End of Mac optical drives: Apple to cease non-Retina MacBook Pro production in 2H14, sources say

“Apple is expected to stop production of the 13-inch MacBook Pro in the second half of 2014 and will replace the product line with thinner models equipped with a Retina display,” Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report for DigiTimes.

“The sources pointed out that Apple has been reducing its MacBook Pro prices, narrowing the price gap between the MacBook Pro and the one equipped with Retina,” Lee and Tsai report. “Apple stopped producing the 15-inch MacBook Pro in 2013 and will end production of its 13-inch model in 2014.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Attribution: 9to5Mac. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

50 Comments

  1. One annoyance with the thinness of the rMBPro has been the elimination of the Kensington lock slot, and there haven’t been any good alternative cable-locking solutions.

    1. Yes, also the iPad and iPad mini and the iPhone don’t have the Kensington lock slot. If only Apple would make things big and keep old legacy features everyone would be happy.

      I always hated that my iPhone 5S doesn’t have a floppy drive slot.

          1. In a hundred years when laptops get as cheap as books I’ll leave my MacBook Pro at work without a lock, until then I’ll have to carry it back and forth like a phone.

            –but if you think using old legacy locks is such a bad idea, why don’t you just toss your house keys out on the front lawn and leave you house open. You could get yourself “ahead of the game” like Apple.

      1. That is a rather condescending reply.

        Apple removed floppy drives because there was an alternative, just like there are alternatives to optical drives today.

        Please explain what alternatives exist if you need to physically secure your computer? This is not an unusual situation, particularly in education. Are people supposed to epoxy it to their desk?

        1. I lug around a very small slim line port powered disk drive for those very rare occasions I need one. So I don’t really miss having one built in. The days of when it was necessary to have one are pretty much behind us. I don’t buy CD’s for music, I use iTunes. Transferring files to clients is easily handled with FTP or Cloud solutions. Same goes for backups. Disks are passé, not really needed. They add a lot of bulk to something like a laptop.

          I remember how much griping there was when Apple pulled the plug on floppy’s. People complained like crazy, only to be proven how unnecessary they were when Apple yanked them from their products, same is happening with CD/DVD/Blue-ray disks.

          It’s a new era, and once again Apple is leading the way.

      2. Yea, well people in the real world who need to shoot basketball games (among other events) on deadline and need a lock. Portable laptops are just a portable to thieves.

        As for your iPhone floppy, get an external. 😉

      3. Do you even think before you type? The iPhone you put in your pocket when you go anywhere, genius.

        Maybe you’re comfortable leaving your $3000 work Macbook Pro unsecured around people you don’t know while you go to the bathroom. I and most normal Mac-using professionals are not.

        Or maybe you don’t mind always packing it up in a locked file cabinet… assuming you’re working in an office where you have that option, and that might mean disconnecting external screen, keyboard/mouse, power, then sleeping it and interrupting any work it *could* be doing while you’re away.

        Or, more likely, you’ve just never had the need for a lock and selfishly think no one else does either.

        1. Why should everyone have to pay the licensing fee for a lock system they will never use. You can buy a glue on system from Kensington if you want. In my office, we are required to lock up our important papers and log out of our desktop computers when we leave our desks. If we have a laptop from home, we must lock it up in a filing cabinet.

          Who is selfish when you expect all laptops to have licensed Kensington lock slots when we don’t need or want them?

          1. First, I’ve known for a couple months that it’s a technical reason why there’s no Kensington slot on rMBPs–the main chassis is just too thin on the sides to support it. That’s why it’s an annoyance, not a complaint.

            Second, your whining about Mac users having to collectively pay a bit extra to cover it is silly.

            We pay for portability. We pay for thinness. We pay for good materials. We pay for backlit keys. Some of us don’t want Bluetooth, or HDMI (I’m sure THAT needs a license fee), or the SD slot (probably a fee there too), but it’s there because *enough* people want and need it. Don’t complain about literal nickel-and-diming for a license fee, if there even is one.

            As I suspected, you have a work DESKTOP, you don’t own it personally, and aren’t responsible for replacing it if it gets stolen.

            Given all that, yes, you are the selfish one for suggesting a K-slot is obsolete and pointless (in at least two separate comments; your first to me, and another about chaining books).

            1. From your comments, I suspect you think all cars should have cigarette ashtrays and lighters included because some people are smokers. Light thin portable laptops can easily by taken with you.

              By the way, at work our Kensington locked desktops were all stolen one evening. Locks help but aren’t the panacea you imagine.

            2. Your licensing fee argument was flawed, as is your cigarette lighter and trays–the main reason they’re gone is due to current health regulations heavily influencing carmakers to exclude them from design specs.

              I imagine no panacea. A determined thief can obviously defeat a lock if the target is valuable enough to them. But they are a sufficient deterrent for many times and places where you only have to be away for a few minutes.

            1. And so those defuses should dictate how Apple designs products for everyone worldwide?

              This is the problem with catering to “enterprise”, as Microsoft has discovered. You end up with a product designed by corporate IT and Security departments. Perhaps it would be better if someone within the company who has that authority simply changed the rules.

              It’s not like a disappearing Apple laptop can’t be found. Anytime it’s connected to a network it’s potentially findable. A better solution would be an always-on beacon, so that even a laptop that’s turned off broadcasts its location to the owner’s iPhone ala “Find My iPhone”.

