Apple’s vice president of industrial design details MacBook Air redesign

The GQ article is interesting.

The MBA is considered some kind of big hit, and articles love to talk about the envelope moment, but the 2008 1st Gen MBA was a failure: too expensive, slow, prone to heat, a hodgepodge of ports in a tray flap, and a bit of a QA mess. It was the 2010 MBA that brought it all together in the market-changing product it is known for today. SSD only, the ports were your standard USB and SD card, plus the display of the day (miniDP, TB1, TB2), and most importantly, the price fell into the $1000-1600 range. All the right specs, performance and price.

The rMB12, which I believe was intended to replace the MBA, also failed. It was basically the 2nd or 3rd product of the Ive-design era (as opposed to the Jobs-design era or the Hankey-design era), depending on how you count. Its screen was too small, the huge pride they had in the butterfly keyboard became a liability, Intel’s big perf/Watt gains with Intel’s 10nm that would have made the product more viable didn’t never materialized, and it was too expensive for its specs. Apple could never lower its price.

The MBA was left to languish for all those rMB12 years until around early 2017 when the Mac and iPad ship was transformed. The big difference was 2 USBC/TB ports and a 13″ display on the Macbook. Just in time for the pandemic, and the M1 made it the best machine on the market.

I was really hoping the M2 MBA would hit the $1000 price tag with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage because that would have made it a huge hit. With the M1 MBA at $1000 and the M2 MBA at $1200, they will split the unit sales, and the M1 MBA could have more sales than the M2 MBA.


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