toggle

AAPL Stock: 116.47 ( + 0.16 )

Printed from http://www.macnn.com

Schiller explains lack of optical drive in new iMacs

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.




by MacNN Staff

POST TOOLS:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 01-16-00

    Like who didn't see this coming?

    I disagree with Phil on Blu-ray. The quality of movies I've seen has been quite spectacular.

  1. I-ku-u

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-08-11

    Originally Posted by msuper69View Post

    Like who didn't see this coming?
    I disagree with Phil on Blu-ray. The quality of movies I've seen has been quite spectacular.


    Given that Phil explicitly didn't say anything about Blu-ray movie quality, I find it hard to agree that your opinion is in disagreement with his.

  1. David Esrati

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-10-99

    And, next he's going to say that all of us content creators don't need a new mac pro either. Apple is forgetting two things:
    1) not everyone has fiber connections and huge bandwidth
    2) Some of us actually create large files all the time- and need to distribute it.

    The lack of Firewire on the iMac is more telling.Thanks Phil- do you ever actually come out and look at how users work?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by David EsratiView Post

    The lack of Firewire on the iMac is more telling.Thanks Phil- do you ever actually come out and look at how users work?



    That isn't really fair.

    For one: Yes, he obviously does. That's why these machines have Thunderbolt.

    For another: Nobody who *needs* Firewire will have any problems with a dongle extension on the end of all the gear and cables lying around the studio anyway. Yeah, it's thirty dollars. So?

  1. happykarma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-26-12

    Apple just wants to own your data. They want to be able to get more money from you putting your files on iCloud, where they can also see what your storing and what programs your using. Its funny he mentions things failing, but look how hard it is to open a Mac these days and upgrade or fix something. The new Mac's are not made to be fixed, they want you to gamble with Apple Care. Its a huge money maker for them, as any insurance is. I feel solid state drives are being kept at a high price by the industry as a hole as well.

  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-07-07

    For the subset of users that need an optical drive, there is the $79 option from Apple to put one there. Heck, you could velcro it to the back of the machine so it's even in the same place that you're used to!

    FireWire is a dying technology. Thunderbolt is far superior in performance. If you still absolutely need Firewire, there is a nice compact adaptor that you can plug into the back of the machine and you've got FireWire back. Since the vast majority of users never use FireWire, this makes much more sense.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by msuper69View Post

    Like who didn't see this coming?

    I disagree with Phil on Blu-ray. The quality of movies I've seen has been quite spectacular.



    He agrees with you. The format is disqualified by issues NOT related to image quality.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Originally Posted by happykarmaView Post

    Apple just wants to own your data. They want to be able to get more money from you putting your files on iCloud



    Oops, they forgot to charge me -- or any of the 190 million other people on iCloud. Joke's on them!

    Or ... could it be that you are talking completely out of your ... um, tinfoil hat?


    I feel solid state drives are being kept at a high price by the industry as a hole as well.

    A "hole," huh? Okay, well now that we've assessed your education level, we can assign your comment the credibility it deserves.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by happykarmaView Post

    I feel solid state drives are being kept at a high price by the industry as a hole as well.



    I feel you haven't taken the time to check whether reality agrees with the bumpy insides of your sphincter, whence you apparently glean your feelings. SSD prices have dropped by double-digit percentages within the last eight weeks or so.

    Chas_m probed you and took you apart on the rest.

  1. cosmotic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-12-05

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post


    He agrees with you. The format is disqualified by issues NOT related to image quality.



    This is similar to someone like Sony not making a CD player in lu of continuing to make casette players "because CDs aren't as durable". The fact is CDs are durable *enough*, what matters is the sound quality.

    To that point, consumers want 1080p movies without the MPEG artifact litter all over. Apple should deliver. Every other consumer electronics company is onboard with Bluray despite all the garbage that comes along with the standard. The alternative is not having top-tier quality consumer video playback. Apple is alone here.

    iTunes movie rentals are quite bad, quality wise, compared to Bluray movies. They are also not as good a value as you can get with Netflix and RedBox, per movie cost wise. If I can rent and play a higher quality movie at a lower cost on the competitors equipment that itself costs less, any excuse Phil gives is really moot.

