While I do think there is a niche for the mindless iPads, I still mostly agree with the spirit of this post:
Where my opinion differs is that, after all, hundreds of thousands of developers wrote some incredible apps for the iPad. A lot of those apps teach STEM to kids who are very young (and arguably younger than the kids who played with Apple ][e / ][c). I got my Apple ][e around age 11~12, but it wasn’t until I was 13~14 that I started opening it up and playing with the internal components.
Now my daughter who is 6 can practice visual coding on an iPad, which is something I wish I could do when I was her age.
She also plays with a Raspberry Pi based computer with Linux on it, and uses Scratch from MIT, and the awesome games on code.org but there are edge cases on the Raspberry Pi that require intervention/help from a teacher.