Tuesday, October 30th 2012

Old Technologies Like Optical Drives Were Holding Apple Back: Phil Schiller

Apple's new iMac and MacBook Pro owe their sleek, slim design to the lack of optical drives, a feature consumers found very much wanting, which can still be overcome using external USB optical drives. In an interview with Tom's Hardware, Apple senior VP of global marketing, Phil Schiller stressed the importance of letting go of optical drives. "These old technologies are holding us back. They're anchors on where we want to go," he said. "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. In general, it's a good idea to remove these rotating medias from our computers and other devices. They have inherent issues — they're mechanical and sometimes break, they use power and are large. We can create products that are smaller, lighter and consume less power."

On how newer media like Blu-ray don't quite make optical drives an obsolete component, given that it's fast taking over as the mainstream physical home video medium, Schiller said that customers have stopped asking Apple for Blu-ray drives, and that it comes with its own set of issues that make it unfit for desktops and notebooks. "Blu-ray has come with issues unrelated to the actual quality of the movie that make [it] a complex and not-great technology…So for a whole plethora of reasons, it makes a lot of sense to get rid of optical discs in desktops and notebooks." Apple, with its iTunes service is one the leading digital content distribution businesses, including movie rentals and purchases.

Source: Tom's Hardware
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56 Comments on Old Technologies Like Optical Drives Were Holding Apple Back: Phil Schiller

#1
Mussels
Moderprator
apple cant charge you to watch a blu ray via itunes, so they'd rather remove the option entirely from their eco system.
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#2
Filiprino
Typical Apple madness and iTunes illness.
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#3
Drmark
i.e. we don't want you to buy a disk, we want to sell you the media and control how you use and watch it. Less for the customer, more for Apple.
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#4
buggalugs
True, and they want everyone downloading songs from itunes instead of buying CDs.
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#5
Tom-Helge
Clearly, Apple haven't figured out what choices means for us peoples.

Yeah, a Blu-Ray drive might be old and in the way for other things in the computers / laptops, but that doesn't change the fact that alot of peoples today use both DVD's and Blu-Ray discs ALOT.
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#6
Binge
Overclocking Surrealism
As apple, "These technologies do not work *cough*withourmarketingstructure*cough*, they have their own problems *cough*makingusmoney*cough*... oh excuse me. These technologies are antiquated."

Me *looking at Redbox*



antiquated all over my gas stations, walmarts, and malls.
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#7
WaroDaBeast
Optical drives holding them back? Is that the reason why Apple kept clinging onto CD drives when DVD drives had been adopted by PCs for a good while?

Yeah... that sure makes a lot of sense.
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#8
chinmi
"with blue ray you can watch anytime you want after you buy it, either it be a week after you buy it or 20 years after you buy it.... and that's not good for you, cause you probably have to search the entire house for you blue ray collection. We want you to buy a media from iTunes that you have to watch in a week only, after that if you wanna watch it again you have to buy it again. Simple and fun."
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#9
WaroDaBeast
by: chinmi
"with blue ray you can watch anytime you want after you buy it, either it be a week after you buy it or 20 years after you buy it.... and that's not good for you, cause you probably have to search the entire house for you blue ray collection. We want you to buy a media from iTunes that you have to watch in a week only, after that if you wanna watch it again you have to buy it again. Simple and fun."
Pretty sure he wouldn't have held the same speech was Apple selling furniture as well.
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#10
djcl.ear
When Companies choices are mandated by the short term view of their CEO's, and these conflict with the long term interest of their customers, their recommendations come to be perceived as manipulative... more so in evolved markets.

For a 2012 grown up company like Apple, the above should not happen, specially when their biggest asset is their long grown ecosystem, and this, at times when strong competing ecosystems are being put together.

2012 Apple executives are now under careful scrutiny at many levels, thus, opinions and actions like this appear as quite questionable... I wonder on how deep their short sight goes?

To state what should be obvious, media users, families, professionals of all kinds, Companies and -in practical terms- the whole customer base of Apple products NEED to retrieve their files at a media that offers some long term security. And so far, Optical disks excel in this. Flash storage of all kinds (including SSD), email accounts (and any kind of Cloud storage) have demonstrated to be feeble of hacks, bad use, magnetic and electrical failure and data corruption.
Plus nowadays, 3G and 4G carriers charge step sums for rather small file transfers....

