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Apple was the first company to get rid of floppy disk drives with its Macintosh systems over ten years ago and it looks like the company will be the first to get rid of DVD optical disc drives (ODDs) as well. In general, Apple is not afraid of removing various legacy devices from its PCs.

“These old technologies are holding us back. They are anchors on where we want to go. We find the things that have outlived their useful purpose. Our competitors are afraid to remove them. We try to find better solutions – our customers have given us a lot of trust,” said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, in an interview with the Time.

It is unquestionable that DVD standard is completely outdated, but instead of building Blu-ray disc drives into its iMac computers, the company earlier this month introduced new iMacs without ODD at all. According to the company, BD standard does not provide good-enough user experience and mechanical drives are just holding the company back.

“Blu-ray has come with issues unrelated to the actual quality of the movie that make [it] a complex and not-great technologies. So for a whole plethora of reasons, it makes a lot of sense to get rid of optical discs in desktops and notebooks,” explained Mr. Schiller.

While it all makes sense, optical discs are still used for backup as well as for watching movies or listening to music. Eliminating them naturally causes troubles for the customers. Nonetheless, Apple is confident that sleeker designs as well as modern technologies provide at least two perfect excuses for eliminating legacy devices that are still utilized by hundreds of millions of customers and are rather future proof when it comes to capacities, reliability and so on.

“In general, it us a good idea to remove these rotating medias from our computers and other devices. They have inherent issues – they are mechanical and sometimes break, they use power and are large. We can create products that are smaller, lighter and consume less power,” said Mr. Schiller.

While Apple wants to eliminate older technologies once and for all and probably the next step will be getting rid of hard disk drives, the industry wants to tailor legacy devices for the modern world. Intel Corp. this year called makers of HDDs to introduce 5mm thick drives and asked manufacturers of optical drives to design 7mm thick DVD/BD readers for ultrabooks and all-in-one desktops.

Tags: Apple, iMac, Mac, Blu-ray, DVD, ODD, HDD, Intel, macbook


Comments currently: 18
Discussion started: 10/31/12 05:33:05 AM
Latest comment: 07/13/16 10:50:47 AM
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0 4 [Posted by: texasti  | Date: 10/31/12 05:33:05 AM]

Nothing can hold Apple's fans from buying a new Mac.
3 2 [Posted by: KonradK  | Date: 10/31/12 08:30:47 AM]

So now all new Mac are passively cooled (no mechanical fans)?
1 1 [Posted by: gjcjan  | Date: 10/31/12 09:29:37 AM]

What is the replacement of optical discs???
1 1 [Posted by: Zingam  | Date: 10/31/12 09:47:29 AM]
- collapse thread

- Solid state drives like USB drives and SSD? More expensive
- internet (streaming, cloud storage)? Performance highly depend on connection.
0 2 [Posted by: gjcjan  | Date: 10/31/12 09:57:11 AM]

I am usually blindly against Apple but in this stance I sort of support the idea (not Apple though . I haven't had internal optical drive in my PCs since.. maybe 3-4 years back and only needed them for:
Installing Windows
Doing Back-ups
Now modern versions of Windows can be installed from USB Flash and Back-ups I am doing on my RAID array instead of loads of CDs. BR never picked up and are still expensive so.. I do see a logic there. External drive can easily help you out for those few more years and from then on - USB, Cloud etc. Irrelevant for developing countries and movie/CD music lovers though.
0 2 [Posted by: edvinasm  | Date: 10/31/12 10:30:02 AM]

I am not against Apple like other people are. Apple is like any other company. Apple is for the consumer while other companies are for enterprises that do not change often compared to home users. Stating that computers these days does not need optical drives is no surprise to me because I rarely use my optical drive. UEFI BIOS helps make booting from a USB drive easier.

