Phil Schiller Claims Customers Aren't Asking for Built-In Blu-Ray Anymore

Apple customers are no longer asking for Blu-ray drives in their Macs these days, according to Apple marketing head Phil Schiller. This is perhaps unsurprising given Apple's trend toward removing optical drives from its notebook and now desktop lines, but may regardless cause some consternation among Blu-ray fans.

A MacRumors post from June 2010 in which Steve Jobs told a reader that it appeared Blu-ray would be beaten by downloadable formats garnered more comments for a news post than any other in our history, and we still hear from tipsters asking when Apple will finally include a Blu-ray player in its Macs.

This is where the Blu-ray disc would go
According to an interview Phil Schiller did with Time's Harry McCracken, native Blu-ray support will likely never come to the Mac.

Schiller pointed out that one major application for optical drives, software distribution, has gone largely digital. As for video, he said that "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."

His preferred Blu-ray alternative? iTunes, of course, which lets you buy a movie and then watch it on all your Apple devices.

Once upon a time, people assumed that Macs’ lack of Blu-ray was a delay, not a permanent decision to fast-forward past it. I told Schiller that I imagined folks don’t ask about it much these days. "Correct," he said.

External Blu-ray drives are available currently via USB 2/3 and eventually via Thunderbolt but, given the overwhelming trend towards downloaded media, these are certainly niche products.

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Top Rated Comments

doctorossi Avatar
152 months ago
You're right, Phil- we're not asking for it anymore; we've given up hope. Self-fulfilling prophecy much?

As for me, I'll stop being interested in Blu-ray as soon as there's something better. There isn't yet- certainly not iTunes.
Score: 204 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pil0tflame Avatar
152 months ago
I've yet to hear anyone ask for a thinner or lighter iMac either... :rolleyes:

I have heard people asking for cooler and quieter iMacs and for iMacs with desktop CPUs & GPUs. ;)
Score: 182 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naimfan Avatar
152 months ago
Apparently people aren't asking for optical drives or sufficient storage any longer, either . . .
Score: 93 Votes (Like | Disagree)
likemyorbs Avatar
152 months ago
I don't have a bluray player in my house at all. Bluray movies are overpriced and inconvenient. I much prefer netflix streaming. The image quality is sharp enough for me.
Score: 82 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swagi Avatar
152 months ago
I don't have a bluray player in my house at all. Bluray movies are overpriced and inconvenient. I much prefer netflix streaming. The image quality is sharp enough for me.

He's right, for the most part. Physical media formats are a thing of the past. 8 Track. VHS. CD/DVD. Blu-Ray. Each has their day but more and more things move to the Cloud and/or online.

Personally I prefer it that way. But that's my opinion and preference.

Haven't used a DVD player in years. Though you can get an external player for less than $100 bucks if you really need it.

Same here

And I guess all of you don't have a decent AVR, let alone a decent speaker system. If you ever heard a Blu-Ray DTS HD Master over a decent home theater (which btw is specced up to 10MBit/s stream for audio) you wouldn't talk this stuff out of your backs.

Do I need a Mac as HTPC? Sure as hell not, because I actually own a lot of Blu-Rays and some of them (those Live Concert Blus) are a real joy to watch over and over again.
Score: 78 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ryth Avatar
152 months ago
If you think Netflix or Apple streaming HD quality is good, you need to get your eyes checked.

Nothing can replace the quality of an optical disc other then the original uncompressed asset.

It's night and day right now for optical vs streaming quality.
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)