In case you missed it in our other posts, there’s an important change in the new 13.3″ 2.26GHz MacBook White that Apple announced earlier this week: FireWire compatibility has been removed completely.
This is an important thing to note, as this means that if you have any older FireWire-only devices, you’re not going to be able to use them with the new MacBook.
This is not an entirely surprising development, though; we’ve been given glimpses of this direction for quite a while. Apple has reduced FireWire’s presence to a single FireWire 800 port on most models (though the Mac Pro has four) and has completely eliminated FireWire 400. Given this reduction, removing FireWire entirely on the “consumer” models seems to be the next logical step.
In fact, we were given a preview of this step this time last year, when the aluminum Unibody portables were first introduced. The 13″ model was labeled as a “MacBook” and had no FireWire ports, just USB. Does that sound slightly familiar? Sure, the 13″ aluminum ‘Book eventually did get FireWire back, in the form of a single FW800 port, but it is also important to note that when it did, it was also reclassified as a “MacBook Pro”.
So, really, Apple removing FireWire from the $999 13.3″ 2.26GHz MacBook White is nothing to be all that shocked about. We’ve ridden that ride and purchased the souvenir t-shirt.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not happy about this development at all. I liked FireWire and still find it superior to USB 2.0 for most data transfer purposes. Unfortunately, though, its popularity seems to be on the wane, and we – as Mac users – should probably get used to it.
Fortunately, most of the newer storage solutions and consumer electronics have USB 2.0 functionality built in, so you still have options for external storage and data capture.
It just won’t be quite as fast.