We've picked out some of our favorite Apple deals going on right now. Check them out below to see how you can save big on highly sought-after devices.
Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) -- $220, was $249

The Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) is a marvel at this price. Easily one of the best smartwatch deals, it covers everything you could need. You gain comprehensive yet easy-to-use fitness tracking thanks to Apple's Activity Rings system and steady stream of challenges and rewards. It's fast too thanks to having the latest processor. Despite that, you still get to enjoy a two-day battery life with the watch easily comfortable to wear all day long. It lacks the ECG and blood oxygen sensors of the Series 8 along with the always-on display, but that won't be an issue for everyone. The key thing is you get an excellent smartwatch at a great price.

Read more