2022 'MacBook' and 'iMac Pro' Could Help Apple Simplify Its Naming Strategy
Apple could be looking to simplify the naming of its product lineups, most noticeably with the launch of a "MacBook" and "iMac Pro" in 2022, according to recent rumors.
Apple is believed to be preparing to launch five new Macs in 2022, including a new high-end iMac, a redesigned MacBook Air, an updated Mac mini, entry-level MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro with Apple silicon.
While multiple reports indicate that Apple is working on a direct successor to 2020's MacBook Air, a recent rumor from the leaker known as "Dylandkt" claimed that this new model may not be branded as the "MacBook Air." Instead, it would simply be the "MacBook."
This would not be the first time Apple has offered a "MacBook." The company sold a MacBook from 2006 to 2012, and again from 2015 to 2019. The last 12-inch MacBook model offered the same low-powered, tapered, USB-C-centric, and fanless design of the subsequent MacBook Air, so they were clearly positioned as similar devices.
Elsewhere in the product lineup, the inverse may happen with the iMac. In recent years, Apple has sold two main iMac models: a 21.5-inch model and a more powerful 27-inch model. Earlier this year, the 21.5-inch model was replaced with an all-new 24-inch model with the M1 chip. The 27-inch model has yet to receive a redesign or an update with Apple silicon, but another rumor from Dylandkt claims that the new model could actually be called the "iMac Pro."
Apple previously offered an iMac Pro in Space Gray from 2017, in addition to the other two iMac models, but the machine was discontinued in early 2021. The high-end iMac model rumored to launch next year is expected to feature a different design, more ports, and more powerful chips compared to the 24-inch model. The "iMac Pro" moniker could make it clearer to customers that the larger, high-end iMac is a professional machine that is significantly different from its smaller sibling, rather than just calling both models the "iMac" as in previous years.
These changes would mean that there was simply the "MacBook" and "MacBook Pro" in terms of Apple laptops, and the "iMac" and "iMac Pro" for Apple all-in-one desktops. This would also bring the Mac more in line with the iPhone, where there is primarily only the "iPhone 13" and "iPhone 13 Pro."
As machines that are expected to get a major overhaul, it seems plausible that Apple could use the launch of the "MacBook" and "iMac Pro" to simplify the Mac lineup's naming. Apple once considered launching an "Apple Watch Pro", but there is no sign of the "Pro" label coming to the Apple Watch for 2022 even though a new model with a "rugged" casing designed for sports and challenging environments is reportedly on the way.
The iPad lineup, on the other hand, remains an open question due to the prominence of the iPad Air, which is offered in between the entry-level iPad and the high-end iPad Pro, so Apple could yet have some way to go before it achieves consistency across the naming of its major products.