While the iPad *can* live as a stand-alone machine with iCloud, I still plug mine in every so often to load up photos, etc.
As a contrast, the Kindle Fire didn’t even come with a connection cable (just a charger). I guess Amazon is backing up/hosting media in the cloud for me, no idea about backups of apps/settings. If I had more data on it I cared about, I’d be worried.
Definitely an interesting “tell” on the intended usage for the devices.