Phil Schiller: Optical drives were holding us back

Phil Schiller: Optical drives were holding us back
Competitors are afraid to lose optical drives, says Schiller

Apple's Phil Schiller has explained the company's reasons for removing the optical drive from the new iMac desktop computers.

Apple surprised some folks by ditching the optical drive within the sleek new 5mm-thin iMacs, as it has on the MacBook Air and the new Retina Display MacBook Pro.

However Schiller, Apple's senior VP of global marketing, says older technologies like disc drives are holding the industry back and have now exceeded their shelf life.

He told Time: "These old technologies are holding us back. They're anchors on where we want to go.

Competitors are afraid

"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."

Bye-bye Blu-ray

Schiller also said customers have stopped asking Apple about Blu-ray, a technology the company now looks certain to by-pass completely, having never featured it on a single product.

He added: "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."

Naturally, Schiller said that it's much better to buy movies from iTunes and have them available to watch on all of the user's Apple devices.

Via Time, T3

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.