I have bemoaned Apple’s laptop lineup before, but every time I look at it, I still cringe. I can not imagine someone going into an Apple Store today and clearly understanding the reason (and the difference) between a 13" MacBook Air and a 12" MacBook. Or between an 11" MacBook Air and the new iPad Pro.
Tim Cook is running all about this week talking about the iPad Pro as his new notebook. He claims all he needs is his iPad Pro and his iPhone. Fine, fantastic. But while he is euphorically trying to restart growth in the iPad line up, he is, at the same time, furthering muddling the notebook line up, making the consumer choice confusing. Sometimes I long for the days where the authoritarian Steve Jobs would say you can have a notebook and it comes in these three models — that’s it. Jobs loved simplicity and Apple’s product lines almost always reflect that. Everything was easy to understand. The differences between each model was clear, including the pricing, and therefore made the choice simple for the purchaser.
Today’s MacBook Air lineup lacks the new keyboard, the new Force Touch trackpad and retina display. Frankly, it's in the way of other more modern products (Pro, MacBook and iPad Pro). What Apple needs is a 13" or 14" MacBook to match the 12" MacBook and then the MacBook Air series can be dropped. A 13" or 14" MacBook we would get two ports (not just one). And price on the current MacBook model would drop by $100 USD.
That would be a lineup anyone could understand: iPad Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro.
All would have the latest technology (keyboard, Force Touch, retina display) and they would not overlap in features or price.
Alas, the MacBook Air will most likely be with us through the holiday season and into 2016, until Apple is ready to update the notebooks with the latest Intel chipset. It still drives me nuts. Apple is confusing people and tarnishing its brand selling dated MacBook Air technology as new, alongside the MacBook Air series or iPad Pro. Tim Cook needs to make some tough decisions and clean up the MacBook lineup.
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