A rather sketchy report claims that Jony Ive tried to convince Apple to stop making the MacBook Air, leaving the updated MacBook Pro as the only portable Mac.
The story comes from Walt Mossberg, who admits it is based on a single source inside Apple, but says the person was at a “very high level” 8221; with exceptional product knowledge …
Macworld echoed the statement made on The Vergecast podcast.
What if there was just one line of laptops, 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 I had while working with Tim Cook at Apple. (This occurs at the 26:30 mark.)
I wanted to narrow down the MacBook line to one model: the MacBook Pro. “He decided it didn’t have to be Air and Pro,” Mossberg said. “He decided he could make the Pro and make it as light and thin—or thinner—than the MacBook Air. And it will be a more expensive car, so it will be better from a profit standpoint, and people will buy it even if they don't need the extra power it gives.“
Mossberg's source said that this led to a huge battle between Quince's design team and product managers, which was only finally resolved in 2018 when the product team got their way.
This is a big claim based on one source , even coming from Mossberg. There are several reasons to believe this. There's no denying that the MacBook Air has spent a few years in the wilderness, and it was apparently neglected by Apple until the 2018 model arrived. It's also notable that this model, although heavily upgraded from a technical standpoint, has not undergone a redesign.
Still, it seems strange – especially the idea that I might be motivated by the financial implications of forcing people to buy more expensive model. I was known to be obsessed only with design and had little or no interest in the business side of the company.
It would have been a stupid move anyway. The MacBook Air is a model that brings a new generation of buyers into the Mac world every year, many of whom will later upgrade to more expensive models. Removing a product that is hugely popular and a Mac entry didn't generally make sense, even if the goal was to maximize revenue.