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2016 MacBook Pro: High Sales + Schiller on the Omission of an SD Slot

See my Mac wish list at B&H Photo and see all 2016 MacBook pro models at B&H Photo.

See all 15" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models or see all 13" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models. MPG gets credit if you buy through those links.

Apple’s Phill Schiller is quoted as saying:

And we are proud to tell you that so far our online store has had more orders for the new MacBook Pro than any other pro notebook before. So there certainly are a lot of people as excited as we are about it.

When you sit all but idle for 4+ years in the pro laptop space, and then finally produce a gorgeous laptop, one would hope for strong sales. This is excitement to be sure, but who wouldn’t get excited about selling the '08 Camry for a new car?

When the robust workhorse 2013 Mac Pro that is nonetheless an aging out-of-date underpowered computer is updated, will we read the same sort of twaddle about an improved model that lacks pro features yet again?

Properly speaking, praise is deserved for relentless uncompromising advancements as quickly as possible. Apple has done this with iPhone, but let Macs languish. How about just refreshes with the best and fastest CPUs, larger and faster SSDs, if nothing else? This Apple has not done for 4-5 years, not at all in most cases, and in no meaningful way in others. For example, where is a 2TB SSD option (and upgrade) for the 2013 Mac Pro with the 3GB/sec performance claimed in the MBP? That alone would be news, along with the latest fastest CPUs. Such things Apple just does not do: Apple never honors customer investment in a platform, particularly when it comes to allegedly pro software like Final Cut (yearlong incompatibility with past projects plus wanton arbitrary changes), and a discontinued Aperture that can’t even be downloaded anymore.

The SD card reader slot

From my perspective, Phil Schiller’s perspective on card readers is that of someone who has a dim understanding of the pro and high-end photography market (my specialty) and video market, namely that the vast majority of cameras sold today (even pro cameras) have SDXC card slots (my pro Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, Leica cameras all do so I rarely use CF cards any more). Schiller’s lame rationalization might be accepted by the ignorant:

SanDisk USB-C SD card reader
(no more SD slot in MBP)

...it’s a bit of a cumbersome slot. You've got this thing sticking halfway out. Then there are very fine and fast USB card readers, and then you can use CompactFlash as well as SD. So we could never really resolve this – we picked SD because more consumer cameras have SD but you can only pick one. So, that was a bit of a trade-off. And then more and more cameras are starting to build wireless transfer into the camera. That’s proving very useful. So we think there’s a path forward where you can use a physical adaptor if you want, or do wireless transfer.

The SD card “sticks out” only when downloading and not by much (does he have any idea of the tiny size of the “thing”?). Second, NONE of my pro cameras have wireless transfer (though one has unusable wireless feature). And is he joking about wireless transfer? I’m going to transfer a single day’s shoot of 20 to 50 gigabytes of raw files over wireless? Or 400GB of video clips? Seriously? WAFM. All while draining the camera battery and taking the camera out of commission while downloading? It shows a gross ignorance of the issues involved. The classic “marketing bozo”.

Finally, can you trust anyone so prone to misrepresentation (the “sticking out” thing) that an external reader (sold by Apple as the solution) is 10X worse? Apple’s polished execs are as smooth and slippery as politicians when they can put over that kind of claim in the face of this self evident visual rebuttal. What is the risk of damage to the computer when this kind of phallic adapter is inserted and then bumped or leveraged? I sit in my car while downloading in the field, not in some cute little coffee shop buying $5 lattes watching movies on a $4400 laptop.

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