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MacBook Air survived attempted murder by all-Pro Jony Ive – report

The Apple MacBook Air is clearly the most popular among productivity users and stands out as being an affordable model that does a lot for the majority of users who don’t need pro power.

However, those lovely new M-Series MacBook Air models may never have existed if the most influential man in 21st century Apple history not named Steve Jobs had his way – according to a new report.

The reporter Walt Mossberg, who spent decades covering tech for the Wall Street Journal, reckons Sir Jonathan Ive (the longtime head of industrial design at Apple) wanted to consign the MacBook Air to history and leave the MacBook Pro model as the last Mac laptop standing.

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Mossberg told The Vergecast (via 9to5Mac) that a source as Apple at “a very high level” told him of Ive’s desire to cut the MacBook Air from the team and force users into paying for more power than they perhaps needed. Mossberg said Ive believed Apple could make a Pro model that had the portability benefits of the Air.

“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.”

Thankfully, that didn’t come to pass, as objections from within the product team at Apple eventually won the day by around 2018.

Ive’s impact at Apple is definitely being reassessed in recent years as, since his departure, Apple has shied away from many of his design tenets. In chasing design perfection, Ive got rid of a host of popular ports that put Mac users in dongle hell. After Ive stepped away, Apple began bringing them back.

The MacBook Air was neglected in those years towards the end of decade and, since Ive moved on, we’ve seen Apple give its best-for-most-users MacBook the love it deserves. The MacBook Air M2 is arguably the best all-round laptop the company has ever made and there’s now even a 15-inch MacBook Air model for those seeking the extra display real estate.

Of course, much of this information comes from a single source, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear Ive would be keen on upselling people on buying a MacBook Pro, given his ethos was premium, premium and more premium.

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