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iMac, Mac Pro Rumored to Drop Optical Drives

By - Source: AppleInsider | B 56 comments

Apple may be phasing out the optical drive in its desktop computers.

Specific notes in Mac OS X Mountain Lion's configuration files are hinting to an update for Apple's iMac and Mac Pro desktop computers. The files make note of unreleased iMac (iMac13,0) and Mac Pro (MacPro6,0) models, both of which are now expected to drop the optical drive altogether.

AppleInsider notes that Apple's Boot Camp Assistant "references the plist to display a listing of newer Mac models with EFI-level support for booting a legacy operating system from a USB flash drive." Of course, that is a feature already supported in today's models, but the explicit description suggests that Apple may be specifically targeting a bootable Windows 7 volume from an image file - and not a DVD anymore.

The file references disk drive free systems such as the Mac mini and the Macbook Air at the same, time which fuels rumors that Apple could be taking the step of ditching legacy optical drives. We know that Apple isn't shy of killing technology it does not believe or want anymore. It did so with the floppy drive in the original iMac. Back then, Apple already played with an "iDrive" as a cloud storage product in 1998, which did not work that well due to the lack of generally available broadband connections.

Given broadband speeds today, as well as cheap flash mass storage, it is not unreasonable to believe that Apple may be considering the departure from the optical drive. It would even support its business model in an effort to move its users to the iCloud service.

 

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    twelch82 , August 12, 2012 7:25 AM
    I can see dropping the optical drive in an ultrathin notebook, but in a desktop machine?
  • 15 Hide
    freggo , August 12, 2012 9:28 AM
    "Given broadband speeds today"...

    Let's face it, thanks to no competition we are still way behind the rest of the world when it comes to 'high speed' internet.
  • 13 Hide
    ohim , August 12, 2012 9:55 AM
    scannallYou mean like this one? http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD564ZM/A?fnode=5fOh wait. It's $79, and uses USB.... Hate on bro. You're a pro.

    oh look a DVD drive that costs 79$ which usually should cost 20$ tops, get real.

    Profesional movie makers/ photographers need DVD/Blurays to give to their customers their work, doing this has no sense.
Other Comments
    Display all 56 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    Pyree , August 12, 2012 7:21 AM
    I am already seeing the consequences when other brand decide to drop ODD as well.
  • 24 Hide
    twelch82 , August 12, 2012 7:25 AM
    I can see dropping the optical drive in an ultrathin notebook, but in a desktop machine?
  • 11 Hide
    ojas , August 12, 2012 7:29 AM
    Well, another reason to add to a list of why Apple desktop computers hardly sell in Asia (except maybe South Korea and Japan)...
  • 9 Hide
    molo9000 , August 12, 2012 7:38 AM
    Leaving optical drives out of laptops saves a lot of spaces and weight, but is there really a big advantage to leaving it out of the iMac? Guess you can make the edges a bit thinner if you don't need to include the drive...

    They are right, that very few people need optical drives anymore, but having at least one of those ancient contraptions in your household might still be worth it.

    btw: Isn't the bigger news that they are still updating the Mac Pro? Weren't there rumors that they wanted to kill it?
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , August 12, 2012 7:52 AM
    molo9000[/nomIsn't the bigger news that they are still updating the Mac Pro? Weren't there rumors that they wanted to kill it?

    MacBook Pro, not Mac Pro, iirc.
  • -7 Hide
    phatboe , August 12, 2012 8:02 AM
    US MS users should laugh if Apple goes through with this. With the way MS is doing business these days if Apple goes though with this MS will surely follow.
  • 1 Hide
    digiex , August 12, 2012 8:48 AM
    Cloud seems to disappear suddenly after the rain.
  • -4 Hide
    scannall , August 12, 2012 8:54 AM
    otacon72So they're going to phase out the optical drive, charge the same price, then sell an external optical drive with some proprietary plug for $300. After what happened to Honan I'd trust Apple to keep my data safe....right.


    You mean like this one? http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD564ZM/A?fnode=5f

    Oh wait. It's $79, and uses USB.... Hate on bro. You're a pro.
  • -4 Hide
    theabsinthehare , August 12, 2012 8:59 AM
    I only used the ODD in my latest build to install Windows for the first time. In fact, I unplugged the sata/power connector even though the drive still sits in the case because it's been 3 years and it hasn't been used once. Installing the OS is faster from a thumb drive anyway.
  • 15 Hide
    freggo , August 12, 2012 9:28 AM
    "Given broadband speeds today"...

    Let's face it, thanks to no competition we are still way behind the rest of the world when it comes to 'high speed' internet.
  • 10 Hide
    Vladislaus , August 12, 2012 9:43 AM
    phatboeUS MS users should laugh if Apple goes through with this. With the way MS is doing business these days if Apple goes though with this MS will surely follow.

    Didn't knew that MS made computers. Also when was the last time Apple sold a computer with a FDD? Windows 8 still supports them.
  • 13 Hide
    ohim , August 12, 2012 9:55 AM
    scannallYou mean like this one? http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD564ZM/A?fnode=5fOh wait. It's $79, and uses USB.... Hate on bro. You're a pro.

    oh look a DVD drive that costs 79$ which usually should cost 20$ tops, get real.

