Despite Apple's (AAPL 1.41%) aggressive move to ditch a wide range of ports on its new MacBook Pro, including the older Thunderbolt port, HDMI, classic USB jacks, and the SD card slot, consumers appear perfectly willing to adapt. The new Touch-Bar equipped laptop is reportedly garnering more orders than any MacBook Pro in history.
Phil Schiller talks Apple's new MacBook Pro
"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," said Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller in an interview with The Independent this week. "So there certainly are a lot of people as excited as we are about it."
Of course, it's not entirely surprising the new product is selling well. Sporting Apple's new Touch Bar, or a multi-touch enabled strip of glass built into the keyboard for accessing customized, app-specific tools on demand, Apple's new MacBook Pro represents a significant step in innovation for Apple's pro series of laptops. But in light of the product's criticism in the media, some may have questioned whether demand for the new product would be limited.
The media has criticized Apple's decision to remove so many ports in favor of a sleeker design and USB-C. Apple's removal of the SD card slot, in particular, has been a subject of criticism. Often used for transferring large files of photos and videos from cameras to computers, the SD card is still commonly used by photographers.
So far, however, record MacBook Pro sales suggest consumers seem to be overlooking any negative effects of Apple's port-killing spree.
Maybe consumers can relate with Schiller, who told The Independent that Apple believed the slot was cumbersome. Here's exactly what Schiller said when The Independent asked Schiller why the company removed the important slot.
Because of a couple of things. One, 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.
It shouldn't be a surprise
However consumers feel about the SD card-less MacBook Pro, Apple will likely continue killing off ports for years to come. Ever since Apple controversially ditched the floppy drive in 1998, the company has continued to eliminate numerous ports swiftly and early. Other important ports to get the ax early on include the disc drive and the 30-pin connector. And the September launch of an iPhone 7 without a headphone jack confirmed the tech giant's ambition for moving toward a wireless future.
Killing off ports has worked out handsomely for Apple in the past, and the SD card slot's eradication from MacBook Pro laptops will likely pan out similarly for the company -- even if it disappoints some customers in the near term.