Recently surfaced rumors about Apple unveiling its next range of MacBook Pros without an optical drive have led to other rumors that suggest the Cupertino tech giant will offer instead external drives as an option. A report by Digitimes indicates that notebook manufacturers like HP, Dell and Asus are considering following suit based on the success or failure of Apple’s rumored decision. By getting rid of the optical drive in their 15-inch or larger models, manufacturers would be able to produce a notebook for $20 less and more importantly it would allow them to create casing designs which are about 1mm thinner than casings containing an optical drive. For now the 3 companies have only dabbled with notebooks without optical storage for smaller and more portable models.

Although the rumor regarding Apple’s decision to ditch the built-in optical drive is still just a rumor, the company’s vast success with its iCloud storage system which just hit 125 million users does make this claim a little more substantial. This seems a little like what happened in 1998 after Apple was the first to exclude the 1.44MB floppy disk drive in the original iMac hence making users take advantage of Apple’s online iDrive as a storage alternative. For manufacturers like HP, Dell and Asus, it would seem a viable option to follow in Apple’s rumored footsteps given the huge leap forward cloud-based storage services have taken this week. With the addition of Google Drive, a newly updated DropBox along with other companies, all 3 manufacturers could consider bundling a cloud-storage package with each notebook that is sold as opposed to a built-in optical drive.

Filed in Apple >Computers >Web. Read more about Asus, Dell and HP.

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