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Is FireWire on its way out?
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Feb 28, 2005, 02:40 PM
 
Ok with the latest iPods we all know that Apple is no longer including or pushing Firewire. They seem to have agreed that USB 2.0 is the way to go. The downsides to USB is that it is slower on a Mac (seems to be faster on a PC) and doesn't charge on most computers when the computer is sleeping.

The iPod Shuffle is also USB 2.0.

Firewire 800 hasn't picked up at all except for on a few select hard drives as it almost seems to fast for todays devices.

Firewire on scanners and printers have also dropped heavily since USB 2.0 came out.

Digital Camera's all use USB.

Only G5 Towers have Firewire 800.

Yes firewire has cornered the market with Video Camera's but I am sure one day Intel will push something to replace that.

Do you think firewire will disappear within 2 years or ONLY be used on Video cameras?
( Last edited by Severed Hand of Skywalker; Feb 28, 2005 at 03:11 PM. )

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Feb 28, 2005, 02:43 PM
 
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 03:03 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:
Ok with the latest iPods we all know that Apple is no longer including or pushing Firewire.
Hmm. What I know is that Apple is no longer including the FireWire cable with new iPods (as a cost cutting measure because PC buyers typically have USB 2.0). The FireWire port (on all but the Shuffle, again cost cutting) is still there, so how is this "not including" FireWire?

Also, every Macintosh includes FireWire. How is this "not including" FireWire?

IMHO, Apple doesn't seem to be showing any signs of abandoning FireWire. So my answer is: nope, it's not on the way out.
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 03:04 PM
 
Whatever. The only thing that bugs me about USB/USB2 is that it can cause a kernel panic when you connect it if the driver is crap and it CPU controlled so it slows down the system if a lot is going on.

Other than that it is the equivalent of FireWire. FW is Apple's baby and with the iPod success they could well force it upon the Wintel users but the ball is in their park. For me and most users it just doesn't matter if a device is FW or USB2. It does matter if it's USB because that's damn friggin' slow!
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 03:07 PM
 
Originally posted by saddino:
Hmm. What I know is that Apple is no longer including the FireWire cable with new iPods (as a cost cutting measure because PC buyers typically have USB 2.0). The FireWire port (on all but the Shuffle, again cost cutting) is still there, so how is this "not including" FireWire?

Also, every Macintosh includes FireWire. How is this "not including" FireWire?

IMHO, Apple doesn't seem to be showing any signs of abandoning FireWire. So my answer is: nope, it's not on the way out.
Who cares if the ports are on the Mac. We are 2% of the market and if there is nothing to plug into it not even your iPod without having to buy extra cables what is the point? I mean if you already have USB 2.0 ports on your Mac why need firewire for anything other than a video camera?

When the iPod came with a Firewire plug it may have compelled people to buy firewire cards and pushed it as a standard as the iPod is so hugely popular.

Now Apple is just telling Mac users they have to pay more for firewire cables. Thanks Apple.

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Feb 28, 2005, 03:08 PM
 
As far as i know, USB2 is never faster than FireWire in practical situations. If it wasn't for the backwards compatibility with USB1.1, there'd be no reason for it to be so popular. FireWire is better in just about every way.

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Feb 28, 2005, 03:11 PM
 
Originally posted by MaxPower2k3:
As far as i know, USB2 is never faster than FireWire in practical situations. If it wasn't for the backwards compatibility with USB1.1, there'd be no reason for it to be so popular. FireWire is better in just about every way.
I agree but it seems MacCentral said transferring songs to your iPod on a PC using USB is actually faster.

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Feb 28, 2005, 03:14 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:
Who cares if the ports are on the Mac.
I care, because you stated:

...we all know that Apple is no longer including or pushing Firewire. They seem to have agreed that USB 2.0 is the way to go.
As long as FireWire is on the Mac and on iPods, then IMHO, Apple is not "agreeing" that USB 2.0 is the way to go.

You didn't ask whether Apple was doing the most it could do to support FireWire. The answer, as you noticed, is "no, they're not."

You didn't ask whether it sucks that Apple is now charging new iPod purchasers who have Macs to buy a cable. The answer, as you noticed is, "yes, it sucks."

