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10anta

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 28, 2016
66
130
Lots of Apple product lineups now seem fairly crowded and confused, with reviewers and consumers struggling to explain the differences or know which may be the best version to buy, and Apple having tried a number of abandoned or irregularly updated alternatives in recent years.

On returning to lead Apple, Steve Jobs famously extolled the virtues of a 2x2 product grid - the two axes being Pro and Consumer, and Desktop and Portable. Today we have Standard, Pros, Pluses, Maxes, Ultras, SEs, Airs, and Studios; with many people (or at least YouTubers) still mourning the loss of mini iPhones.

Given control over the whole Apple product pipeline, should each of these all still survive, or would you distill them down to a fewer clearer product lines?
 
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mectojic

macrumors 65816
Dec 27, 2020
1,236
2,378
Sydney, Australia
Steve Jobs was speaking about his 2x2 product grid in 1997, when the company was at rock bottom.
Even he slowly transitioned the Mac away from this product grid as the company returned to profitability – the Macbook Air was a good example, as well as the Mac Mini, that broke the simple grid. But both were important new pieces of the computer industry. It is a matured industry for changing times. Honestly, Apple could've almost had a 2x1 grid in 1997, because the consumer portable was barely a concept in those days; that's why the iBook was delayed to mid 1999.

But I agree that the product lines like the iPad and the redundant 13-inch MacBook Pro are silly. But I doubt that's really hurting their profits in the slightest.
 
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XboxEvolved

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2004
810
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Steve Jobs was speaking about his 2x2 product grid in 1997, when the company was at rock bottom.
Even he slowly transitioned the Mac away from this product grid as the company returned to profitability – the Macbook Air was a good example, as well as the Mac Mini, that broke the simple grid. But both were important new pieces of the computer industry. It is a matured industry for changing times. Honestly, Apple could've almost had a 2x1 grid in 1997, because the consumer portable was barely a concept in those days; that's why the iBook was delayed to mid 1999.

But I agree that the product lines like the iPad and the redundant 13-inch MacBook Pro are silly. But I doubt that's really hurting their profits in the slightest.

There isn’t anything redundant about the 13-in MBP, it’s its own unique product that likely is their best selling MBP. It would be redundant if it had better screen tech, no Touch Bar, and 14’. Now would it be nice if in the future, Apple phased out the 13’ and lowered the price of the 14’? Yeah, and likely they will do that.

Besides that yeah you are right about the 4 quadrants thing. To add to that I also agree with OP that Apple’s lineup does get confusing at times but Apple sadly like any giant corporation has to worry about constantly increasing their market cap and expanding into new product lines. Realistically though if you look at Apple compared to many other companies they still have a pretty sparse lineup of services and products. I dare you to even begin to make sense of any of Samsung, Dell, HP, Acers, etc product lines. You will not.
 
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