It's kind of amazing how much Apple got right yesterday—and what they got wrong: Their product lines are completely scrambled. The Pro designation has become meaningless and $99 iPhones look just like $499 iPhones.
It's possible that when the subsidized iPhone 3G dropped last year for $199, a new Apple was born. We just didn't see it clearly until today, with the announcement of the iPhone 3GS and new MacBook Pro line.
"Pro" used to be a real designation: A Pro machine was designed and built for working professionals. It had more power, better build quality and "top 10 percent" features for the users who needed it—or at least wanted to pay a lot more for it. Now, it's just a brand.
It's true that the unibody MacBooks were more like their brawnier "Pro" siblings than ever before—it was even the rationale behind our dual review. But there were still very real dividing lines between them: Most importantly, Pro machines had dedicated graphics cards. As of yesterday, that's not true. The $1700 15-inch Pro doesn't have one, and none of 13-inch newly designated Pro models have them either. Also, what kind of professional machine lacks a removable battery, anyway? (Swapping out batteries is how we got through the back-to-back Nintendo and Sony keynotes at E3 this year, though admittedly, the significantly improved battery life might be part of the answer.)