    Profesional movie makers/ photographers need DVD/Blurays to give to their customers their work, doing this has no sense.
  • 3 Hide
    womble , August 12, 2012 10:11 AM
    I still have need for the odd floppy disk, but it isn't that painful to plug a USB one in. I still use my optical drive a bit though. Guess I must be some kind of weirdo, heaven forbid I still use the Start menu on my Windows machine...
  • 2 Hide
    theabsinthehare , August 12, 2012 10:16 AM
    freggo"Given broadband speeds today"... Let's face it, thanks to no competition we are still way behind the rest of the world when it comes to 'high speed' internet.


    Yeah, but Google is trying to change that with its gigabit fiber.
    Also, keep in mind that the countries that do have very fast broadband speeds are very small. Most countries are the size of a single state or two of ours, so it's a lot easier to lay down the fiber necessary for those high speeds when there isn't as much ground to cover, yet about the same number of competing companies.
  • 0 Hide
    theabsinthehare , August 12, 2012 10:30 AM
    ohimoh look a DVD drive that costs 79$ which usually should cost 20$ tops, get real.Profesional movie makers/ photographers need DVD/Blurays to give to their customers their work, doing this has no sense.


    The cheapest USB dual layer burners are $30. Regardless, nobody says you *have* to pay $79 for the Apple branded version; you can buy the $30 Lite-On external if you want, and it will work just fine. If you buy name brand, you pay a premium. Hell, the HP brand external USB burner is $60, why aren't you hating on them too?

    Professional movie makers/photographers are not the majority of computer users. If they need that extra Bluray burner necessary for delivering their portfolios to clients, then I'm sure they have the extra money to buy an external burner. However, the other 80% or whatever of normal users don't need it.
  • 4 Hide
    ohim , August 12, 2012 10:34 AM
    Well not everybody uses a webcam on a pc, yet you have it there, and wasn`t apple all about cable less pc? All in one pc type of thing ? why remove something just to add it as a cable stuck device to your computer ? optical drives are not really that obsolete just yet.
  • 5 Hide
    guardianangel42 , August 12, 2012 10:42 AM
    IF they really do this, they guarantee that they will be completely incapable of selling to upper end corporations and governments.

    Why? Do any of you know how Stuxnet got onto the closed-network domain containing the Iranian nuclear devices? Thumb drives. Did any of you know that the US Gov't completely banned the use of thumb drives because China had preloaded spy programs onto them?

    If you're in a position where people desperately want to know what you know or want to muck up what you're doing, thumb drives are off limits.

    So that means that with any business- or government-capable mac computer techs would have to buy an accompanying USB disc drive.

    That just doesn't make sense.
  • -9 Hide
    theabsinthehare , August 12, 2012 10:51 AM
    ohimWell not everybody uses a webcam on a pc, yet you have it there, and wasn`t apple all about cable less pc? All in one pc type of thing ? why remove something just to add it as a cable stuck device to your computer ? optical drives are not really that obsolete just yet.


    Everyone I know that owns a computer with a built in cam uses it. Apple never said anything about going cable less. They attempt to make the build as simple as possible for the majority of users. Power users, who are not the majority, tend to have lots of external devices and the cables that go with those.

    Optical drives are that obsolete. We used them for four reasons:
    Installing the OS, which is now done via thumb drive for base installs, or via download for upgrades on Macs; Entertainment CDs/DVDs, but now you can get your movies and music cheaper digitally via numerous stores, and even physical copies of movies now come with digital versions; Installing software, but all software can also be acquired digitally faster and cheaper; Physically sharing files, but not only is it easier to share online now with upload sites like ge.tt and mediafire, and all the cloud services, but flash drives are dirt cheap. You can get a 32GB flash drive for nearly the same price as a single dual layer bluray disc.

    Can you think of any other uses? I can't.
  • 0 Hide
    ap3x , August 12, 2012 12:19 PM
    guardianangel42IF they really do this, they guarantee that they will be completely incapable of selling to upper end corporations and governments.Why? Do any of you know how Stuxnet got onto the closed-network domain containing the Iranian nuclear devices? Thumb drives. Did any of you know that the US Gov't completely banned the use of thumb drives because China had preloaded spy programs onto them?If you're in a position where people desperately want to know what you know or want to muck up what you're doing, thumb drives are off limits. So that means that with any business- or government-capable mac computer techs would have to buy an accompanying USB disc drive.That just doesn't make sense.


    Well, your partly right. First of all, stuxnet did not penetrate via thumb drives. It has code that allows it to find Iran over the network. It does however have the ability to infect thumb drives to spread of computer to computer once inside. It also can update itself through P2P networks. It was a very specific and targeted worm.

    Secondly, Most government agencies and financial institutions use security software that disables usb ports and optical drives. It is apart of their data loss prevention strategies. They do it all the time.
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