    The issues Phil is probably talking about are DRM and patent related. Bluray patents pose an extremely similar problem as the H.264 patents that Apple is already dealing with. The only other thing Phil could be talking about as far as I can tell is the size/energy/reliability of 'spinning media'. Discounting Apple's obsessive overengineering with regard to size and seamlessness, and the fact that this is a desktop where energy usage is not as important, Apple really needs to come up with a better solution or work with the industry on a better alternative for Phil's comments to be taken seriously.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Originally Posted by chas_mView Post


    Oops, they forgot to charge me -- or any of the 190 million other people on iCloud. Joke's on them!
    Or ... could it be that you are talking completely out of your ... um, tinfoil hat?



    Apparently you don't understand the concept of monetizing. He didn't say Apple was making money from you by charging you to store your files. They're making money on you by the fact of your usage of iCloud.

    Think Google. You know, how people all hate google now because they're trying to gather all this information on you to use it to make money? Yeah, that's what Apple is working on doing.

    Or do you think them coming out with a me-too ad-service was just because they wanted better advertising on-line?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by cosmoticView Post

    [QUOTE=Spheric Harlot;4198412]
    He agrees with you. The format is disqualified by issues NOT related to image quality.



    This is similar to someone like Sony not making a CD player in lu of continuing to make casette players "because CDs aren't as durable". The fact is CDs are durable *enough*, what matters is the sound quality.[/quote]

    No, it is not.

    In fact, it isn't AT ALL.

    Blu-Ray is not an option because it is encumbered with stupid, complex encryption requirements and licensing issues which make it expensive and complicated to support.

    Expecting Apple to include Blu-Ray support is like expecting them to support vinyl: There are excellent reasons for wanting the medium, and it will remain alive and desirable to a niche market for a long time, but asking for full first-party support is just completely orthogonal to the way the market is moving.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Originally Posted by NewsPosterView Post

    Phil Schiller, has explained the reasoning behind omitting an optical drive in the latest iMacs.



    Um, his answer is smoke and mirrors. The truth is obvious. "We at Apple are guided by Steve Jobs' main philosophy: People want everything to be thinner. That's it. The old iMac was disgusting. It was like an inch wide. It was boxy and ugly. The new iMac is thin, and thin is beautiful.

    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."

    Man, who knew. I feel sorry for all those idiots out there, with their computers and dvd players and game consoles and all those other devices that include Blu-Ray devices. I don't keep up, but apparently they do nothing but drive their users to endless frustration.

    I mean, it can't be that Apple is ignoring blu-ray because it competes with their itunes video store and apple tv products. Nah, Apple would never let competition be a decision on their product designs.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by testudoView Post

    Think Google. You know, how people all hate google now because they're trying to gather all this information on you to use it to make money? Yeah, that's what Apple is working on doing.



    From watching both companies, it seems fairly clear that Google's and Apple's business models and motives for collecting data are complete opposites:

    Apple profiles me to see how I tick, and then sell me an $800 device that ticks exactly the way I do.

    Google profiles me to see how I tick, and then sell me to another company that thinks they need to pay for access to people like me.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by testudoView Post

    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."

    Man, who knew. I feel sorry for all those idiots out there, with their computers and dvd players and game consoles and all those other devices that include Blu-Ray devices. I don't keep up, but apparently they do nothing but drive their users to endless frustration.

    I mean, it can't be that Apple is ignoring blu-ray because it competes with their itunes video store and apple tv products. Nah, Apple would never let competition be a decision on their product designs.



    That's certainly part of it, of course. There is also the whole licensing/encryption crap as well.
    But I think the biggest part of it is that optical drives inherently SUCK, much more so than hard drives.

    But I can assure you that the number of users this drives "to endless frustration" is approximately the size of the population of a mid-sized asylum on the outskirts of Baltimore.

