During an informal Q&A session in October of 2008, Steve Jobs explained why Apple wasn't interested in supporting Blu-Ray on the Mac.
"Blu-ray is a bag of hurt," Jobs famously declared, "I don’t mean from the consumer point of view. It’s great to watch movies, but the licensing is so complex. We’re waiting until things settle down, and waiting until Blu-ray takes off before we burden our customers with the cost of licensing."
But then something funny happened. Licensing did become easier.
In February of 2009, a number of companies involved in Blu-Ray licensing such as Sony and Panasonic announced that companies looking to manufacture Blu-Ray devices would now only need to pay one license, a notable achievment given that there are about 18 separate companies who currently hold Blu-Ray patents.
The new, and decidedly not complex, procedure for traversing through Blu-Ray licensing issues prompted many to wonder if Apple would, in fact, support the technology in upcoming Macs. Now, nearly 15 months later, it appears that Apple still has no plans to equip any of its Macs with Blu-Ray players.
Earlier this week, a reader of the Mac website 9to5Mac sent Apple CEO Steve Jobs an email asking about the possibility for Mac Blu-Ray support down the line.
The email reads,
I, as well as many people I know, have HD camcorders now. The mac has been a wonderful platform for working with HD video of family and friends and special events. However, there doesn't seem to be a good solution to distribute that HD video to family and friends while retaining high quality. I was wondering if you have any plans for Blu-ray in the mac lineup for those of us who want to be able to share our HD video.
A fair question, and Jobs' response, which is expectedly short, implies that Blu-ray isn't on Apple's agenda.
Jobs response simply reads, "YouTube now supports HD video."
Okay then, I'll take that as a no.
While Apple may very well be trying to keep costs down by keeping Blu-Ray out of the picture, you have to wonder if Apple's decision is also rooted in their interest to leverage iTunes as a means for users to access HD content. To be fair, though, it's not as if Blu-Ray sales have been skyrocketing and users have been demanding Blu-Ray enabled Macs en masse. On the contrary, Blu-Ray sales have been particularly disappointing ever since the demise of HD-DVD. Blu-Ray on the Mac may happen eventually, but don't expect to see it anytime soon.
Like this post? Check out these others from iOnApple