[…] You can see that all of the heralded “Apple kills X” products like the iMac really just set the stage for Apple to slowly transition various tech out of its lineup. So while the iMac killed ADB, SCSI, and the floppy drive, Apple still shipped all those things in various other (mostly pro) machines for another couple years, because it had lots of customers who wanted those things. That gave the market for USB devices time to mature — creating temptation for those same pro customers to upgrade to newer machines that could take better advantage of all those USB devices.
Nilay Patel (author of the controversial “Taking the headphone jack off phones is user-hostile and stupid“) came up with a chart of I/O things Apple obsoleted over time. The “death chart” is quite interesting. As he observes, most I/O standards last about 15 years. If we put this together with other things Apple “killed” over time (like Flash*, which is worth mentioning), it should offer a perspective of the company’s vision of the future.
Moreover John Gruber mentions the Ethernet port is missing from that chart. Both Macbook Air & Pros lacked Ethernet for awhile now. Macbook laptops’ battery life is one of the best I’ve seen in laptops, so having a truly portable, cable-free laptop that can last for a whole day is a great achievement.
The more I think about it, the more I realize the trend isn’t just toward eliminating ports on devices — it’s about reducing the number of cables you use.
Read Gruber’s comments here: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2016/06/29/patel-io-death-chart
However, I do agree that if you replace something, you need to come up with something better. Time will tell if killing the headphone jack outgrew its convenience and ubiquity. Let’s give it a few years, shall we? After all, they haven’t killed it yet.
*Steve Jobs dismissed Adobe’s solution in his piece “Thoughts on Flash”. He called out Flash for being a major battery drainer on mobile devices, as well as its reliability and security. As it turns out, he was right. It’s 2016 and everyone hates Flash. If we think of laptops as mobile devices too, it’s easy to see why with macOS Sierra, Flash will be disabled by default.