For all the excitement surrounding Apple Computer's first Intel-based computers, which CEO Steve Jobs announced Tuesday at Macworld 2006, there's been a surprising amount of attention focused on analyzing the name of the newest line of laptops, the MacBook Pro.
Jobs highlighted two versions of the new line, which sport 1.67GHz and 1.83GHz Intel processors and will be released in February. Jobs called them the fastest Mac notebooks ever, no doubt music to the audience's ears. But the name of the new laptops was apparently a bit more jarring. The new line was due for a name change since PowerPC chips got dropped, making the previous "PowerBook" moniker irrelevant. But many bloggers feel Apple's style and marketing gurus could have done a better job of renaming the laptops. Criticism in the blog world ranges from the feeling that the word "MacBook" is simply ugly to the idea that adding "Pro" to the name is a reaction to sentiment in the anti-Apple crowd that Macs aren't for professionals. Some have speculated that the designation may mean another, less powerful line of laptops may be in the works.
Whatever the new name may or may not indicate, there's a resounding lament in the blogosphere that Apple, a company that takes as much pride in style as it does its products' performance, should have spent a little more time in that brainstorming session.
Blog community response:
"MacBook Pro is a lame name. Let me say that again:
MacBook Pro is a lame name. How about iBook Pro, or PowerBook Core Duo? Sure the "Power" is gone, (no longer a PowerPC chip) but it has been a PowerBook for so long."
--Breaking Windows 2.0
"This new naming convention has got me thinking. If they call the professional notebook the MacBook Pro, then is the consumer version going to be the MacBook Lite? It could also be the MacBook mini, which would make it a relative of the consumer desktop Mac mini. Another thought was that the consumer model could fall under the consumer desktop, the iMac, and it could be called the iMacBook. Then all the professional machines would be Macs and the consumer machines would be iMacs:
Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, iMac and iMacBook. Either way it's a mouthful."
--ZDNet's The Apple Core