Apple snubs Blu-ray in new MacBook Pro line

Apple snubs Blu-ray in new MacBook Pro line

Summary: Apple today announced a new line of MacBook Pros today, but without Blu-Ray drives because they compete with the iTunes Store.

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Apple today announced a new line of MacBook Pros today with Intel's new Core i5 and i7 processors.

  • The new 13-inch MacBook Pro (with 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo) starts at $1199
  • The 15-inch MBP with 2.4GHz Core i5 starts at $1799
  • The 17-inch MBP with 2.53GHz Core i5 starts at $2299

Today's MBP refresh was pretty much to keep up with the Joneses. PC manufacturers have been shipping notebooks with Intel's Core chips for many months.

ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes pointed out that the new notebooks don't ship with USB 3.0, but what's even more disappointing is Apple's failure to deploy Blu-ray drives in its latest notebooks.

I wrote in early February 2010 about Apple lack of support for Blu-ray and how it's baffling considering that Apple is one of the original members of the Blu-ray Association (which it joined in 2005). Despite its membership, Apple continues to ship millions of antiquated “SuperDrives” in its Macs each year.

Apple would argue that it ships MacBook Pros with crippled “SuperDrives” because Blu-ray hasn’t taken off. The reality is that Apple isn’t supporting Blu-ray because of its inherent conflict with iTunes. Apple would rather lock you into purchasing all of your content from iTunes because Apple controls it and generates a 30% commission on every sale.

For some, Blu-Ray doesn't matter (I replaced my MBP optical with a second hard drive) but several people that I've spoken to won't upgrade to a new MacBook until it comes with a Blu-Ray option.

What’s your take on the lack Blu-ray on the new MacBooks?

Update: Engadget has posted its MacBook Pro Core i7 unboxing and preview.

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Mobility

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136 comments
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  • logic, oh logic

    jason's fud meister logic is crippled as always.

    apple has stated again and again in their conference calls that they run
    itunes a little above even and don't expect it to be a substantial
    earnings driver. instead they see it as a way to sell more hardware. as
    they are a hardware company. tada!

    if apple would come to the conclusion that bluray drives would make
    people buy more apple hardware they would probably do it instead of
    selling media for no profit.

    i know, lock-in! lock-in! the old fud bs mantra sounds just too
    compelling to ignore. sure, you can buy your songs and books and tv-
    shows wherever you want and watch and and read and listen to it on
    your mac, but why should jason care.

    i don't know why apple doesn't bother with bluray licensing, maybe
    because no one wants bluray. maybe because most people still buy dvds.
    i don't know. but they surely don't do it, to sell you media at break even.
    bannedfromzdnetagain
    • break-even?

      I can't believe you take them at their word that it is "a little above even"!!

      http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/steve-jobs-tries-to-downplay-the-itunes-stores-profit/

      http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/08/27/apples_app_store_annual_revenue_estimated_at_2_4b.html

      I'd hardly call that break-even.
      ababiec@...
      • maybe read before you talk crazy

        "http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/08/27/apples_app_store_annual_revenue_estimated_at_2_4b.html"

        That report is for iTunes APP sales... not for movies and music, yah HOSER!
        Geuseppi
        • no kidding

          Last I checked, apps (and music and movies and tv) were included in iTunes.
          ababiec@...
      • estimates

        estimates from pundits are fine (though usually totally off), but all we
        really have is apple's numbers and their official announcements. and you
        understand the difference between revenue (itunes, last quarter 1,164
        bn) and profit, don't you?
        bannedfromzdnetagain
        • exactly

          companies are rewarded for beating expectations in terms of profits and revenue - not just profits.

          Either way, this is a major business at Apple and is the biggest "retailer" in terms of digital content. Which supports the argument of why Apple is ignoring BluRay.
          ababiec@...
      • ridiculous link

        and by the way, next time you give a link to support your argument you
        should at least read the article to the end.

        http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/steve-jobs-tries-to-
        downplay-the-itunes-stores-profit/

        have a look at the last paragraph.

        as i said, as always pundits who don't know what they are talking about.
        bannedfromzdnetagain
        • last paragraph

          I did read the entire article.

          Music will have lower profit margins than movies and that point was based on people buying individual songs.

          I look around and I see family members buying iTunes gift cards and music+movies+tv shows+apps and Apple would have to be run by really incompetent idiots in order to barely "break-even"

          This is from Apple PR in 2010:
          iTunes Store Tops 10 Billion Songs Sold
          Apple's App Store Downloads Top Three Billion

          "Net sales of other music related products and services increased $153 million or 15% during the first quarter of 2010
          compared to the first quarter of 2009, due primarily to increased net sales from the iTunes Store, which experienced
          double-digit growth in each of the Company?s geographic segments."

          It is now a 1.164B product (per quarter), only exceeded by desktops, portables, iPod and iPhones. It exceeds the combination of Peripherals and other hardware $470B (displays, wireless connectivity and networking solutions, and other hardware accessories) and Software, service and other sales $631 (sales of Apple-branded operating system, application software, third-party software, AppleCare, and Internet services.)
          ababiec@...
      • Did you even READ those articles?

        The first, when you get to the "updates" at the end, reveals that his
        premise has more to show that it's wrong than it does to show that he's
        right. The second is even worse. Its number is derived by extrapolating
        out the average spending from 1000 people in a survey. Anyone who's
        taken a 100 level statistics class should know how ridiculous [i]that[/i] is.

