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MacBook Air and Pro Upgrades Harken Back to Steve Jobs Heroically Simplifying Apple Line Up in 1997

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On September 17, 1997, Steve Jobs took over at Apple as Interim CEO and immediately set about to right the ship by removing both products and people that had sent the company nearly to the brink of oblivion. 

It’s easily forgotten that, at the time, the product offerings included literally dozens of desktop computers, servers and laptops as well as printers, digital cameras and, of course, the “MessagePad 2000” which, although ahead of it’s time, was surely better off dead. 

He created the “4-square grid” to simplify and focus the computer product line up. Two categories for consumer machines and two for pro machines.

Fast forward to July, 2019, and once again Apple is choosing to re-focus the line up. With the MacBook line now gone, only the MackBook Air and MacBook Pro laptop product categories remain. 

The MacBook Air models designed before 2018 have been removed from the Apple Store as has the 12-inch MacBook.

The remaining machines have improved specifications and, in the case of the new entry level MacBook Air, a $100 price cut to go along with the improved stats. The entry level portable has a new price of $1099 ($999 for students and teachers).

MAcbook air Video promo, provided by apple

The new entry level Air sports a 13.3 in. Retina True Tone Display, sort-of new keyboard design (which appears to be an attempt to reassure that this is better than the infamous original “butterfly” style, which was widely complained about), 1.6 GHz dual core 8th Gen processor and 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports. It also comes with Touch ID.

The lowest cost for a MackBook Pro model, which now features the Touch Bar and will set you back an additional $200 more than the Air at $1299. It has the same display specs, other than additional brightness, but with higher powered quad-core processor and the Touch Bar.

Storage options have also been upgraded and re-priced across the entire Mac product line. 

The simplifications of the full Mac lineup, now comprising 2 laptop categories, then the consumer and pro iMac all-in-one  desktops, and finally, the Mac mini at the low end, contrasted with the mighty Mac Pro, coming in September, at the high end, are all revealed . The overall refresh for 2019 feels solid and complete and, as one biased observer put it, it borders on being wildly satisfying. 

A good sign, from on high? Perhaps…


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