  1. Brad Bradley

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-25-02

    I'm glad to see more people getting on the BluRay band wagon. I thought I was a lone voice in the wilderness. There is nothing out there that Apple can do on an Internet connection that matches the quality of Blu-ray. I also distribute files to client every day on optical discs. I can give them files up to 25 GB for less than a dollar in media. I can give them files on DVD for less than the cost of a postage stamp around $.20. Anybody who believes that media should cost more to distribute in their business model obviously doesn't run a business. Optical is only going away and Apples mind and in Apple fanboy's minds optical is here to stay for the rest of society.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Seriously, in a desktop... a BluRay drive is expected, but still not even an option for those that are obviously willing to pay. crApple really knows how to manipulate the market, try to force their wishes upon customers and let users down as usual. What next??

    I am not at all surprised. Ample sized SSDs and flash still aren't cheap enough, so these antics are unjustified. This is just an experiment... what can the market tolerate??... with money in the bank, I bet they would rather sacrifice a bit to make their version of computing a reality... listening to users is no longer an option; the gorilla is too big to be wrestled with or influenced (so they think)....

    One more time: FLAC for cryTunes anyone??? Horton hears not a soul it seems.... sadly

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 09-17-99

    Do you people really think there's a huge population of people who want to watch bluray movies sitting at a desk instead of in their living room on a big tv with a bluray player?

    And do you people really think that the majority of people are burning discs and giving them to people?

    Get serious. You are the minority. There are third party solutions for you.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by hayeskView Post

    Do you people really think there's a huge population of people who want to watch bluray movies sitting at a desk instead of in their living room on a big tv with a bluray player?
    And do you people really think that the majority of people are burning discs and giving them to people?
    Get serious. You are the minority. There are third party solutions for you.

    I see bluray as an archival format... not just an entertainment solution. In fact, I have only used bluray formats for archival use. Am I still the minority for my purpose??

  1. FireWire

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 10-03-99

    "holding us back" ? "anchor" ?

    from what? I understand in the case of old legacy ports, like what they did when they introduced the iMac, or replacing the BIOS by EFI, but I don't get what is the drawback from having an optical drive? Like most people I know, I watch DVD on my computer, and I burn CDs to listen in my car. I know things are supposed to be 100% digital but what's the hurry? Nobody asked for an ultra thin desktop.. It's ok to make sacrifices for things like cellphones or tablets, but it's unnecessary in the case of desktop that are not meant to be lifted or moved. Now it's even impossible to upgrade ram in the smaller version... this is getting too far!

  1. gooser

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: 06-23-06

    people buy desktops because they want flexibility. removing options that people use is not flexibility. i am surprised that he is addressing this issue so soon after the announcement of the new imacs. he must really be catching some flak. there will be even more once these things are in the stores. apple would like for people to do away with hard media because they have a financial interest in their itunes store selling people downloads. only time will tell if this hurts them or not. does anyone remember "rip, mix, burn"? by the way, blu-ray is doing very well these days. even in this economy.


    customer to salesman: $1300? does it have a blu-ray burner?
    salesman to customer: no, it doesn't even play cd's or dvd's.
    customer to salesman: i've got to go pick up my son at school. i'll be back later.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by gooserView Post

    people buy desktops because they want flexibility. removing options that people use is not flexibility. i am surprised that he is addressing this issue so soon after the announcement of the new imacs. he must really be catching some flak. there will be even more once these things are in the stores. apple would like for people to do away with hard media because they have a financial interest in their itunes store selling people downloads. only time will tell if this hurts them or not. does anyone remember "rip, mix, burn"? by the way, blu-ray is doing very well these days. even in this economy.
    customer to salesman: $1300? does it have a blu-ray burner?
    salesman to customer: no, it doesn't even play cd's or dvd'ss.
    customer to salesman: i've got to go pick up my son at school. i'll be back later.

    Salesman to Customer: You can spend another $100 USD to get that functionality. Sound good?

    (hears the crickets...)

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

MacNN Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Plantronics BackBeat Pro Bluetooth headphones

Looking for a pair of headphones that can do everything a user requires is a task that can take some study. Trying to decide on in-ear ...

MaxUpgrades 512GB Retina MacBook Pro SSD

Apple's Retina line of MacBook Pro notebooks have been impressive, right from their debut in 2012. Thinner than the previous model, t ...

Lemur BlueDriver

"Oh no, the check engine light is on…again! What one of the hundreds of reasons could it be this time? Probably going to cost a for ...

toggle

Most Commented