Apple trading SD cards for DVDs in MacBooks?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Virtuo, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. Virtuo macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Quite an interesting proposal suggesting that Apple may be doing away with DVDs in favor of SD cards -- and it makes perfect sense.
  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I don't see this happening for quite some time, if at all. People have way too many DVDs and CDs that they need and want to use. What about software? While a lot of s/w can be downloaded, people still go to stores and buy the media. I don't see them including a CD/DVD and a SD, which they would have to do due to legacy system users. Not to mention all the existing s/w on disc.

    The only way I can see Apple doing this is to include an external optical with each system but we all know Apple would never do that.
  3. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    That would totally suck, like the MacBook Air.
  4. chstr macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    makes perfect sense to me. let the loud, archaic superdrive go the way of tape media. 8-track anyone????
  5. Virtuo thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Just finished saying on Twitter, "...this is something they should have added to the macbook air from the start." I hardly ever use the optical drive on my laptop. SD cards hold much more information than CD/DVDs, and with the advent of iTunes, Online Movies/Rentals, and HD, the demand for optical media IS dwindling. This 'switch', I believe, is highly plausible.
  6. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    I burn plenty of CDs and DVDs on my MBP. In a hard case they're considerably safer than a SD card or hard drive. Any time I'm working on something important I throw a copy of it on a CD at important junctures. I also have my entire iTunes library backed up on DVD. Too many iPods, laptop hard drives and external drives have failed for me to trust them all that much.
  7. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
    It makes no sense whatsoever. None.
  8. talkingfuture macrumors 65816


    Dec 4, 2008
    The back of beyond.
    It seems like one of those ideas where the argument in the original article makes so much sense an yet you still can't see it happening. I think Apple will be the first to banish the optical drive from their line up, but not for a while yet.
  9. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    so what?

    is an ancient technology that exist in almost all pc laptops suddenly becomes a new invention of apple?

    replace DVD? not in another 5 years. While pc laptops getting blu-ray drive, and play HD movies, macs do away disks? insane or crazy, your pick.
  10. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    The columnist is right on the money. The comparison to Apple jettisoning floppies with the iMac is apt. And the Mac's jettisoning 5.25-inch floppies is apt, too. Every Kaypro, PC and Apple ][ user made the same arguments as you folks did on this thread.

    I've owned several Macs since 1985. The only hardware problems I've had are the power supplies on the toaster Macs (everybody did), a couple of bad keyboards (no big deal), and the slot driven CD/DVD drives go flaky. Remove some moving parts, and eliminate potential repair issue, and drive down costs.

    Sorry guys, it makes lots of sense.

  11. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Where in the hell has anyone said that?
  12. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    This is a horrible idea, the cost per gigabyte for a DVD is a hell of a lot lower than it is for an SD card.
  13. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Currently yes, give it 5 years and i bet people will be asking who uses DVD's anymore.
  14. sn00pie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    United States
    Optical drives are definitely on their way as far as notebooks go. Look at the netbooks, sure their cheap, buts its their portability that is driving one of the most successful segments in the notebook market.

    I've only used my drive in my notebook a handful of times. I could easily manage with a external if necessary.

    I can buy a 16GB SD card for $40 bucks. Sure you can buy a 50-pack of DVD-R for $30 but I'd much rather have the SD card, much more portable and its reusable.
  15. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    There are no legal uncompressed music downloads.
  16. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    I'm one of the people on here that's holding onto their optical drive. I have too much stuff on disc.

    I use them for backup too. I've had 2 external HDs fail on me in only a year (both bought within those 12 months too) and my internal HD failed once too. In the 4 years I've had this laptop I've had one burned CD that later couldn't be read.

    And when the most recent hard drive crashed, I pulled most of what was lost back off CDs.

    This too.
  17. jzuena macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Lexington, MA, USA
    We all know the real reason Apple added the SD slot was to not draw attention to the fact that they removed the ExpressCard slot by leaving that space empty. :(
  18. SeanAppleDude macrumors member


    Jun 25, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    lol if you want to back stuff up to something you should use an SD if you don't trust a HDD
  19. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008

    I'm saying optical media is dying and soon to be replaced with the likes of things like SD cards. What does that have to do with downloads?
  20. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    Optical media has several big things going for it.

    Very, very, very cheap to produce. Some estimates put the cost-per stamp in a large run CD/DVD production at under $0.10 per disk. Flash memory is still pretty expensive to produce, especially at the capacities that would be needed for HD movies of comparable quality to that of the equal optial media solution.

    Easier to manufacture, with very little dependence on outside manufacturers. With flash memory, you are tied to a supply chain which historically hasn't been the most reliable. With optical media there is very little that can't be brought in as raw materials, and made into the end product on site.

    Very high data density. DVD's are still pretty high capacity compared, and still very competitive with flash memory. Other forms of optical media (BluRay), increase this even further.

    All and all, while flash has advantages, I just can't quite imagine this happening in the next few years, if at all. If it did, it probably wouldn't be with what we traditionally think of as SD media, it would likely be write once media that couldn't be re-written, and tons of DRM and copy protection built in.
  21. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    Apple wouldn't replace the optical drive with the SD card slot. They function together just fine.

    Optical media is still important today, even if it's not to the degree that it was a few years ago. Software still comes on DVDs, DVD movies, CD audio, and newer optical formats like Blu-Ray are still thriving. If anything, Apple would implement a Blu-Ray drive to finally get those people who are buying PCs because Macs can not play the latest HD movie standard to switch.

    Also, most people need optical drives for their every day lives, from burning CDs to listen to in the car to burning DVDs filled with data for businesses.
  22. puffnstuff macrumors 65816

    Jan 2, 2008
    I have been thinking for a while that they are going to nix the drive and I think it's going to happen sooner then later

    While SD cards are still expensive USB drives today are super cheap. I haven't burned a CD in years because of the USB.

    Music, movies, and software can all be easily downloaded. No need for the disc.

    The masses aren't using the drive any more as they were years ago.
  23. Virtuo thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2009
    Boston, MA
    You disagree with me, great! Thanks for your immense contribution to this thread. [/sarcasm]

    ADDITION: Also, this particular strategy seems very similar to that of MS with the xbox; Downloadable content (demos, xbox titles, xobx 360 titles, movies, trailers, etc...) onto HDD's and larger *flash mem.* rather than optical media. Another large company that never invested much into Blu-ray or even HD-DVD in favor of online distro..
  24. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    It's not dead -> Blu Ray
  25. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    True. CDRs usually have a shelf life of around 10 years if that. I've seen many CDRs fail after less than 4 too.

    Not to mention 1GB SD Cards are less than $2.50 at a lot of places. I'm considering getting a handful of those incase I need to give anyone some files where I'd normally burn a CD.

    And I'm considering moving my optical disk backups to SD Card. I have a bunch of CD-Rs that would all fit on one 4GB Card.

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