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Why Did Apple Remove Optical Drives From The Mac?

The big A defends why they chose to remove ODD's from Macs.

Back in the day, waaaaay back, Apple was the first brave enough to remove the then much loved floppy disk drive from a computer, now it seems their set to stir up trouble once more as they leave the DVD optical drive in the dust.

“These old technologies are holding us back. They are anchors on where we want to go. 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,” said Phil Schiller of Apple in a recent interview with the Time. “Blu-ray has come with issues unrelated to the actual quality of the movie that make it a complex and not-great technologies. So for a whole plethora of reasons, it makes a lot of sense to get rid of optical discs in desktops and notebooks,” he continued.

Now this is the part I don't really get, Blu-Ray is an abundant piece of kit, it is "the thing" that people buy their movies on and as far as I can tell this is just more money mongering from Apple as why bother buying a physical copy from your retailer when you can hit up iTunes for a digital copy? Sure the DVD drive is getting a bit long in the tooth now, USB 3.0 and flash drives are a very convenient method of transferring chunks of data from one place to another with relative easy. Even in my own system my DVD drive rarely gets used, but if I didn't have one at all I would be royally stuck given that so many devices still rely on the technology.

Standard Optical DriveStandard Optical Drive

Taking the first leap of removing the technology is one thing, but what are they replacing it with? Apple isn't biting the Blu-Ray bullet and quite frankly I see that as a big mistake as further advances in optical technology are still happening right now.

“In general, it us a good idea to remove these rotating media from our computers and other devices. They have inherent issues – they are mechanical and sometimes break, they use power and are large. We can create products that are smaller, lighter and consume less power,” - Schiller.

I personally don't think the world is ready to shed the optical drive just yet, but this is Apple and quite frankly they will do what ever they like and the flock will inevitably grumble then follow. But what are your thoughts, would the lack of an optical drive put you off the purchase of a Mac?