In recent weeks, Apple has been sending out surveys to users asking about MacBook Pro features, most notably the headphone jack. A survey question shared by MacRumors reader Blake asks “Do you ever use the headphone port on your MacBook Pro with Retina display?”
This is, of course, a strong indication that Apple wants to remove the headphone jack from the upcoming MacBook Pro. Here’s something even more concerning:
Apple is also asking users about battery life and other ports, including the SD card slot. One question asked “How do you upload photos from a digital camera or phone to your MacBook Pro with Retina Display?”
Based on a leaked MacBook Pro shell, the upcoming MacBook Pro will include four USB-C ports and a headphone jack, with Apple doing away with all other ports on the machine. If the shell is an actual part, the machine will not include an SD card slot, HDMI port, USB-A port, or a MagSafe connection.
This is extremely concerning to me. I have to wonder what the word “pro” even means anymore. The thing is, I fully support Apple removing the headphone jack from the iPhone. It certainly is an aging standard that needs to be replaced with something better. And on the iPhone, where space is at a premium, it very much makes sense. Wireless is the way forward and we need to push that standard. The standard will get better when forced.
However, removing all the ports from a “pro” computer at this time does not make any sense to me. I use every single port on my 15″ MacBook Pro, most of them every day. I use external monitors plugged in via Thunderbolt/DisplayPort and HDMI — yes, when I’m at my desk I have three monitors and it is glorious. I have a USB hub that I plug in when I’m at my desk that connects various devices like my local backup disk. I use the headphone jack to connect to my somewhat-better-than-average sound system on my desk. And when I’m not at my deak, I usually plug my headphones into the computer while I’m working. And I use the SD card slot when I’m the one tasked with recording the weekly sermon at my church to get the file off of the recorder’s SD card.
In short, I’m a pro and I need these ports to do the things I do as a professional. Remove all the ports from the non-pro devices. It makes sense and it allows things to move forward. But space is not at a premium in the MacBook Pro — particularly the 15″. So let’s not remove ports for no good reason. Please, Apple, remember what pro means.