MacBook Air Superdrive ONLY works with MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thefunkymunky, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. thefunkymunky macrumors 65816

    Feb 24, 2005
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    This surprises me. I like the idea of using it with the :apple:TV, but that really is the only scenario that looks worthwhile in having it if you don't have a MBA.
  3. Brianstorm91 macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2007
    Cambridge, UK
    It's quite bad that I'm not shocked by this at all.
    Everything they do has a stronger-than-ever feeling of "Give us all of your money now, and be quiet".
  4. desenso macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2005
    God.. Apple people will truly find anything they possibly can to whine about.
  5. Ryan T. macrumors 6502a

    Ryan T.

    Jun 13, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    How much of an apple apologist to you have to be to not see that tying a $99 USB external optical drive to only one machine in your lineup to bully people into buying SuperDrive models is the opposite of the type of company Apple tries to portray itself as.
  6. Cloudane macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2007
    Sweet Apple Acres
    The fanboy in me says it's because they realise an optical drive can be pretty important, and want to keep Macbook Air buyers sweet by kindly offering them - and ONLY them - an external one at a much lower profit margin than usual.

    The cynic in me says it's pure greed, as usual. Apple will do everything they can to keep their profit margin maximised in all areas, and aren't averse to artificially crippling things to maintain it. It's the same kind of BS that goes on with the iPod Touch with the artificial crippling while they push iPhone sales and the fee to de-cripple it once the iPhone market quietens down. Oh, not to forget that since some patch / revision of iPods, you can't just use any old third party USB charger (I've tried various), ohh no it has to be an overpriced Apple one.

    Doesn't surprise me in the slightest either, in fact it wouldn't surprise me if it's limited the other way round too and you can't just plug any old bus powered USB2 optical drive in even if it works on other Macs.

    They've well and truly taken to DRM / lock-ins / artificial limitations... Richard M Stallman probably does a facepalm every time you mention the name Apple.
  7. XTRanger macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2007
    Darn it! This is a bad blow for me.... I have a MB with its superdrive fried. Just when I was about to put my money on the external superdrive, this news comes and dashes all my hopes of running CDs and DVDs in my MB.

    The AppleCare dudes want to charge $400 for replacing the superdrive, which I am not willing to pay.
    Can anyone confirm this please? I might give Apple a call, because I find it really hard to believe!
  8. Ryan T. macrumors 6502a

    Ryan T.

    Jun 13, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    That's what's scary...the profit margin on this is still at least 150%, optical drives just are not that expensive, especially not at the price Apple gets.
  9. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
  10. Cloudane macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2007
    Sweet Apple Acres
    Is this after you factor in overheads etc though?

    This is one of the negatives of them switching to PC-style hardware (Intel etc); in the past at least they could pretend the high price was for top quality hardware in a class of its own etc.

    Ps. Sony are a poor example for comparison as they too are infamous for their greed (PS3 anyone?)
  11. desenso macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2005
    What kind of a company does Apple try to portray itself as? I've always known it to portray itself as elitist and profitable. Making user-friendly products doesn't necessarily mean making inexpensive products. If anything, the opposite is true.

    Perhaps you should investigate the One Laptop Per Child program. Their pricing philosophy appears to be more in line with your own.
  12. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    +1. There seems to be no technological reason why the superdrive couldn't work with any computer, but apple apparently has chosen to hobble it, if only to be able to charge $100 more for a macbook with superdrive ($200 price difference - $100 cost of this). . apple should be embarrased.
  13. JML42691 macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2007
    All that I can think out of this is that they are trying to find a way around of having people opting to buy the low-range MacBook and then buy this drive rather than buying the mid-range MacBook if they are only looking for a super-drive. Because if Apple can force them to buy the mid-range in this scenario, then they make an extra $100 on the sale.
  14. .:R2theT macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2007
    Apple should not be embarrassed. They are a company selling products that will make them money.

