Steve Jobs, the departed Apple cofounder and CEO, introduced another industry game-changer 10 years ago. He called it the MacBook Air, "the world's thinnest notebook."
When it was first unveiled, the MacBook Air was pulled out from a brown envelope, Jobs' deliberate ploy to highlight how slim and lightweight the laptop was. Unsurprisingly, the crowd erupted in applause as a reward to Job's showmanship. The Air, as expected, translated to a global hit, and the notebook market never looked back.
Again, Jobs instigated a disruption in the same way when the first iPhone was revealed three years earlier. In a way, the iPhone and the MacBook Air created the same results — old standards were set aside, and doors opened for the new era.
The Notebook Reinvented
If the iPhone managed to convince the world that it was the new definition of smartphone, the MacBook Air took the same path. Eventually, and despite its asking price that starts at $1,800 and up to more than $3,000, the MacBook Air reinvented the notebook.
The Air, in fact, served to boost Job's monumental ego. The Apple big boss scoffed at the very concept of the Windows-powered netbook and was clear that shutting down the downsized laptop would please him no end. Sure enough, the MacBook Air romped its way to the top, and the notebook was reduced to no more than a novelty.
Truth be told, what's not to love about the MacBook Air? The wedge-shaped build was a triumph of engineering achievement, as it allowed the Air to edge out the rivals when the competition all boils down to thinness.
In addition, Apple further pushed its steady campaign for device minimalism with the MacBook Air. The trimmed-down notebook spelled the demise of the optical drive and the elimination of unnecessary ports, as deemed by Apple. The device was also the first to offer the use of SSD, which has become the standard storage option nowadays on laptop for portability, speed, and efficiency.
In other words, the Air set a new standard that took the world by surprise. The consumers, however, embraced the juggernaut that the MacBook Air had become, and the domination lasted for nearly a decade.
Good Things Never Last
These days, though, the MacBook Air is but a shadow of its glorious old self. Apple still sells the Air, but a close look on the specs will reveal some form of neglect on the part of the manufacturer. The latest Air model sports a fifth-generation Intel processor that when pitted with the competition, will be easily overwhelmed.
Everything about the MacBook Air seemed to have stagnated that a sibling, the 13-inch MacBook, is now the better option in almost all respects. It's unclear what Apple has in store for its original slim notebook, but it's more likely that the iconic MacBook Air will be allowed a quiet exit, suffering the same fate of the once-omnipresent iPod music player.