Why is Apple trying to phase out physical media 10 years before the public is ready?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by StephenCampbell, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2009
    I'm seriously baffled by this, and I hope that for at least the next five years I'll be able to buy new Macs without being forced to give up my DVD collection. I mean, what is Apple thinking? Are they completely out of touch with reality? Do they think that everybody has internet connections that allow them to transfer 2GB films to their friends in <5 minutes?

    If a family wants to send a home movie to their family, is Apple saying they should no longer use iMovie and iDVD, but simply send it over the internet? And what about watching films? DVDs look better than quicktime files that are 720x480, because their bitrate is much higher. To supply non-physical films that are in decent quality it has to be at least 720p. If people can't download that in under ten minutes, they're going to still prefer a disk. And what about all the thousands of films and DVDs that aren't coming to blu-ray anytime soon, and aren't going to be available as digital downloads anytime soon? (And Apple isn't even supplying Blu-Ray players in their machines!)

    The internet is just not fast enough yet, to phase out physical media. They need to wait until the AVERAGE connection speed around the US is at least 100mb down.

    Why is Apple doing this? The vast majority of the public at this point will say "hell no!" to phasing out DVD usage. Is apple trying to pull the baby out of the womb at 6 months?
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Follow the money.

    Maybe they are ready to use some of their $76B in cash reserves to move into the ISP market?

    Is this an issue for the House Un-American Activities Committee?? :rolleyes:
  3. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    Because Apple doesn't make any money with physical media.
  4. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    Yeah, this. They DO make money selling stuff from the iTunes store and App Store. Plus, Jobs and Ive seem to be obsessed with not having holes in their designs. No SuperDrive is one less hole in the case.
  5. StvenH90 macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    I like holes...
  6. -tWv- macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2009
    Me too..

    But seriously, it's because eventually everything is going to move into "the cloud" and apple just wants to be ahead of the curve. Then they can say they were the first, they were the ones who are better than everyone else, they "changed the industry." They say this with nearly every product release..

    And what everyone else said about the money, apple makes nothing when people buy DVDs.. So if they force you to either buy an external DVD drive or download the movie, they make money. Almost everyone is going to choose the easier route and get it off iTunes.
  7. StvenH90 macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    If Apple takes my Superdrive away. When it comes time to replacing my equipment in a couple years, I will replace it with something that has a hole or two in it.
  8. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2009
    Okay but realistically, even if Apple phases out superdrives within three years, people are still going to be buying external drives, and using DVDs, for at least another ten years, right? I mean, the technology just isn't there yet to make the alternative realistic for a lot of people. Do you know how many old ladies there are with 512kb down internet connections?
  9. StvenH90 macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    I think physical media will be around for a long time. But after a while it will be 50/50... Hell Best Buy sells records again.
  10. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    I'm an Austronaut
    I like non physical media distribution, however I don't like being dependant on software or vendor to enjoy the content.
  11. ThirtyThr33 macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2011
    Boulder, Colorado
    I don't know where you come from but around here (my college and hometown) everyone streams. That's why Netflix is so huge. It's the future. There's no sense in apple staying with physical drives when many people are starting to just stream and download instead of burn and rip. It doesn't mean it's totally dead though. You can still get external drives. But Apple is always on top of the game when it comes to trend setting with future technology so why would they stay with physical drives? With apple tv, google tv, and vudu (instant movie rentals and purchase database that walmart just bought out), and blu ray, DVDs are slowly joining the dusty boxes with video cassettes.
  12. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    And how many of those old ladies are rushing out to buy each brand new macbook pro?
  13. And1ss macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    It's not like Apple only does business in the U.S - consider some of the Asian countries and European countries' ISPs.

    Where are your getting your information from? I'd like to know some credible sources that indicate a HELL NO to phasing out DVD usage.

    This is my opinion: DVDs are too bulky, limited storage + rewritables are too expensive per dvd, slow transfer, fragile.
  14. Illumination macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2011
    Georgia, USA
    First off, Apple does not control everything. Apple cannot single-handedly kill off physical media. They're doing it for two reasons:

    1) The iTunes store. With every song purchase, ~10 cents goes to the artist, and the rest goes to Apple. More $$$$ for them.

    2) The iCloud. By cutting remote media, you're forced to upload it to "the cloud". Most people, I think, will not use this since most people have non-Apple products. What's the point of it in that (common) scenario? It's cheaper to buy remote storage than use this nonsense.
  15. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2009
    Streaming isn't DVD quality. I don't like going backwards. And iTunes movies that are in "standard quality" look significantly worse than DVDs as well. Only iTunes 720p and higher matches or rivals the look of a DVD.
  16. Love macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2007
    Just southeast of Northwestshire
    Oh, you're so cute.

