Why MacBook Is About to Mean Something Else Entirely

Illustration for article titled Why MacBook Is About to Mean Something Else Entirely

Historically, Apple loves cleanly delineated product lines, so the "MacBook Pro" re-shuffling seems strange even if the socialist element is a fun side effect. Unless they're clearing out the MacBook for something else entirely.

Think about it: Right now a single, lonely model bears the name MacBook. A model that's been around forever, too. On the other hand, there are three sizes of MacBook Pros in six, count 'em, six flavors. Lopsided much? The poor thing gets no promotion, either. It was quietly updated to be as fast as the aluminium MacBook last week, warranting just a one-line mention during the WWDC Philnote. And where's the splash pic for Apple's most affordable Mac on the Mac page?

Illustration for article titled Why MacBook Is About to Mean Something Else Entirely

So, why is Apple basically wasting one of their most powerful brands, their "most popular Mac"?

Because they're about to call something else MacBook.

It's the only logical explanation for the muddled, complicated and totally un-Apple product line. Why all of their core notebooks are now called MacBook Pros. Why MacBook denotes a single notebook, one that perpetually seems like it's on its way out—because it very likely is on its way out.


There are two possibilities that stand out for MacBook: A new, even cheaper notebook, following the hard price cuts across the iMac and MacBook Pro lines. Or at the very least, a completely redesigned MacBook family that looks way different than what Apple is currently calling MacBook Pro, and maybe even the current MacBook. That's the more conservative take.

The other possibility is mostly in fap-fap fantasyland, but we can't rule it out: What if Apple calls that tablet thing MacBook? (Indicating it's at least somewhat different than most people have been imagining.) What better way to use one of their most iconic brands than to signify a complete shift in mainstream computers? Calling the tablet a MacBook would be incredibly ballsy, but an incredibly powerful signal, too.


Either way, we're pretty sure Apple isn't just going to let the MacBook wither and die—something new has to be coming that's gonna be called MacBook, and we'd wager relatively soon, too.


Or maybe Apple's just becoming a little bit more like every other PC maker and doesn't know what the hell they're doing with their brands anymore. But I somehow doubt that.

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I think Apple might go back to how they used to have it with the iBooks/PowerBooks. We might see the same hardware as the current MacBook in a 15" case.