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Saturday, September 25, 2021

I can’t decide if a colorful MacBook Air is a great idea or not

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It didn’t come as much of a surprise but it did add a certain tinge of legitimacy when leaker Jon Prosser today said that Apple is working to bring some color to the next MacBook Air. Similar to the recent iMac refresh, it’s thought the next MacBook Air will also be offered in multiple bright colors. And I can’t quite decide how I feel about it.

On the face of it, it’s impossible not to have nostalgia kick in at the idea of multi-colored Macs of all shapes and sizes. People being able to choose a Mac that suits their style is never a bad thing because, for some, Gold-ish, Space Gray, and Silver just don’t cut the mustard. If anything I can understand a personalized MacBook Air more than I can an iMac. Yet, there are concerns.

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Not because people might be walking around with yellow MacBook Airs under their arm, of course. I’m concerned – albeit, only slightly at this point – that Apple is falling into the trap of offering too much choice. Too many SKUs, if you will. And we’ve seen before that Apple works best when it has a streamlined lineup.

Now, yes. I know that apart from the color these MacBook Airs will be the same and that’s the same situation we see with the new iMac. But as we’re already seeing with delivery times of various Apple products, getting all of these things into stores and ready to ship online isn’t an easy prospect. Multiply that by seven new colors, and things get more complicated. Throw in a couple of configurations, and you’re talking about a lot of SKUs. Apple is the best at ‘just in time’ manufacturing and shipping, but even the best has problems sometimes. Just look at how long the new 12.9-inch delivery times are!

Hopefully none of this will matter and I’m seeing problems where there aren’t any. But it’s a niggle, right at the back of the mind, that I can’t quite shift. That maybe, just maybe, we don’t need all those colors.

Now, that rumored M2 chip that the new machines are thought to boast. Now that is a very different story indeed!

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