But not including a cable is a far cry from abandoning FireWire. But that's what you asked, and so my answer is "nope, they're not abandoning it."
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 03:20 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:
I agree but it seems MacCentral said transferring songs to your iPod on a PC using USB is actually faster.
That could be because Windows has relatively shoddy FireWire support, and the data is bogged down in drivers and such to the point where it's slower than USB.


Also, I don't think Apple is conceding that FireWire is dead or anything, I think they're just trying to appeal to the widest audience: namely, PC users. Plus, now that all new Macs have USB2 as well, they're not alienating (as many of) their own customers by doing so.

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Feb 28, 2005, 03:28 PM
 
Originally posted by MaxPower2k3:
Plus, now that all new Macs have USB2 as well, they're not alienating (as many of) their own customers by doing so.
Well there are 20 million Mac users out there and I am willing to bet less than 1 million have a Mac with USB 2.0 in it.

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Feb 28, 2005, 03:44 PM
 
I think they should still be including the Firewire cable. That said, I think in all honesty it doesn't matter all that much. I do find it strange though that Apple isn't pushing their own stuff more... how much can it honestly cost to make a firewire cable?
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 03:46 PM
 
Apple is just trying to save money.

People DON'T like buying something and not having everything in the box. Since more PCs have USB and not all have Firewire, then it's more logical to go USB.

Firewire is still king... but it's almost at the point where everything else is the bottleneck.
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 03:51 PM
 
Originally posted by mitchell_pgh:
Apple is just trying to save money.
You mean MAKE more money. You really think that skimpy cable cost more than $1-2?

They just want to sell Mac users a $20 cable because they know how religious we are about Apple technology.

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Feb 28, 2005, 04:10 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:
They just want to sell Mac users a $20 cable because they know how religious we are about Apple technology.
I doubt Mac users with USB 2 will get a Firewire cable.

I do think this shows that Firewire hasn't done what Apple hoped. I think it will probably remain popular as a video camera connection, and perhaps it will be used for other home entertainment devices like TVs and DVD players.
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 04:18 PM
 
What about the fact that Apple is no longer offering Firewire Power Adapters for the iPod on its German and Dutch AppleStore anymore? If this is not a hint or what?
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Feb 28, 2005, 04:25 PM
 
silly question: would it be feasible for Apple to give buyers the choice when buying online (much like other bto products?)

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Feb 28, 2005, 04:26 PM
 
Originally posted by fhoubi:
What about the fact that Apple is no longer offering Firewire Power Adapters for the iPod on its German and Dutch AppleStore anymore? If this is not a hint or what?
Why would anyone care what shape the plug is on an AC adapter?
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 04:37 PM
 
Originally posted by chabig:
Why would anyone care what shape the plug is on an AC adapter?
Here, you try charging your iPod with this 4" triangular adapter...
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 04:40 PM
 
Originally posted by chabig:
Why would anyone care what shape the plug is on an AC adapter?
Um ah. Nevermind

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Feb 28, 2005, 05:05 PM
 
Quick note: The PowerBooks have FireWire 800

The only reason they dropped the Firewire cable was because it was just smart financially. Both Macs and PCs have USB, but not all PCs have Firewire. If they're shipping literally millions of iPods, think about how much money they can save (and pass down to you, as we've already seen) by only packaging one cable instead of two?

Also, I can't stand "pocket" or "portable" HDDs that require and AC adapter. It's just stupid. I have a 4oz HDD and a 1lb adapter. FireWire is too damn handy for HDDs because of the buspower (at least those manufacturers that take advantage of it.)

The other thing is that FireWire has a MUCH better sustained transfer rate than USB. If you're going to be hooking up some high-definition audio and/or video equipment, you better be using either SCSI or FireWire.

I'm pretty sure you're not going to see USB in High-Definition video cameras.
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Feb 28, 2005, 05:30 PM
 
Originally posted by olePigeon:
Quick note: The PowerBooks have FireWire 800
Only the 15" and 17".

they are also giving the illusion that the new iPods are cheaper, they are not. The old Mini cost $249 CAN but came with a firewire cable, USB cable and the power adapter.

