Apple likes to differentiate itself from competitors, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. Besides a stubborn unwillingness to adopt Flash and HDMI ports, the company also insists on calling its wireless connectivity by the name of AirPort, which can be confusing since it is more commonly known as Wi-Fi. But now, it looks like with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple may be caving into what’s popular by dropping the AirPort name.
The image above shows how the wireless connectivity dropdown menu looks like in Snow Leopard (left) and Lion (right). The “AirPort” name has clearly been replaced with simply “Wi-Fi.” This change could save some trouble for new Mac users when setting up their first mac. Often times, they search in vain for Wi-Fi controls only to find something called AirPort.
“AirPort” has been the name of Apple’s 802.11 wireless connectivity since 1999, but Apple is the only one that uses it to refer to Wi-Fi. Now with the increasing popularity of the name Wi-Fi and the confusion that AirPort can cause it appears that Apple will be dropping the name when the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion arrives. The recent reports of supply shortage for the Apple AirPort devices may also have something to do with this. Perhaps, the rumored AirPort refresh may also be rebranded as Wi-Fi.