‘What Does “Air” Mean?’
Over thirteen years, the Air suffix has taken on many diverse roles across Apple’s product lineup. Contained to Apple’s portables, the Air has represented a gamut of qualities, from Apple’s boldest & most cutting-edge tech to its oldest, most beleaguered designs. I’m most satisfied with Air’s current placement in the lineup; as the defacto best-for-most consumer device balancing specs and most sought-after features. Notwithstanding this history, Air continues to command respect as a brand within Apple, with its longevity highlighting its appeal and brand reputation among consumers.
Personally, I think “Air” as a suffix on products has been good for Apple, but it’s run its course. If it were up to me, I’d phase out the Air brand now that we’re approaching the limits of thinness for both laptops and tablets. I’d like to see Apple return to the simple regular/pro branding, which would match the iPhone lineup.
With hardware products like AirPods and AirTag (and previously AirPort), and software solutions like AirPlay, Apple has a good motif going for their wireless products, and that’s where I think “Air” should stay.