Just another random thought exercise
Naming conventions have grown to a point where the consumer may find themselves overwhelmed with what exactly they intended to purchase upon walking into an Apple Store or their local Best Buy. One may want a MacBook, then the question becomes "Do you want the Pro, the Air, or the new regular MacBook?" it's the last piece of that puzzling question that can make a regular consumer irksome though it's not as convoluted as buying a PC.
The simplicity behind choosing between a Pro and an Air seemed like a valuable proposition, configurations are made if requested otherwise simply choose between the base mobile models offered 15" & 13" Pro or 13" & 11" Air, consider what you're looking for and make your choice. Then last year the 12" MacBook was thrown into the mix, more expensive then the base 13" Pro, less power than the base 11" Air, the release seemed to be a showcase of "This is where we're going" a new shift in engineering and design language for the company. If this is the foreshadowing then the questions raised are "what happens to the Pro & the Air?". Those answers likely won't come for the next year or two and the transition may be taking place behind closed doors, but the questions could also be applied to the iPad line.
March 21, 2016 saw the debut of the 9.7" iPad Pro to go along side the 12.9" offering similar internals and higher storage options. The 9.7" Air remains in the lineup and only a few noticed similar conventions to the MacBook line 2 years ago, you can choose a Pro or an Air, but there's also the Mini so as opposed to utilizing mobile naming conventions there was the utilization of the desktop variants the iMac, the Mac Pro, and the Mac Mini (still waiting for a radical redesign to that). It would seem to make more sense if the 7.9" iPad is renamed and made a part of the Air line but the question lies with the organizational goal. What are the lineups they're aiming for amongst the product lines? It's hard to imagine an iPhone Pro and an iPhone Air (maybe that's where "SE" may come in ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) but for the sake of some simplicity consider the lines where it seems logical:
- iMac (27" & 21.5")
- Mac Pro
- Mac Mini
- MacBook Pro (15" & 13")
- MacBook (14" & 12")
- iPad Pro (12.1" & 9.7")
- iPad (9.7" & 7.9")
- iPhone (5.5" & 4.7")
- iPhone SE (4")
Where it's clear the company also offers the watch in several variants along with the Apple TV, the core products are those listed above, core products that people will rely on when it comes to their medical research, podcast production suite, writing & editing and/or filming and editing and so on.