The new one is $249 but you have to pay extra for the firewire cable and the expensive AC adapter.

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Feb 28, 2005, 06:21 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:
Only the 15" and 17".

they are also giving the illusion that the new iPods are cheaper, they are not. The old Mini cost $249 CAN but came with a firewire cable, USB cable and the power adapter.

The new one is $249 but you have to pay extra for the firewire cable and the expensive AC adapter.
I don't think anyone is claiming the new iPods are cheaper. The old ones were $249, the new ones are $249. Same price. But the new ones have 50% more storage capacity and more than twice the battery life.
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 06:21 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:
Only the 15" and 17".

they are also giving the illusion that the new iPods are cheaper, they are not. The old Mini cost $249 CAN but came with a firewire cable, USB cable and the power adapter.

The new one is $249 but you have to pay extra for the firewire cable and the expensive AC adapter.
That's a little distorted. The new one also has a 50% bigger hard drive and twice the battery life. Did you expect these upgrades for free? By not including these accessories they can keep the current price point, which should satisfy the majority of users.

You can also buy the old one for $50 cheaper. I'm pretty sure the extra stuff can be had for under $50...
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 06:27 PM
 
Actually up here in Canada they did actually get a lot cheaper...
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 06:28 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:
I agree but it seems MacCentral said transferring songs to your iPod on a PC using USB is actually faster.
That's because Firewire is designed for data streams (like video) and USB2 for small data bursts (like small music files).

Anyway I think this decision sucks. Especially not including the power brick. I was thinking about ordering a 6GB mini to replace my 4GB mini but I didn't want to anymore after reading the specs. I could try to sell my mini without the AC adapter and FW cable but I doubt if it will gather enough money and I dropped it last week and it has 2 little dents on the back so I can forget about getting a decent amount for it

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Feb 28, 2005, 06:33 PM
 
Originally posted by theJoKell:
That's a little distorted. The new one also has a 50% bigger hard drive and twice the battery life. Did you expect these upgrades for free? By not including these accessories they can keep the current price point, which should satisfy the majority of users.
Um, YA.

A year later upgrade should be free. Or do Mac's get more expensive every time they get faster with bigger hard drives

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Feb 28, 2005, 06:45 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:


A year later upgrade should be free.
Why? Apple is a business, not a charity.
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 06:51 PM
 
Originally posted by Mastrap:
Why? Apple is a business, not a charity.
because that is how computers evolve! Are you telling me every time they speed bump something the price should also go up?

5 years from now the iMac's will cost $10,000

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Feb 28, 2005, 06:52 PM
 
I doubt the firewire cable cost more than $1.00 to Apple, so I don't see this as just a way to save money.
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 07:00 PM
 
Originally posted by NYCFarmboy:
I doubt the firewire cable cost more than $1.00 to Apple, so I don't see this as just a way to save money.
Exactly, no way in hell do those things cost more than a buck or 2 but now they are leaving them out and charging you $19.

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Feb 28, 2005, 07:03 PM
 
Originally posted by NYCFarmboy:
I doubt the firewire cable cost more than $1.00 to Apple, so I don't see this as just a way to save money.
Yes, this is true if Apple is planning on selling 500 iPods. I mean, what's $500 to Apple?

(hint: Apple is selling millions upon millions of iPods)
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 07:07 PM
 
I can remember over a year ago when FW1600 and FW3200 were being talked about. These rumours seemed to have dried up.

Anyone have comments on this article ?
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 07:09 PM
 
Originally posted by _?_:
I can remember over a year ago when FW1600 and FW3200 were being talked about. These rumours seemed to have dried up.
Probably because nobody has even touched FW800 as it is too fast for anyone to do much with.

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Feb 28, 2005, 07:19 PM
 
Originally posted by NYCFarmboy:
I doubt the firewire cable cost more than $1.00 to Apple, so I don't see this as just a way to save money.
That depends entirely on how many units you sell.
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 07:34 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:
Um, YA.

A year later upgrade should be free. Or do Mac's get more expensive every time they get faster with bigger hard drives
Sure, if the technology had the time to evolve. However, Apple announced the 6 gig iPod mini before ANY hard drive manufacturers announced they even made a 6 gig drive in that size. That would make it a brand new technology and still pretty expensive.

