Steve Jobs implies that Blu-Ray for the Mac isn’t on Apple’s radar

Thu, Jul 1, 2010


For a brief moment in time, Blu-Ray on the Mac seemed like a real possibility. Though Steve Jobs had in the past called Blu-Ray licensing a “bag of hurt”, the licensing scheme was simplified back in early 2009. Whereas companies looking to manufacture Blu-Ray players had previously needed to attain 18 distinct licenses from an assortment of companies with pertinent patents, the system was streamlined back in February ’09 such that only 1 all-encompassing license was now required.

Since then, there have been a bevy of Mac hardware updates, both for the desktop and on Apple’s line of notebooks, and Blu-Ray has continued to remain conspicuously absent.

And now it seems like Apple may simply let the whole Blu-Ray ‘thing’ slide on by.

A MacRumors reader named Siva emailed Steve Jobs on Wednesday asking why the newly released Mac Mini didn’t come with a Blu-Ray player.

Jobs responded,

Bluray is looking more and more like one of the high end audio formats that appeared as the successor to the CD – like it will be beaten by Internet downloadable formats.

Siva fired back that though Jobs’ prediction may come to fruition in the long run, the short term benefits of Blu-Ray are not insignificant – i.e HD video, high density backups. Siva also “argued that high-end video formats have had a much higher uptake and points out the lack of DRM was in part what made MP3 take off.

Jobs, unimpressed, responded,

No, free, instant gratification and convenience (likely in that order) is what made the downloadable formats take off. And the downloadable movie business is rapidly moving to free (Hulu) or rentals (iTunes) so storing purchased movies or TV shows is not an issue.

I think you may be wrong – we may see a fast broad move to streamed free and rental content at sufficient quality (at least 720p) to win almost everyone over.


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