    People always bitch about the combo drive on the low-end MacBook. That is actually the one I wanted but I wanted the bigger HD but didn't want to do a BTO machine, so I got the mid-range machine. My choice based on the given options.

    I had the same experience buying my Audi. Buying an Apple product is very much like buying a European car(especially an Audi). I want Quattro so I have to pay through the nose for an anemic engine in a beautiful package. Mac Portables are the same thing. You want OS X so you pay through the nose for an anemic machine(relatively) with a beautiful design.

    Ultimately, I love our Audi and I love my MacBook. Are there things I wish were different about both? Yep. Do I still feel they are worth what I paid? Yep.

    The main thing is this...If you don't like it, DON'T BUY IT! No one is forcing you to buy Apple products. You are making that choice. Don't act the victim and don't make Apple out to be the bad guys.
  15. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    That´s a shame. I was going to get one for my iBook. That would have extended it´s life for a bit longer. Guess Apple want me to buy a new laptop instead of a $99 superdrive.

    Makes business sense I suppose, no less anoying though
  16. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    So the quoted article berates Apple for this decision, and goes on to say that several others make similar USB-powered drives, see X and Y and Z.

    So.... why not just buy one of those, then?
  17. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Apple seems to swing back and forth between offering products with great value and then later offering products that gouge its now locked in/hooked customer base. This seems to be one of those periods when Apple is doing everything it can to rake in the cash rather than please its customer base.
  18. Adokimus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Actually, you could pay about the same ( $1849 vs. the $1800 MBA (just round up $1799, seriously) and you will have a much smaller overall laptop with a dvd/rw drive built in. Oh, but if I really wanted an external drive anyway, there really is no place cheaper than sony in the PC world.


    Or even if I need a sony:

  19. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
    Well - oops - they've lost a sale of the external superdrive right here. That's some lost money. If it would have worked in my MB, then I'd have got one to go with my MB when I handed it over to my other half. Now I'll buy something from another manufacturer instead. Lost sale, lost profit.

    Sometimes Apple makes it so damn hard to like them.

  20. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Though I do think its lame that the superdrive is MBA only, there are hundreds of other Drives you can purchase out there. Give it a rest.

    And what's with people complaining about Apple wanting all your money, and then people saying 'oops they lost sale on that one'. Kind of contradicting I think.
  21. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    It is kind of weird, but you could easily buy another USB bus-powered external optical drive and use that if you wanted to. I don't think there's any way to prevent that.

    I'm guessing the MBA's USB port is capable of putting out more power than is in the USB 2.0 spec, if this SuperDrive is connected, so that it will always burn at full speed. If the drive doesn't get enough power, it won't work.
  22. AirmanPika macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2007
    Vandenberg AFB, CA
    I bet you in 2 weeks that Macbook Air requirment will fly out the door. Its just like the HD DVD Drive for the X360. Says it requires a 360, works fine with anything.
  23. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    Is it just me who sees it as a MBA accessory and that's it?

    It's not like there aren't any alternatives out there...
  24. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2006
    Carlisle, PA
    Yea, before we all get our panties in a bunch, let's wait and see if when they actually get into people's hands... they just need a little modification to work. It could only require an adapter.

    The 2 theories that I have seen floating around are these
    1: That the MBA USB port can push a whole lot more power than your standard USB port. The UBS spec dictates that it delivers 100mA as standard, and then ups that to 500mA if the device requests it. I am pretty sure that it would take a healthy bit of wizardry if they had been able to make an external DVD burner that could run at full speed on just 5V@500mA. So, they may have found a way to kick it up to 1A, or less.

    2: That the device has some logic onboard that can detect if it is plugged into an MBA. Sounds like TPM to me... thanks Intel!
  25. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816


    Apr 12, 2007
    That's too bad. An additional SuperDrive could be handy. Ripping a music cd in one drive and burning a disc in the other, it could certainly increase productivity.

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