    Okay - Apple has been a bit hasty in their removal of optical media. However, I see it as away to convert switchers (by taking out of the MBA and Mini lines) into the entire Apple ecosystem - the App Store, iTunes, etc. Which, although might not be great for everybody, is an arguably profitable move for Apple. Apple has always been a bit hasty in their rapid changes in common standards - in recent years, I can't say it's hurt them.

    I highly doubt 10 years is an accurate estimate. North America's broadband connections are indeed lagging, but as Apple increasingly becomes a global player, North America becomes an increasingly small market. Europe and Asia, have fast, cheap broadband, and huge populations. This is the future of the world - and it's not so distant. The general public in much of the world is ready now - and North America will be too, very soon. Much sooner than 10 years. Apple is simply trying to 1) Target ready markets now; 2) Make North America into one of those ready markets. We're moving quickly towards that.

    And I can definitely affirm that my grandma is not running out to purchase a MacBook Air.
  17. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    Some will, I won't, nor will many others, indeed probably quite a few more than I expect most people think.
  18. iphoneZ macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2008
    rabble rabble give me my deadtech!! rabble rabble rabble
  19. ratboy90 macrumors 6502


    Apr 15, 2009
    but the people are never ready. were they ever ready for the CD? no it had to be forced upon them. the same now where people need to get rid of the dvd.
  20. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Online is a lot easier to control than physical. If apps/music/games etc are tied to a contract and sole distributor, then they have all the control. They can easily include analytics and research mechanisms when you register with them and produce data which is worth a small fortune, all neatly tied up with ToS.

    You don't get that with a DVD. Once the sale is made there is virtually no new info, nothing for companies to learn from.

    Personally I love a mix of the two. All my PC/Mac games are on Steam, and my PSN, 3DS and Wii systems have loads of downloaded games attached to them. But it's much easier for me to buy DVDs over downloads. That way I can take the disc to my home abroad, I can rip it to iTunes if I so wish, can take it to a friends house and have no worries that it won't play or that DRM will get in the way.

    Oh, and DRM. Great (for Apple and their distributors) to lock down who uses their software. Works fine for disposable media like cheap 69p apps but any large software buy or OS will have to be on disc for me.

    It's the age of disposable media. Quality doesn't matter - it's about convenience and price so people are kept busy until the next thing.
    For a site that dispels 3D and loves high quality media it always amazes me to see how happy most are with iTunes quality media.
  21. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    I think it's nice that they start with it. I not often use the build-in DVD; when needed an attached device via USB would be enough. On my MBA I really don't miss the DVD; it works well.

    Ok, I'm also in the lucky position to have my internet with a dedicated optical line. So most of content comes via iTunes.

    But even those DVDs I have from "old" days could go via external drive. Things I watch often get ripped on the NAS.

    LIon update via AppStore worked well; even a clean install on an 2009-MacMini worked without DVD (but external boot disk)

    One more: if someone break into your house and steal your DVDs they are gone; from iTunes you just download once more. Same for fire or earthquakes.
  22. Dagless, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    But if you break the terms or (in the case of Origin) don't access your content for 2 years you also lose your data.

    I haven't read through any other distributor terms, but on Steam you're effectively renting a license to run software which can be terminated at any time at their discretion. And they're considered one of the nicer distributors!

    And that brings me onto another reason why I'm not ready to fully jump on digital distribution - regions! Right now I can import a CD, film or game from any shop I want (so long that they deliver abroad), or I can go on holiday and buy whatever is in that region. Digital? "Sorry this product isn't out in your region". Even on holiday I'm still locked to my home region with some distributors.
  23. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.80 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/5.19376/25.692; U; en) Presto/2.5.25 Version/10.54)

    A similar discussion occured among many Apple fans in 1998 when the iMac was released without a floppy drive, I would think. If you needed, you could have bought an external floppy drive. Now, I don't know how many people took this route, but enough saw it as a viable option, or decided the floppy was no longer necessery. And as we all know, the iMac was a huge sucess, playing a key role in getting Apple back on their feet, and still pulling profits today.
    Apple could be making a mistake with this one, but they're really, really good at convincing people of what they "need" or dont "need". Besides, PC's will have optical drives for years to come if the floppy disk incident repeats itself.
  24. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    My thoughts exactly. (Not to mention the serial port.) And the "public" wasn't "ready" for that one either.

    I can see a couple of things here. Lack of physical media puts Apple in control. Reduces piracy and the secondary market (eBay). I don't see how a complete removal of disks would work as you have to have some way to reinstall an OS, but I'm not really up to date on all the new stuff.

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