Pictured below is a supposed email from Steve Jobs himself regarding the lack of Firewire on the newly introduced MacBooks. Jobs kind of dances around the issue and just mentions that USB 2 is a viable option instead – and he does have a point. A quick look at the top 10 best selling Camcorders on Amazon shows that only 1 camcorder out of 10 supports Firewire.
But what’s also at work here is Apple attempting to differentiate its consumer line from its pro line. This is all well and good in theory, but is somewhat problematic in practice because tons of consumers record and upload video to their MacBooks. Moreover, even professional videographers who do own an Apple pro computer often use the lower priced MacBook for uploading and editing video on the go. Musicians are also expressing their displeasure with the lack of Firewire.
Another point of view is simply that Apple didn’t leave Firewire by choice, but rather, and as Steve Jobs pointed out, the market left Firewire for USB 2.
And on this topic, Chuqui has an enlightening take on the lack of Firewire in the MacBook:
“The answer here is pretty simple to me: USB 2.0 won the connectivity fight in the lower end of the market. Note also that the MacBook Pro now only has a single Firewire 800 port; Firewire 400 is now gone.
the implication to me is clear: low-end, the future is USB. If you want high end performance, there’s still Firewire … I’ll also note for the record that I started making sure all of my bus-powered drives had USB capability as well as firewire months ago. The writing was on the wall if you knew where to look (and where to look is the PC market, where firewire has lost out to USB).
Yes, USB 2.0 is slower. If performance is really that important, Apple’s telling you that the Macbook isn’t what you want. it is, after all, a large series of performance compromises for a hunk less money than a MacBook Pro.
Doesn’t surprise me a bit. I think this is the right move for Apple.”