Putting a Blu-ray drive in my computer is a waste of money. I do not have any Blu-ray movies to archive. Also I have not seen any content besides movies using Blu-ray, so Blu-ray is a waste. My DVD burner costs me $20 while a Blu-ray burner costs $72. Archiving a Blu-ray movie is complicated than a DVD movie, so that hurts the demand for Blu-ray drives. Streaming or downloading is becomming the next demand, so Blu-ray or a physical medium will become obsolete.
2 2 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 10/31/12 12:29:07 PM]

They dump blu ray so they can introduce their version called indigo ray(another blue) that only uses their lightning connector.
golf clap for the Apple tech geniuses

end sarcasm

On a more serious note, Dumping floppy drives made sense as cd'd were to replace them. Dumping ALL optical drives does NOT make sense for at least a few more years,Hell there are many out there who have not even jumped onto the blu ray bandwagon yet and still used dvd's. Next gen high definition 4k or 8k whatever they want to call it will need media unless you plan on having your internet capped after a few days of downloads!
Not to sure ISP's will like the idea of everyone downloading the latest 4k movie in a few years time that is over 100gb each.
Also high speed broadband is no where near where it needs to be on a worldwide scale for streaming and doing away with optical completely, Half the worlds population have only just come off dial up and are only just tasting broadband 30mbit or less.
Easy for rest of us to say yeah lets dump it we have 100mbit and faster connections, We don't need media.
Optical drives have a few years left yet, Blu ray has only just passed the mark for 100 million units installed this year,Heaps of growth left, I think Apple is jumping the gun a bit too much this time, Wonder who gets fired this round. o.O
3 1 [Posted by: ozegamer  | Date: 11/01/12 01:01:33 AM]

Alternate of Optical Disc are fast USB and/or fast internet. Currently, both are too costly and slow. The decision is good to some extent for light weight mobile computing, but not a good decision for countries where fast internet cost a leg and arm.
1 1 [Posted by: boyfriend  | Date: 11/01/12 05:31:49 AM]

Until iTunes can offer music in a lossless format that matches the quality of music CDs, I will continue buying music CDs. It's ludicrous that they won't provide the option to download music in their ALAC format by now, in a time when smartphones ship with 16 GB of flash memory. Same goes for iTunes video downloads v. BD movies. Until Apple can offer audio and video that can match the quality on an audio CD or a DVD/BD or the original source, then I will still support optical discs. Some people prefer quality over convenience. Sorry, Apple.
4 1 [Posted by: DirectXtreme  | Date: 11/01/12 07:22:20 AM]

In a way, if they use a flat microSD or SD card with SDXC technology has 256GB or 2TB with fast transfer rates, it's not a bad idea, however, Blu-ray disks and their successors, terabyte-size blue-violet disks will still make for inexpensive and distributable media for desktop use. Though, SDXC isn't a priority for Apple either. A small, but size-able population of Apple users drop their Iphones abd Macbooks, and so they would be disappointing their customers for not making their products durable enough.
1 2 [Posted by: qubit  | Date: 11/01/12 08:29:35 AM]
- collapse thread

Dude did you look how much costs an SD or microSD card at 64GB???
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 06/25/13 03:26:19 AM]

floppy disk had small memory capacity,often lose data ,blue ray or DVD is much ,much better and almost permanently store data.Apple is wrong in this case.
1 2 [Posted by: Blackcode  | Date: 11/01/12 10:10:42 AM]

Apple now does NOT MAKE a high end Macbook Pro for the power user. This decision to abandon the high end because it was not profitable ENOUGH will end up costing Apple in the long run. Many of the pros in music use a 17 inch MBP and do not want a 15 inch for work. The halo effect in reverse will send hundreds of thousands of power users looking for alternatives in years to come and competing solutions will become available.
2 1 [Posted by: beck2448  | Date: 11/01/12 01:00:30 PM]

show the post
1 5 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 11/01/12 10:34:24 PM]

On my pc I have to admit I have barely used my optical drive, however it does get used occasionally, both for legacy games and new games need it to install as well. If i still backed up my data to media it would also be used for burning. I think there is superior technology to optical drives but the alternatives are not yet viable replacements, to simply just remove an optical drive altogether I think is a bit silly. But I think apple is doing it to try and remove the differiental between pcs and portable devices. I expect they not that concerned imac sales drop as their profit is all in iphones and ipads now.
1 0 [Posted by: Chris Collins  | Date: 04/23/13 01:15:35 PM]

0 0 [Posted by: Thatzlife  | Date: 08/01/14 01:06:11 AM]


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