mayo 17, 2024

Jony Ive intentó descontinuar el MacBook Air – Walt Mossberg

A rather sketchy report claims that Jony Ive tried to persuade Apple to cease making the MacBook Air, leaving a redesigned MacBook Pro as the only portable Mac.

The story comes from Walt Mossberg, who admits that it’s based on a single source within Apple, but says that person was at “a very high level” with exceptional product knowledge …

Macworld picked up on the claim made in The Vergecast podcast.

What if there was only one laptop line, the MacBook Pro, and nothing else?

That’s what former Apple design guru Jony Ive wanted to do, according to journalist Walt Mossberg. In a recent episode of The Vergecast podcast, Mossberg talks about one of the ideas that Ive had while working with Tim Cook at Apple. (It’s at the 26:30 mark of the show.)

Ive wanted to whittle down the MacBook lineup to one model, the MacBook Pro. “He decided there didn’t need to be an Air and a Pro,” said Mossberg. “He decided he could do the Pro and make it as light and as thin–or thinner–than the MacBook Air. And it would be a higher-priced machine, so that would be better for their bottom line, and people would buy it even if they didn’t need the extra power it gave.”

Mossberg’s source said this led to a huge battle between Ive’s design team and the product managers, and was only finally resolved in 2018, when the product team got their way.

It’s a big claim to base on a single source, even coming from Mossberg. There are some reasons to give it credence. It’s undeniable that the MacBook Air spent some years in the wilderness, seemingly neglected by Apple before the 2018 model. It’s also notable that this model, while a big upgrade technically, didn’t get a redesign.

All the same, it seems odd – especially the idea that Ive would be motivated by the financial impact of forcing people to buy a more expensive model. Ive famously obsessed over design alone, and showed little to no interest in the business side of the company.

Either way, it would have been a dumb move. The MacBook Air is the model that each year brings a new generation of customers into the Mac world, many of who will later graduate to more expensive models. Removing a product which is both hugely popular and a gateway to Macs generally would have made no sense – even if the goal was the maximize revenue.

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