There was a discount on the older models, which represents the lowered pricing of the components inside the mini. But considering the upgrades in the new mini and no increase in price I'd say it's a good deal.
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 11:20 PM
 
Oh man this is annoying.

If you want to read an intelligent take on this, check out the Slashdot commentary. Some people with brains in their heads, instead of screaming about "FireWire is dead! The sky is falling!" actually took the time to think about it.

In a nutshell:
1. Most purchasers of new iPods are Windows users.
2. Very few Windows machines have FireWire ports.
3. Of those who do have FireWire ports, some only have the 4-pin variety.
4. So instead of shipping two cables, one of which the majority of customers can't use at all, they ship just one cable that all customers can use.
5. They have also stopped packaging iPods in "For Mac" and "For Windows" varieties.

What does that spell? Cost reduction. Even if the cable only costs $1, if you're shipping several million iPods in a year, that means you save several million dollars. The cable thing, combined with the new platform-independent packaging, is a clear sign that they're try to reduce costs.

What does reduced costs do for them? Either higher profit margins, or reduced prices for the consumer. As I recall, the iPod has one of the thinnest profit margins of all of Apple's products. Maybe they're trying to get the most out of the iPod while the ride lasts. Or, maybe they're aiming for lower prices, since with the Mini it's clear that they're finally interested in selling cheap stuff.

Regardless, this in no way means that FireWire is out, or dead, or dying, or any of that. All Macs have FireWire ports, and FireWire is the de-facto standard for video applications. It's not going anywhere.
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 11:34 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:
You mean MAKE more money. You really think that skimpy cable cost more than $1-2?

They just want to sell Mac users a $20 cable because they know how religious we are about Apple technology.
$2 * 4.5 Million iPods (4th qtr total) = $9 million dollars - I would consider that a considerable cost savings!

Just chill out about this whole thing - Apple is just admiting that most of the iPods sold are going with Windows systems and trying to be able to lower retails without hurting their profit margins. I see nothing wrong with it.
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 11:38 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:
Exactly, no way in hell do those things cost more than a buck or 2 but now they are leaving them out and charging you $19.
Yeah, but they dropped the price by $50, so nobody's going to get too upset about it.
     
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Feb 28, 2005, 11:40 PM
 
Originally posted by wataru:
In a nutshell:
1. Most purchasers of new iPods are Windows users.
2. Very few Windows machines have FireWire ports.
3. Of those who do have FireWire ports, some only have the 4-pin variety.
4. So instead of shipping two cables, one of which the majority of customers can't use at all, they ship just one cable that all customers can use.
5. They have also stopped packaging iPods in "For Mac" and "For Windows" varieties.
All that is true, but it still doesn't change the fact that firewire has lost to USB 2 as a standard for anything but video. If firewire had won, Apple wouldn't need to drop the cable from the iPod. When the iPod was introduced, it was all about firewire. I bet Apple hoped that firewire would catch on and they wouldn't need to include USB support at all, but it didn't work out that way.
     
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Mar 1, 2005, 12:07 AM
 
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Mar 1, 2005, 12:07 AM
 
Originally posted by hayesk:
Yeah, but they dropped the price by $50, so nobody's going to get too upset about it.
Now add the firewire cable and the AC adapter. They dropped the price because they took things out.
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Mar 1, 2005, 12:14 AM
 
One way to make money is to take things out and add value instead.
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Mar 1, 2005, 12:16 AM
 
Originally posted by sugar_coated:
One way to make money is to take things out and add value instead.
     
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Mar 1, 2005, 12:30 AM
 
Originally posted by wataru:
Oh man this is annoying.

If you want to read an intelligent take on this, check out the Slashdot commentary. Some people with brains in their heads, instead of screaming about "FireWire is dead! The sky is falling!" actually took the time to think about it.

