Commercially speaking they are the same, as stated by Wikipedia, but what should be the correct way to name our precious personal devices?

  • 1
    This is a fun thing for people to chime in their opinion, but isn't this a false dilemma in saying there needs to be one and only one choice here? (or is there a deeper problem you are (were) looking to solve other than have a chat?)
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 20:30

6 Answers 6


In the October 4, 2011 Special Event, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the sales figures for computers by calling it the Macintosh (source: http://www.apple.com/apple-events/october-2011/). He subsequently referred to it as the Mac, but if the company CEO still uses the term "Macintosh" I'd say the name is not defunct.

  • 1
    yep, I got that as well! the Macintosh is alive :) ... not Steve though :'(
    – balexandre
    Commented Oct 8, 2011 at 15:35

Im pretty sure Mac is the preferred term now, and usually when they are being discussed, the type of Mac is usually mentioned (iMac, Mac Pro, etc). Professionally they are usually addressed as Macs vs Macintosh as well. Either way you would be right.

Though, on some of the newest packaging, my new iMac box said 'Apple Macintosh' on it. And in some of the paperwork, they use Macintosh and Mac interchangeably.


The  Menu says "About this Mac", but the default name for the primary drive installed in the machine is "Macintosh HD" (even on machines with SSDs), so Apple hasn't completely done away with the term "Macintosh".

  • haha. i think this a nicest answer :))
    – hqt
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 15:19

Mac or Macintosh are the same thing. I’ve got a Mac Computer or I’ve got a Macintosh Computer are the same. As long as you don’t use MAC instead of Mac. You can also say I’ve got an Apple computer.

  • 2
    Yes, this! Please no "MAC"! It's not an acronym, people. Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 4:02
  • nor is it the make up brand :P
    – Alexander
    Commented Oct 8, 2011 at 3:50

Apple no longer calls them Macintosh, just "Mac" for the entire range of devices, and "iMac" "MacBook", "Mac Mini" etc for the specific devices. So, unless you're talking about an old model that actually has "Macintosh" in the name, I'd say "Mac" is to be preferred.

  • "Apple no longer calls them Macintosh, just Mac" - CEO Tim Cook just refereed as Macintosh on the "Let's talk about iPhone" Keynote.
    – balexandre
    Commented Oct 8, 2011 at 15:33

I have noticed for many years that people who do not own or use a Macintosh (and aren't quite sure what one is) refer to them as a "MAC" in all capital letters, whereas people who actually use one always refer to it as "Mac".

This is an easy way to tell whether or not the person whose article or post you are reading has any idea about what they are saying.

"MAC", on the other hand, is an acronym for "Machine Access Code address" and refers to the unique hardware identifier of every Ethernet and WiFi network card in the world. So every (networked) computing device has its own MAC whether it's a PC, a Mac, an iPhone, or something else.

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