Apple could streamline its Mac line to just iMac and MacBook categories

There are rumbles that Apple’s product line is becoming too jumbled. We have five product categories: the Mac, the iPhone, the iPad, the Apple Watch, and the Apple TV, not to mention the other products that are lumped in together such as the iPod. And each product category has multiple entries.

Take the Mac, for example. There are the iMac, Mac Pro, Mac mini, MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. I have a radical suggestion that Apple could use to simplify the line (although I don’t really expect the company to do it): reduce the Mac line to iMac and the MacBook brands. 

Here’s how my plan would work: The iMac would be Apple’s only desktop. The Mac Pro would be replaced by the “iMac Pro” idea (http://tinyurl.com/jh8e8jg) I floated yesterday. The Mac mini could be replaced by a 17-inch all-in-one that shouldn’t cost too much more than the current $499 Mac mini.

The entire Mac laptop line-up would simply become the MacBook. The low-end of the line would be an 11-inch iteration of the MacBook Air, while the high-end would be a 15-inch model with all the bells and whistles (the latest processors, dedicated graphics, more than port, etc.). All would be in a very slim form factor (hey, it’s Apple) and all would offer Thunderbolt 3 ports — which uses the same USB Type-C connector found on the MacBook — and Thunderbolt graphics solutions that would allow just about any graphics card to be used with a notebook via an external enclosure. 

Such a drastic move would allow Apple to streamline its personal computer line, making it easier to market its computers. In my imaginary scenario, this would also allow the company to deal with fewer form factors — which could lower prices — on Macs and concentrate on ways to innovate so they’re miles ahead of the competition (which would probably raise prices on some models). 

Of course, this assumes that Apple isn’t selling a boatload of Mac Pros and Mac minis. We know the iMac is Apple’s best-selling desktop, but — who knows? — perhaps the other two desktops are selling hand-over-fist and bringing in lots of moolah.

If that’s true, forget my idea. If not, my plan just might be feasible.