updated 05:13 pm EDT, Fri October 26, 2012
Executive talks down Blu-ray
Following on the heels of Apple's latest device unveilings, the company's marketing head, Phil Schiller, has explained the reasoning behind omitting an optical drive in the latest iMacs. In an interview with Time, he noted that optical drives and rotating hard disks are among the aging technologies that are "holding us back" and represent "anchors on where we want to go."
Removing the optical drives from MacBooks was viewed as a necessary transition to significantly reduce the thickness and weight for the portable devices. Making the same move with desktop computers may frustrate some users who find the optical drive's usefulness a higher priority than overall machine thinness, but Schiller suggests DVD burners are on the way out as content distribution continues to shift toward digital.
"In general, it's a good idea to remove these rotating medias from our computers and other devices," he said. "They have inherent issues -- they're mechanical and sometimes break, they use power and are large."
The executive further suggests that one popular standard that requires an optical drive, Blu-ray, is a "complex and not-great technology" that comes with "issues unrelated to the actual quality of the movie."
On the subject of netbooks, Schiller defended Apple's lack of interest in the once popular segment. "The iPad became our answer to the $500 computer," he said. "Time has proved us right on that point. And now 100 million people agree that the iPad is a great computer."
Apple did address the market for a compact notebook computer with the 11-inch MacBook Air, however the device still offers a full-size keyboard and a $999 price tag that makes it more of an ultraportable than a netbook.