Apple's final MacBook with an optical drive is now obsolete

in Current Mac Hardware

The mid-2012 MacBook Pro was the last with an optical drive, and it is finally considered obsolete by Apple.

mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro
mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro

Apple maintains a vintage and obsolete product list that updates based on how long it has been since a product was for sale. Some vintage products may be eligible for service, while obsolete products are not.

The addition of the mid-2012 MacBook Pro was first discovered by Ars Technica. It is the most recent addition since The iPhone SE and 12.9-inch iPad Pro joined the vintage list in December.

Devices in the vintage list haven't been for sale for at least five years. Obsolete products haven't been for sale for seven years.

Some regions like France have special requirements for products sold. Owners of iPhones or Macs purchased in 2021 or later can obtain service and parts from Apple or service providers for seven years after the date the product model was last supplied by Apple.

Obsolete products lose their ability to be serviced with one exception. MacBooks may be eligible for an extended battery-only repair period for up to 10 years from when the product was last distributed for sale.

The optical drive was ditched amidst the Jony Ive era of ever encroaching thinness. An external optical drive called the SuperDrive is still available, but connects over USB-A and is a relic itself.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 5
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,684member
    Having an optical drive is low cost insurance against streaming companies where are you EU?
  • Reply 2 of 5
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,227member
    danox said:
    Having an optical drive is low cost insurance against streaming companies where are you EU?
    Er ... $20 and a trip to the nearest PC accessory store is all you need. I've had one for ... well, since the mid-2012 was discontinued. I also have a Blu-ray player, so I don't really need to "rip" anything other than CDs, which I also own, of music that's not available for purchase on the iTunes Store.

    I still have my mid-2012, it still works very well (I upgraded the HD to SSD years ago), but of course it's no longer connected to the Internet. I just use it for some old games and such.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    Well, apparently I'm now completely obsolete. MacBook Pro with optical drive and iPhone SE. (Oh, and the 2010 Mac mini.) All working just fine.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    Finally sold mine in 2022. A great workhorse. Bought as a $900 refurb, lasted the same time as 3-1/2 $300 (“but they’re cheaper!) wintels.  
  • Reply 5 of 5
    TRAGTRAG Posts: 48member
    I am reading this on the exact machine. It is an absolute workhorse after 11+ solid years. I will be getting a maxed out M3 13" MacBook Air when they come out but this is still going admirably. A couple of HD cable replacements, a SDD switch for the HD and a recent speaker and 'woofer' (such as it is) replacement later and it is still incredibly useable.

    I am a fan of maxing out when purchasing new and keeping tech for a long time. This will be kept on as a home entertainment and streaming device, plugged into the TV for the apps my box doesn't have such as YouTube until it dies, which I can't see being anytime soon.

    I went out of my way to get this one for the DVD drive, not really realising just how much the lighter & smaller MBP retina 13" was in terms of screen resolution and speaker quality. My other half has the retina MBP and I envied hers for a long time. Was it worth it the extra weight in my bag for 11+ years for that DVD drive I hear you ask? Absolutely not, other than digitising my music collection I have barely ever used the drive but I love the laptop and it continues to be an upgradeable, repairable and reliable trooper.

    I can't deny I am looking forward to the light, thunderbolt dock-able, better sounding and smaller MBA M3 though ;)
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