FireWire Steved From New iPod

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 14th, 2005, 02:54
Category: iPod

apple_firewire_logo.gifI am simply shocked and amazed that Apple has abandoned FireWire on the just-announced fifth generation iPods with video. I understand why there’s no FireWire on the iPod shuffle (no port) and even why it’s off the nano (tiny form-factor, lower cost) but why in blazes did Apple leave FireWire off the new video iPod? Read more at The Apple Core


apple_firewire_logo.gifI am simply shocked and amazed that Apple has abandoned FireWire on the just-announced fifth generation iPods with video. I understand why there’s no FireWire on the iPod shuffle (no port) and even why it’s off the nano (tiny form-factor, lower cost) but why in blazes did Apple leave FireWire off the new video iPod? Read more at The Apple Core

Recent Posts

9 Responses to “FireWire Steved From New iPod”

  1. They are selling their soul to USB which good but not as fast as firewire. I think they doing this to please the “general” crowd that doesn’t have firewire. But I think this will be an symptom of what is to come. My worst fear is that the new PowerBook will not have firewire which will be a curse of slow transfer speeds to my backup drive. I already spend at least an hour to sync my PB to my backup drive at 400Mb. And was thinking getting the next generation one with firewire 800Mb or faster. But I think that firewire didn’t have enough “market value” so it now only an footnote of Apple.

  2. Jason O’Grady has misunderstood the Apple spec page he is referring as to Apple’s “lack of support” for Firewire. The new iPods like the previous incarnation, DO support Firewire with an optional Firewire cable that must be purchased separately. Why Apple is not supplying Firewire cables with new iPods is beyond me (I just bought a 4th generation iPod a month ago and all that was supplied was a USB 2.0 cable) and is in my opinion an idiotic decision on Apple’s part, but the lack of a Firewire cable in the box is simply a reflection of MSWindows influence on iPod marketing. Apparently, Apple has decided that most Windows users do not have Firewire, a conclusion I reluctantly have to agree with, and they therefore have decided to save some money out of the box by supplying only the USB cable. It’s a lame decision on Apple’s part, and it is confusing if you rely on the rather ambiguous language on the iPod spec page Jason is referring to. It wouldn’t cost Apple more than a couple of bucks to supply a Firewire cable. And given Apple’s huge margin on the iPod, it wouldn’t make a dent into Apple’s profits.

  3. Cut the designers a little slack. The 60 GB (dual-platter) version is even thinner than the last model’s 20 GB (single-platter) version, even with the bigger screens. That’s amazing. As much as I love FireWire (and I do, very very much) I can see why they had to leave it out.

  4. I think the issue boils down to these points:

    1. I believe that Apple has positioned USB as a Consumer interface while Firewire is now considered a Pro interface. Firewire 400 and USB 2.0 are equivalent in speed (as far as a consumer would be concerned). Firewire 800 has only been used by professionals (video work and such). You don’t need FW800 speeds to transfer data periodically.

    2. The chip set to support USB 2.0 only is most likely cheaper the a USB2.0/Firewire bridge set. And, hey, it’s all about profit.

    3. They’re power considerations also. I’m wondering if by handling USB 2.0 only the IO chipset is simpler and consumes less power. Generally, if a chip is bigger or more complex, it draws more power. By dropping the power consumption, Apple can get the same usage time from a smaller battery (or more time from a same sized battery).

  5. No firewire? Do you mean on the dock or on the end of the dock cable? My clickwheel iPod doesn’t have firewire- but it does have a cable/dock that adapts to firewire on the other end. Only a matter of time before someone offers this as an accessory.

  6. It’s not just the FW cable missing from the box – the new iPod doesn’t work with FW period. Try plugging a FW cable into it. They removed the FW chipset off the board. I can see the point it’s probably because 90% of iPods are sold to Windows users that don’t have FW…

  7. I’m wondering if it was part of the Intel deal. Steve probably has dropped it’s promotion of FireWire to appease their new best friends, Intel. Not sure what Apple gets out of the deal, but the more that Apple promotes USB 2, I’m sure the happier and wealthier it makes Intel. Firewire 800 never quite lived up to expectations (especially with the documented G5 FW800 shortcomings), which leads me to believe that Firewire is soon to be EOL’d. I just wonder where that will put DV video and now HD video for best connections… Too bad… it was a great/easy solution for transferring video.

  8. I have no problem with the lack of a Firewire cable. Let’s face it, USB will work, and for 90% of customers, it’s fine.
    The key issue to me is (assuming that it WILL at LEAST sync via FW), can you boot a Mac with it?
    I think the ability to install OS X on an iPod, and use it as an emergency recovery and disgnostic disk, is one of THE biggest features it has. I admit this is not something that 98% of people would care about. But for me, it’s critical to my decision to purchase.
    I have a 4thGen 40 GB iPod, and would consider a new 60 GB one, but if it won’t boot a Mac, forget it.

  9. The “deal” here is cost. The cost for a USB chip is about $4.00 USD while a USB/Firewire chip is closer to $20.00 USD. The part being used in the new iPods is most likely from Intel instead of an Oxford or Initio chip. Intel make LOTS more USB chips and can charge a LOT less. It comes down to simple economics.