“Many still recall the way Steve Jobs unveiled the MacBook Air. It was clever, cute, and iconic (in a similar vein to the way he unveiled the iPod and the iPod nano). Pure showmanship. As he took the device out of a manila envelope, audible gasps rippled through the audience,” M.G. Siegler writes for 500ish Words. “That was 10 years ago.”

“And so it seems fitting that there are now rumors of Apple updating that device — finally — after years of neglect,” Siegler writes. “While the Air remains many folks’ favorite laptop of all time, it hasn’t been state-of-the-art in some time. So it’s interesting to think about what they can do to update it.”

“My guess — based on nothing other than logic and instinct — is that this new device won’t actually be a new Air, but instead will be a new, less expensive MacBook,” Siegler writes. “I think the Air may be going away and I think it’s time for it to go away, at least for now… it’s no longer worthy of the ‘Air’ moniker. So it’s just sort of silly as a product line in 2018. It would seem to be a good time for Apple to whittle the laptop line back to two: the MacBook and the MacBook Pro… [Or] does this have anything to do with Apple changing the name of iBooks to ‘Apple Books?’ Do they aim to resurrect the name in hardware form? It’s a stretch, but it seemingly makes more sense than ‘Air’.”

“If there really does remain a third tier of the MacBook line, does it point to a direct path to the inevitable ARM MacBook?” Siegler writes. “Maybe the ‘Air’ remains the low-cost MacBook Intel-based alternative, while the MacBook we know right now moves in the ARM (AX-chip) direction.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Trying to gusss forthcoming Apple product names is a fool’s errand. Apple’s been know to violate seemingly solid conventions (“Pro” iOS devices have Apple Pencil support, execpt for the new budget 9.7-inch iPad, of course).

As we wrote last week: It’d be nice if Apple cleaned up their portable product line a bit. MacBook as the entry-level to mid-range (that could be loaded up build-to-order on the processor, RAM, etc. if desired) and MacBook Pro for the power users. Unless Apple has new design ideas and innovations, the “MacBook Air” is superfluous.

Apple preps new low-cost MacBook Air with Retina display and pro-focused Mac mini – August 20, 2018
Apple could be poised to reveal a fantastic (and sensible) MacBook lineup – August 17, 2018