Blu-ray Still Missing From Apple's Mac Lineup

blue crush

Apple updated its Mac lineup today, including a new iMac — still an awesome bedroom TV — and a new Mac Pro.

Neither of the new computers is available from Apple with a Blu-ray player, as NPD Group’s Ross Rubin hinted at on Twitter this morning.

Why not?

Apple has famously complained that Blu-ray is a “bag of hurt,” in part because of licensing complexity.

Bigger picture, Apple is betting that consumers will skip hi-def movie discs as a mainstream technology, and that people will instead graduate from DVD-watching to Internet movie renting/buying, via services like Apple’s iTunes.

And that may be a smart bet: Only a little more than 10% of Netflix’s subscriber base pays extra for the ability to rent Blu-ray movies, the company said on its last earnings call, while 61% of its 15 million subscribers stream its Internet movies and TV shows.

So, because there’s no widespread outcry among Mac buyers for Blu-ray, and because Apple wants to bet on its own version of the future (and not Sony’s Blu-ray), it’s no surprise that the new Macs don’t include Blu-ray players.

There’s still a chance Apple will include a Blu-ray or DVD player in the next version of its Apple TV gadget, but don’t hold your breath.

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