MacBook Pro – Killing the PowerBook Brand

When Apple announced the MacBook Pro, my first reaction was not to any of the hardware changes but to the name. This machine represents the end of the PowerBook brand name, a brand that dates back well before the PowerPC processor, to the first Apple notebook computers in 1991. I believed that PowerBook was one of the strongest brands in the high tech industry, and thought it was remarkably stupid to change it.
Yesterday at the University of Michigan Futuretech conference I got a chance to ask someone from Apple about it. They gave an interesting justification: Apple wants the names of all of their computers to have “Mac” in them. It is important that unsophisticated consumers have a single identifier for all Apple computers. He repeated this justification like it came off a sheet of talking-points. And it does make sense.
Which leaves the big question: What are they going to rename iBook to? My guess is we will have MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Maybe we would have seen them already, if not for rumored last-minute changes to the keynote.

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