Feeds

Apple to extinguish FireWire?

Intel-based iBooks to be USB 2.0 only, website claims

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Is Apple about to drop FireWire - the connectivity standard it created and for so long fostered - from the Mac line-up?

Certainly, that's what Apple notebook-oriented website O'Grady's PowerPage suggests, without citing specific sources. Apple has already dropped FireWire from the latest iPods - much to the annoyance of numerous Register readers with older, USB 1.1-equipped Macs - so it's clearly shifting its allegiance to USB 2.0, which while technologically inferior to FireWire is fast enough for almost all PC-peripheral connections.

According to O'Grady, the upcoming Intel-based iBooks will lack FireWire and x86 PowerBooks will have a single FireWire 800 port for digital video enthusiasts and professionals to make use of. And 1394, as it's also known, will continue in non-PC applications.

Apple pioneered the use of FireWire, for high-bandwidth peripherals like external hard drives and digital video cameras. Ironically, the technology, once Mac-only, has been increasingly appearing on Wintel machines, one of the few, if not the only, Mac technology to migrate outward rather than inward.

Still, the key advantage of FireWire - its peer-to-peer nature, meaning you don't need a PC intermediary - has proved of limited value, especially in the consumer space and in a world where computer companies want you to connect kit to their machines, not directly to other devices.

Still, if Apple does start dropping FireWire ports, it will annoy numerous Mac users whose external hard drives and older, pre-USB 2.0 iPods become compatible no longer. But we've been here before, with Apple's original adoption of USB over its own, ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) and serial port interfaces, not to mention its decision to drop SCSI support for FireWire.

It's tempting to see Apple's move - if the prediction proves accurate - as a sign of Intel's strength in the two firms' new relationship. Intel has long wavered in its support for 1394, but always kept true to USB, and is at the forefront of initiatives to create a wireless version of the Universal Serial Bus. But Apple's motives may be more prosaic: why pay for 1394 connectors and controller chips when relatively few folk are using them? ®

Bootnote As a number of readers have pointed out, such a scheme seems a trifle tough on the countless iSight users out there. But maybe the new, Intel-based iBook/PoweBook will have a built-in iSight as per the latest iMac. Upgrade, you lot, upgrade...

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
Amazon hopes FIRE STICK will light up its video service
We do streaming video? It seems we do...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.