Mac users have been having fits about the unbundling of
FireWire cables from this week's new iPods. Even CDM contributor Jason
O'Grady says this is a sign of Apple abandoning Mac users.
Sorry, but this is pure cost-cutting, nothing else, and streamlined
costs have been part of iPod's explosive success. Apple doubled its
iPod market share in just a year with the Mac mini, partly because of
size and design but probably more so thanks to a lower price point. USB
2.0 is now standard on new Macs, too, and an optional cable is still
available. Yes, the lack of a power adapter (as observed by iPodLounge)
is annoying, but hardly a deal killer, and it's further evidence that
this is a cost competition equation alone. True, many PCs lack powered
USB 2.0 ports — but they often lack powered FireWire, too. Whose fault
On the Mac, meanwhile, Apple continues to push FireWire for audio,
storage, and video. And audio users, don't expect the 'death of USB
2.0' anytime soon. Hardware developers I've talked to say the cost to
develop USB 2.0 audio devices is significantly higher, and you'll
notice nearly all pro audio interfaces use USB 1.1 for 1-4 channels or
FireWire for greater broadband. The PC, for its part, has started to
more aggressively adopt FireWire — once unheard of, now standard on
many machines. We're clearly living in a multi-bus world, and using
more external devices than ever. So Apple has decided to move iPod to
the USB 2.0 bus. That's not Apple abandoning the Mac, and it's not the
death of FireWire.
In other words, this is not news. Meaning . . . well, sorry you had to read this. End of line.