              The problem with security types is that they are so attuned to following rules that they tend not to think outside the box, ever.

            2. “…defuses…” = multiple dufus

              I corrected the erroneous “correction” by spell check 3 times and thought I had it, but somehow it turned the plural of “dufus” into “defuses”. There needs to be a way to deactivate spell check for a single word.

            3. Though you’re somewhat right about IT policy people following rules and policies, true security types are always considering ways that rules can be broken by thinking outside the box and making policy to prevent or mitigate attacks. That’s also part of their job.

            4. Typically, there are one or two such individuals in a large corporate IT department. The other 40 or 50 are incapable of contemplating deviation from the rules.

              As for picking up someone’s unsecured laptop, there were instances on my last job where if someone had had to spend 4 hours getting their laptop back it would have cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. Security people did not, and would never have been allowed to kidnap someone’s unsecured computer.

            5. You are correct. Right now I have my personal iPad mini on my desk, and it never occurs to me to lock it up if I have to leave the area. Same for my $100 headphones.

              But our company’s IT Security people have rules, and those rules are absolute. If you are away from your desk and your laptop is not secured with a lock, security can and will pick it up and take it.

              You and your manager then get to pick it up at the Security office where you and your manager get to sign the Security Incident form.

            6. Somebody needs to give your security department a swift kick in the butt. There are time sensitive events that happen in a corporate environment and someday someone NOT being able to access a situation on the network in a timely fashion because security “picked up” their laptop will come back to bite them. Sounds like your security department has been allowed to become WAY too big for their britches. In the long run, what this means is that the company you work for has weak, and questionable management. You need to find a different place to work.

            7. Yes, I will certainly quit my $90,000 a year job because they insist on a laptop lock.

              Or, maybe, since they paid for the laptop and the lock, I will do as they ask and continue to collect my paycheck.

            8. I didn’t say quit your job tomorrow. What I said was, in the long term, this is a company that exhibits poor management, and that in the long run, it will have been a poor choice of places to build a career.

              If this is how they do security, how do they handle HR matters, promotions, financial strategies, etc. I would plan on being somewhere else in a few years.

  2. We have 4 macs and 3 of them have optical drives. All 3 have drives that don’t work. The solution has been to use the USB Optical drive that can moved around to whatever machine it is needed for. Saying that we probably only use the drive once a year.
    As for the Kensington lock solution, the only solution would be to glue a connector onto the lid of the laptop. Not a very aesthetically pleasing solution though.

  3. I think the real issue is they will be doing away with spinning HDs and it will cost you a fortune for a decent sized un upgradable SSD. Don’t ge me wrong I like the speed of the SSDs but I have an iTunes libaray that is nearly 1 TB so getting stuck with a 240G to 500GB SSD just doesn’t cut it.So I will have to cary around a Thunderbolt External Drive, I wouldn’t mind that so much if they weren’t so dam expensive compared to USB drives (Does it realy cost $110-$200 for a Thunderbolt connector I think not. Maybe Apple could lead the way and produce a decently priced Thunderbolt external drive just to put pressure on the crooks).

    1. Ya, I’ve got a 1TB SSD and a 1TB HD in my MacBook Pro, so I’ve been putting off upgrading until new MacBook Pros can support 2TB or offer enough other benefit to offset the hassle of carrying around a portable iTunes drive.

  4. Apple needs to have some sort of reliable locking mechanism on their laptops. As a salesperson, we’re forced to use adhesive alarms for our MBP displays now, and quite frankly, those don’t really work. Sure, alarm goes off when they’re tampered with, but by the time we get to the alarm, the laptop has left the building.

    Bottom line, there NEEDS to be a mechanical theft deterrent. Apple needs to strongly reconsider in their next design. A Kensington lock slot would still fit on the rMBPs body design.

    1. Totally agree they needs *some* built in mechanical lock slot–proprietary if need be.

      As I noted above though, the latest rMBPs chassis aren’t tall enough to support the standard K-lock. Kensington’s specs recommends an interior backing of at least 10mm high. The rMBP main body is about that height right there on the *outside*, and with bottom sloped inwards, so there’s not enough interior clearance to actually engage the lock.

      An alternative could be to make the K-lock slot on the top side of the chassis, maybe where the dedicated power button used to be. They’d have to move some ports and internals around, but it’s a much sleeker alternative than gluing an ugly attach point onto the back of the screen (sleeker on the go, anyway, obviously not while the lock’s attached

    2. Agree, because if Apple wants to expand in the business sector they need to add a critical business equipment need. And Apple products need that even more than PC’s! We arrived one morning to find every iMac GONE. Rock had been thrown through a window to see if there was an alarm. There was not. They smuggled out every iMac in the place (MBP’s usually go home with their users), but the thieves did not touch one single PC. In fact a NEW Dell laptop sat in plain sight and it was left untouched. It’s the PC’s that don’t need the locks, no one wants them anyway, not even the thieves!

  5. I have had my 13 inch MBP since 2011 , while I don’t use the optical drive as much as I did when I first purchased it , I do like the fact it is there as I cannot say with certainty I will never ever need it. If it true that the retina models are not upgradable then I’m very happy to stick with my current model which I will be shortly upgrading . Yes, for some the removal of the optical drive and lock in when it comes upgrading might be acceptable for some but not for others however as with most things everyone is free to decide what option suits them best.

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