Rumor: Blu-ray drives coming to Macs


Let’s put this to rest once and for all. Apple will not have Blu-ray drives anytime in the future. Why? Because physical media is dead or will be very soon. Think about it for a minute. Steve Jobs wants you to purchase HD content through iTunes, which means more money in the pocket of the company. I know he’s on the Blu-ray board, but there’s more profit in downloadable content. The addition of Blu-ray drives just doesn’t make any sense. The rumors on this one have been floating around for months and one would assume that Toshiba’s pull out from HD DVD would cue the addition of Blu-ray drives, but that’s just not the case.

Toshiba’s pull out automatically gives Sony the HD disc format win, but does that really mean Blu-ray drives will be in the next MacBook Pro refresh? Look at the MacBook Air, for instance. It’s stripped of everything possible and that’s more than likely the direction the rest of the MacBook line is headed. We, as in consumers, want ultra portable machines that don’t compromise performance or functionality. The MBA is a nice piece of ass, but it’s worthless for those wanting something other than what an Internet tablet like the Nokia N810 does. Why spend that much money on a machine that lets you browse the Web and check your e-mail when you can spend far less?

What’s the biggest pain in the ass when it comes to laptops? Battery life. Blu-ray drives will literally suck the life out of your laptop. Apple has been rumored to have been in talks with Sony to bring a Blu-ray drive with this last week’s MacBook Pro refresh, but they ran into quality issues with the SuperDrive’s slot-loading mechanism and lasers. The most recent rumors have stated that Intel is set to release new processors in June, which means a Mac refresh won’t be too far off and one can speculate that Sony would have all issues fixed by then, but will Jobs still want them then? Why bother offering HD content through the iTunes store if you’re going to lose money to the studios by telling consumers to buy physical media?

Don’t get me wrong, though. You will probably be able to tell the difference between standard definition movies and Blu-ray, but who cares when it’ll die halfway through, right? Just because Sony won the format war doesn’t mean anything because you need to win the consumers over. The majority of the consumers need to switch to 1080p sets and that’s not going to happen for quite a while. Will Sony get Apple spec 2.0 drives? By the time all the what if questions are answered we’ll all be downloading HD content. If you really want a Blu-ray drive then go buy one from Fastmac.

What do you think?

Apple game rentals; Safari anti-phishing; Blu-ray notebook drives [Apple Insider]