PC and laptop manufacturers are already guilty (and suffering the consequences) of not bringing out on time & at the right prices, the Blue-Ray format. Now they want to kill all the Optical retrieval systems early?
Expect additional consequences.
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#11
jalex3
If they are going to let you use an external drive, they could at least update said overpriced drive to be bluray.
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#12
MT Alex
I haven't had an optical drive in my build for quite some time, and I rarely miss it.
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#13
Delta6326
Lol, why would you get rid of a Optical drive from a non moving device "iMac" Who cares if its 1" thick or 0.2" thick you don't move it around it just sits on your desk and you only see the screen.

I personally still buy physical copies of all my things a hacker can't take your games this way.
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#14
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
But then aren't most AAA titles tied to an online service anyway (G4W, Origin, Steam, etc.) Physical media really is losing relevance. Even Windows is sold as digital download.
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#15
Delta6326
That is true, but nothing beats good ol disks :)
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#16
Prima.Vera
I cannot live without my dvd game collection, bluray movies or CD albums...wtf?? this guy is for real??
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#17
iO
One of the really few things I have to agree with Apple.
I hardly use my external ODD anymore and I´m glad I abandoned the internal one from my case a few years ago. They are loud and slow, use too much space and are pretty 1990-ish.
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#18
1d10t
by: btarunr
But then aren't most AAA titles tied to an online service anyway (G4W, Origin, Steam, etc.) Physical media really is losing relevance. Even Windows is sold as digital download.
for third world,that could be a problem since snail are cheaper and move faster than internet
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#19
Steevo
While USB is going to be cheaper and file formats are more open source I don't see the way forward for any media distribution system other than physical media or a steam like platform due to customer distrust and lack of enough bandwidth and platform capability.

Bluray still sucks, for the price of the media and inharent failure it suffers we are still better with movies on USB. I wonder how long it will actually be till we can redbox with our USB drives and prevent scratched and dirty media.
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#20
Maban
All this time I thought that their 1980's prices were holding them back.

I rarely ever have my ODD plugged in. By far the least utilized computer part I've ever owned.
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#21
ccrowe3
I am really starting to hate Apple. First they refuse to support Blu Ray, and now they are trying to make it seem "cool" to lose features that they refuse to support because it would "hurt." I do not want a laptop that keeps shrinking in screen size and features just so you can merge it with you god damned phones and tablets. Give me my fully featured 17" Macbook Pro back. Then we'll talk.


by: Steevo
While USB is going to be cheaper and file formats are more open source I don't see the way forward for any media distribution system other than physical media or a steam like platform due to customer distrust and lack of enough bandwidth and platform capability.

Bluray still sucks, for the price of the media and inharent failure it suffers we are still better with movies on USB. I wonder how long it will actually be till we can redbox with our USB drives and prevent scratched and dirty media.
The point at which these companies have absolute control of what you do with the movies, games, etc. Coming soon.
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#22
remixedcat
apple maps is holding apple back....

mapplegate
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#23
m1dg3t
I want MY programs/files/media on hard copy. It's MINE afterall. I paid for it.

Apple, again; GO FUCK YOURSELF! :D
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#24
Jizzler
Preach it brother Schiller!

Back in the 90's hardware manufacturers and software developers worked together to develop standards for computers to meet every year. Ex: minimum # of USB, recommended port for X device to use, what technology to depreciate, etc. It's also why most motherboards have I/O ports of the same color, TYVM.

But in 1999, some customers started making a ruckus. "Don't take our floppies" they cried... and some companies listened. This was the start of the downfall. Other companies not wanting to lose out went back to offering all sorts of legacy items. The result of having so much cheap crap available? A noticeable set back of PC advancements!

So here we are today, NOT in our flying cars powered by quantum computers. That might be an exaggeration, but those are technologies that *will* happen. Just like how storage mediums *will* evolve. Just like how everything *will* evolve. The less people digging in their heels and clinging to their legacy technology, the smoother ride it will be for everyone.
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#25
1d10t
i'm still prefer hard copies.heck,i'm still having those vinyl from ancient 80's and IBM Ultrium tape for server backup :D
call me idiot as my nick,but hard media never let me down.they stand any deletion,virus attack,denial of service,electric surge.always stay intact except your homeroom mate steal it from you...
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