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Apple Says Optical Drives Were Holding It Back

Apple's senior VP of global marketing, Phil Schiller, has explained the firm's reasons for removing the optical drive from its new iMac system.

As it has done with the MacBook Air and the new Retina Display MacBook Pro, Apple also decided to drop the optical drive in its new 5mm-thin iMacs. According to Schiller, older technologies such as disc drives are holding the industry back and have ultimately done their time. He also noted that competitors are afraid to lose optical drives.

"These old technologies are holding us back. They're anchors on where we want to go," he said. "We find the things that have outlived their useful purpose. Our competitors are afraid to remove them. We try to find better solutions - our customers have given us a lot of trust. In general, it's a good idea to remove these rotating medias from our computers and other devices. They have inherent issues — they're mechanical and sometimes break, they use power and are large. We can create products that are smaller, lighter and consume less power."

Schiller also stated that consumers have stopped asking Apple about Blu-ray. Having never integrated the technology into its products, he said: "Blu-ray has come with issues unrelated to the actual quality of the movie that make [it] a complex and not-great technology…So for a whole plethora of reasons, it makes a lot of sense to get rid of optical discs in desktops and notebooks."

The Apple executive also said, naturally, that it's better to buy movies through iTunes, subsequently having them available to watch on all of a user's Apple devices.

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