Why did Apple remove internal optical drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bluebird3, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    I'm so needing it to be in ONE unit for ease of portability. People are still needing it, so.now they have to spend extra for external drive ... it doesn't much make sense to me.

    Why some /many people think it's a good thing ??
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    One word: bandwagon.

    It's cool or hipster or something to get on the Apple train and act like Apple's totally infallible. If you're not with Apple, then you're against them, so you're the one who is at fault, etc.

    It's all designer ******** these days, thin this, thin that, oh-look-how-light-it-is. Unfortunately, if you want expandability or a sane set of features, you'd best be looking at buying a PC laptop. I know that totally sucks but that's just the way things have gone.

  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    I think it's happening to PC as well.
  4. macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    I'm still mad that Macs don't come with Floppy Drives anymore...
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    You cannot use this argument because that assumes that there is a suitable physical replacement for the medium that has been discontinued. In the case of Apple EOL'ing the floppy drive, we had CD drives and burners to fall back on.

    CDs and DVDs have no replacement, they were simply dropped. This wasn't a case of something better coming along and outdating everything before it. This was a case of Apple dropping features because they wanted to make a slimmer machine.

  7. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Cloud storage and flash drives come to mind.

    Optical media is so slow in comparison to modern alternatives.

    Optical media is fragile and prone to being scratched. If its consumer burned media (as opposed to commercial pressed optical discs) it also has a limited shelf life.

    The drives themselves take up a large amount of room in a laptop.

    Every Apple laptop I've owned in the past that had an optical drive had the drive fail after a year or two and I barely used them.

    Unless you live in an area of the world with limited or no broadband optical drives don't really seem worth it compared to other options.
  8. Nermal, Jul 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013



    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    Whakatane, New Zealand
    DVD-R is 10.5 Mb/s per "x", i.e. a 5x drive reads and writes at 52.5 Mb/s. This is much faster than many residential broadband connections, especially when talking about upload speeds. Cloud storage cannot compete with optical at this stage when it comes to speeds.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    You've got me there.

    The convenience outweighs the potentially slower transfer rates for me.

    Cheap USB3 flash drives seem to be rivaling Hard Drives in transfer rates and beating DL DVDs in capacity though.
  10. macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Use Dropbox (or email) for access of small files across multiple computers
    Use Thumbdrive for larger files
    Just about every piece of software you can get internet download from vendor, faster then getting it through the mail
    Rent movies from iTunes
  11. macrumors 603

    Feb 20, 2009
    "why did Apple remove internal optical drive?"

    So they could "slim down" the case for styling.

    And so they could make a little extra money by selling you the optical drive as an external peripheral.
  12. notjustjay, Jul 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013

    macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    There are a lot of reasons, as outlined above.

    Removing the drive reduces weight and thickness, so Apple can advertise how thin and light their machines are.

    It also reduces cost a little bit. Apple is already known for having expensive computers (you can argue all day about whether they are "worth it", but the bottom line is they do cost more than a "typical" PC).

    (This helps twofold, one by reducing the physical cost of the machine due to fewer parts, two, adding to the perceived value of the machine because thinner and lighter PCs are supposed to be more expensive.)

    The space taken up by the optical drive can be replaced with a larger battery, for longer life.

    Optical drives are moving parts and are prone to failure. The DVD burner on my 2007-era MacBook Pro works only intermittently now. Not including it adds to perceived reliability since the only moving part would then be the hard drive -- and maybe not even that, with today's SSDs.

    USB sticks today have capacities in the 32-64 GB range, so they are convenient for large file transfers. This simply wasn't the case 5 years ago.

    More and more people are moving to digital downloads or streaming, e.g. iTunes, Netflix, rather than buying CDs and DVDs or Blu-Rays.

    Speaking of Blu-Ray, Apple seems hell-bent on NOT including them with their machines. So rather than coming up with excuses, it is easier for them to simply say (and spin) "we don't need ANY optical drive!"

    The bottom line is that we simply don't use CDs and DVDs as much as we used to. Yes, I still use them occasionally, but I bought a cheap USB drive. Actually, I bought the cheap USB drive when my internal DVD burner started to fail, so it was kind of necessary anyway.

    Even years ago, companies acknowledged that you did not always need CD/DVD drives. Back in 2001, my Dell laptop had two swappable bays which you could configure as one battery and one DVD drive, or two batteries.
  13. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the lens, UK
    Fixed that for you! I meant to add a SuperDrive to the basket when I ordered my new iMac. I forgot, and 7 months later I have managed to work around any need I thought I had.
  14. macrumors 603

    Feb 20, 2009
    "And so they could make a lot of extra money by selling you iTunes and App Store content."

    Good point.

    I've been a Mac user since 1987, and have not spent ANYthing on the iTunes music store.

    Not a single penny.

    Never will.
  15. macrumors 68000


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    Apple is trying to fade out the use of physical CDs/DVDs and is focusing more on digital sales through iTunes. Want a cd? buy it on itunes. Want a movie? buy it on itunes. Apple makes more money that way. Its not all bad though, I personally am for pure digital media. CDs and DVDs are good physical means for transporting data to other systems (DVD players, cars, other PCs), but in todays world, there are better alternatives. Wifi enabled streaming devices, such as Apple TV, to stream movies from your computer onto the TV. USB ports are becoming standard in cars to try and fade out CD players, just pop in a flashdrive with your music, and there you go; way more music than you could fit onto a CD. And cloud services such as dropbox and google drive are making it easier to transfer files between systems without having to physically be near it, or bring a physicall drive to copy from. Lets face it, CD's and DVD's are starting to fade away in favor of cloud and digital alternatives.
  16. SvK
    macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2005
    San Diego
    Because of Flash Drives USB sticks ( they hold more data ), and cloud computing.
  17. macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    I think.....

    is based in a three-pronged assumption:

    -Design constraints
    -Force people to download the software

    Too many people still use digital physical media. Me, one of them. But I do not buy an Apple SuperDrive only because it is Apple branded. Plenty of options out there, not so stylish and elegant (based in Y-connectors too many ODDs use today).

    So, for Apple maybe makes sense (as the no Blu-ray support). But not for all customers....:(

  18. macrumors 68000


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    Agree or disagree--the Apple party line is that cloud storage has replaced the optical drive. Personally that is fine with me as I never use the optical drive on my iMac--but I did use it to load all my CDs into my iTunes Library so there is certainly a case that an optical drive is still necessary for some projects--but a stand alone unit can always be acquired for that purpose.
  19. macrumors G4

    May 10, 2004
    They want people to spend money in iTunes instead of Blu Ray, DVDs, and CDs.
  20. macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2013
    The title of this thread should be: Why do people have such a hard time letting go of obselete technology?
  21. macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
  22. macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    I'm still mad that they NEVER came with 5 ¼ drives!
  23. macrumors 603


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    None of these are helpful when you're talking about handing over large amounts of data to another person, like a client.

    Flash drives would theoretically work, but they still aren't as cheap (and "disposable" as CD's and DVD's.

    We often use online transfer - through FTP sites and such - to transfer large amounts of data between companies, but it's very, very slow to do so. Some sort of high-capacity disposable medium would work better in this case.
  24. macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Ditto. No videos either. I have an external drive attached to my Mac Mini that I use so I can burn things for other people. I sure don't need to lug it with me everywhere I go by having it built into my laptop.
  25. macrumors 68030

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    you can get 8gig flash drives for five bucks these days..
    i imagine if you bought in bulk, you could get them for a lot cheaper than that even

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