        Is Apple "poor mouthing" how lucrative iTunes is, yeah probably-but not
        by much. In the era of Sarbanes-Oxley, misleading how much money
        you're making, either way, is dangerous, and Steve has probably had
        more than enough experience with SEC investigations for a lifetime.
        matthew_maurice
        • SEC

          I wouldn't be surprised if Apple was putting certain costs against iTunes/App Store (for example, all of the commercials and marketing, etc.) in order to downplay how lucrative it is to all the companies it negotiates with over licenses, etc.

          There is no way you sell billions of items that are purely digital w/o making decent profit. Maybe Apple is so used to high margins from iPhones that what they call break-even would be called amazing within other companies.

          http://fortunebrainstormtech.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/screen-shot-2010-02-24-at-8-13-42-am.png?w=372&h=228
          ababiec@...
    • Normally . . .

      I find it hard to read your posts without laughing, but you actually said something I agree with:

      <i>if apple would come to the conclusion that Bluray drives would make people buy more apple hardware they would probably do it instead of selling media for no profit.</i>

      You don't find many PC's with Bluray standard, either . . .It's usually an upgrade, which most people simply don't buy.

      In another year, if BD is still around and showing signs of becoming the predominant disc standard, maybe they'll start putting them in their units, but not right now.
      JLHenry
      • thank you

        for reading my posts.

        ;-)
        bannedfromzdnetagain
      • You hit the nail on the head...

        "You don't find many PC's with Bluray standard,
        either . . .It's usually an upgrade, which most
        people simply don't buy."

        Look at the BluRay section in any store, less
        than 10% of stock...

        If BluRay is soooooo fantastic, why is it that
        people don't care about buying it???
        i8thecat
      • Bluray taking over blockbusters

        Go to any block buster or hollywood video or anywhere the rent
        movies for that matter, you will notice a steady increase in blurays. i
        guess no one ever rents movies at the stores anymore. I do. it's a
        block away from my house and every week there's more and more
        bluerays. New old titles and new releases. more space is gradually
        being taken by the blueray selection. does this sound familiar? it
        should last time i saw this it was video tapes being replaced by oh oh
        dvds and now it blurays coming in. bluray will take over as the
        standard and in a few years u can say bb to dvd. now if blurays werent
        in high demand why would a company that solely relies on renting
        movies be investing more and more on blurays. you antibluray fags
        make me laugh. I got to admit i don't have an extensive bluray
        collection, but i never had an extensive dvd collection either I just rent
        my movies :) at first it was dvd, but now its only when i cant find a
        movie is bluray that i pick up a dvd and that is becoming less and less
        frequent
        jimboh86
      • Bluray taking over blockbusters for sure

        Go to any block buster or hollywood video or anywhere the rent
        movies for that matter, you will notice a steady increase in blurays. i
        guess no one ever rents movies at the stores anymore. I do. it's a
        block away from my house and every week there's more and more
        bluerays. New old titles and new releases. more space is gradually
        being taken by the blueray selection. does this sound familiar? it
        should last time i saw this it was video tapes being replaced by oh oh
        dvds and now it blurays coming in. bluray will take over as the
        standard and in a few years u can say bb to dvd. now if blurays werent
        in high demand why would a company that solely relies on renting
        movies be investing more and more on blurays. you antibluray fags
        make me laugh. I got to admit i don't have an extensive bluray
        collection, but i never had an extensive dvd collection either I just rent
        my movies :) at first it was dvd, but now its only when i cant find a
        movie is bluray that i pick up a dvd and that is becoming less and less
        frequent
        jimboh86
        • I agree

          Not only do large businesses like blockbuster and hollywood video largely invest in blu-ray, but look at the online rental agencies such as Netlfix. They have one of the largest (that I have noticed) selections of Blu-Ray movies on the market.

          I guess that I am just one of those individuals that notices a great difference between standard and high definition, and there is nothing else out there that can compete with bluray. Ummm I don't see any HD-DVD's any more.

          It is time for Apple to step up, and put the technology into their products. There is no excuse any more. Blu-Ray is not going anywhere!
          mv_lewis
    • Oh yea...

      [i]apple has stated again and again in their conference calls that they run
      itunes a little above even and don't expect it to be a substantial
      earnings driver. instead they see it as a way to sell more hardware. as
      they are a hardware company. tada![/i]

      Yea... because they have never lied...ever...

      Sigh.
      ShadowGIATL
      • for instance?

        when did they lie? enlight us.
        bannedfromzdnetagain
        • Do a google search...

          I'm not here to hold your hand if you're to engrossed with the idea of a "perfect" Apple.

          They have had more than one court battle over various technologies they claimed were theirs, and some of those they have lost due to mispersenting (lied about) the contracts they had signed. I cite the Apple vs. MS GUI court case here as an example. Was it theirs? Maybe, but they lost it because they failed to mention they had signed it away in a previous contract.

          So go ahead and live in your dream world. Corporations serve themselves, not the consumer. Some are just less self serving than others.
          ShadowGIATL
          • Why don't you

            provide these links as you are providing the FUD - back up your claims, prove your claims, or go back to guarding your bridge.
            athynz