In a nutshell:
1. Most purchasers of new iPods are Windows users.
2. Very few Windows machines have FireWire ports.
3. Of those who do have FireWire ports, some only have the 4-pin variety.
4. So instead of shipping two cables, one of which the majority of customers can't use at all, they ship just one cable that all customers can use.
5. They have also stopped packaging iPods in "For Mac" and "For Windows" varieties.
Ya so, that is not my point here. I am asking if firewire is on it way out. Not if Apple should include the cable with the new iPods.

If the iPod is as popular as it is perhaps it would have won over USB 2.0 on PCs. It won the MP3 player and downloadable music war.
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Mar 1, 2005, 12:31 AM
 
[off topic] Why isn't firewire a standard for PCs?
     
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Mar 1, 2005, 12:36 AM
 
Originally posted by demograph68:
[off topic] Why isn't firewire a standard for PCs?
Because they don't want to pay Apple licensing fees and they can make money off their own standard. AKA USB.

At first it was Apples fault as they charged to much for licensing but they lowered it eventually. By then Intel announced USB 2.0.

The thing that baffles me is when most PC's have firewire it is only the 4 pin.
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Mar 1, 2005, 12:45 AM
 
FireWire is better than USB 2.0. But USB 2.0 has won.

Betamax was better than VHS. But VHS won.

The Mac was a hell of a lot better than Windows 95. But Windows 95 won.

Seems to be the way things go in the tech industry - the better technology doesn't always win. But part of this is that Apple is $@#%ing stupid.

What doomed FireWire? The original iMac. Yes, the machine that saved Apple's butt also made a really stupid decision - it had only USB ports to connect external devices. It could have added FireWire ports (as I remember the technology was around and being talked about at the time - there were a lot of people asking why the hell Apple wasn't including some kind of high-speed bus, and SCSI and FireWire were mentioned), but didn't for some reason. Ramifications of this:

1. Lots of people bought the incredibly popular iMac. And then no machine after it was as popular. I wouldn't be surprised if the reason was that lots of them switched back to Windows for their next purchase after they found out that they couldn't burn CDs without getting a USB CD burner, which only went up to 8x, but then when you tried to use one at 8x, it didn't work. The damn things always made coasters because the USB bus wasn't fast enough to supply data to it, and there would be a buffer underrun error. A person who knew the reason for this could turn the speed down to 1x or 2x, and it would work. But your average Joe user would just conclude that the iMac sucked.

2. Regardless of USB sucking the big one for external drives, the lack of any other option made people get used to the idea. Companies made all sorts of hard drives, CD/RW drives, Zip drives, etc., all USB. Heck, there were even USB-to-SCSI adapters to connect SCSI devices to the USB port on the iMac! These devices might have all been FireWire if that had been present on the iMac.

3. The popularity of the iMac caused USB to become ubiquitous, leading to today where basically every computer has USB ports on it. So once USB became good enough for hard drives, why the hell do you need another port to do the same thing?

Bottom line: Apple should have included FireWire ports on the original iMac. If I'm mistaken, and FireWire wasn't ready for prime time at that point, then the iMac should have had SCSI or something that wasn't USB. And once FireWire showed up in the blue G3s, it should have also been present in all the iMacs immediately. Apple should not have set USB up as a bus for external hard drives and such, and by making it so they were basically asking for this USB 2.0 business, and that's what they got. People were making hard drives for a bus not well-suited for it, so the natural response for Intel and the other companies working on USB was of course to change the bus to make it better suited to what their customers were doing with it!

All my opinion, but it makes sense to me...

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Mar 1, 2005, 12:47 AM
 
Start an online petition, and I guarantee you that Apple listens...like always!

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Mar 1, 2005, 12:57 AM
 
Originally posted by CharlesS:
All my opinion, but it makes sense to me...
Most of what you said makes sense but having firewire ports on the original iMac and NOT usb wouldn't have made sense as firewire was VERY expensive at the time and it wasn't meant for keyboards and mice.

I agree they did wait to long with it and were far to greedy with licensing at first.

I remember in 1998 a 2 port firewire PCI card cost $400.
"Curse my metal body, I wasn't fast enough!"
     
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Mar 1, 2005, 02:51 AM
 
I have yet to *ever* use a firewire device, or know someone personally who has. I'm suprised its hung on this long, actually. I think its really just there for backwards compatibility more than anything else now.
     
 
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