Why doesn't Apple have a hardware counterpart for Time Machine?

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Time Machine is fantastic. It's yet another feature that had existed for years prior to Apple's implementation of it. Yet their version was simple and compelling enough to inspire use: Time Machine was good enough to prompt me to purchase an external hard drive just to use it. The problem for Apple is that unlike iTunes which has its iPod and iPhone hardware counterparts, the dollars spent on hardware to run Time Machine are not going to Apple.



Apple should not get into the external hard drive business, obviously. A low-margin, probably low-volume business isn't worth the trouble. But-- they do have Apple TV, which is basically a networkable external hard drive. Maybe they can add value to Apple TV by allowing Time Machine to backup to it wirelessly. It would need a good boost to at least 500 gb of storage first, but it just seems Apple can add to its bottom line by tying some hardware component to Time Machine given how useful the feature is.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,232moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post


    The problem for Apple is that unlike iTunes which has its iPod and iPhone hardware counterparts, the dollars spent on hardware to run Time Machine are not going to Apple.



    I was in an Apple store a month or so ago and they had quite a lot of external hard drives available in store and very competitively priced. I think they may have some sort of deal going with Lacie they'll probably make some decent profit from those sales.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post


    But-- they do have Apple TV, which is basically a networkable external hard drive. Maybe they can add value to Apple TV by allowing Time Machine to backup to it wirelessly. It would need a good boost to at least 500 gb of storage first, but it just seems Apple can add to its bottom line by tying some hardware component to Time Machine given how useful the feature is.



    Yeah that would be a useful feature because the media already gets synced. If they could find a way to use Time Machine backed up media that could cut out any redundancy and the only extra storage required would be for data files, which are unlikely to take up all that much space.



    It would certainly make the Apple TV a lot more useful. Whether it will encourage people to buy it though is another matter. I can still get a 500GB hard drive for £70 and an Apple TV is £200 for the cheapest model. So even if it was 500GB, it's still more expensive than I'd pay for that functionality. Plus wirelessly backing up 500GB would take quite a long time. Maybe a 250GB Apple TV for £150 would be a better config.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    What they need to do is to allow TM for a generic networked volume. I want to get rid of the ugly external drive and two extra cables on my desk, not to mention the unplugging necessary when packing the laptop and vice versa.



    TM tied to ATV would be retarded. I don't even have a TV, I'm not getting ATV. OTOH I have two computers and there is no good reason why one couldn't keep its TM database on the other.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    I'm a fan of Apple creating / helping out third party markets. The iPod has been terrific at this; Time Machine only adds to it.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Wireless is not very fast and AppleTV is too expensive to use as a networked drive as-is. The Airport Extreme Base Station was supposed to allow networked Time Machine use, but it too had some glitchiness, I think in Time Machine and AEBS. I wouldn't be surprised if those problems get fixed in 10.5.1 or later, along with an AEBS firmware update.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    It would certainly make the Apple TV a lot more useful.



    I agree. This is a great idea and would be a real shot in the arm for Apple TV. Hopefully Apple will hear about this thread and implement this idea in the future
  • Reply 6 of 7
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    I just want a consumer priced box that I can put 4 of my own hard drives in, configured them in a RAID 5, connect the whole thing to my router via ethernet, and use time machine with that...



    Dave
  • Reply 7 of 7
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,596member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    I just want a consumer priced box that I can put 4 of my own hard drives in, configured them in a RAID 5, connect the whole thing to my router via ethernet, and use time machine with that...



    Dave



    That would be nice.



    Until, then, I am waiting for Apple to fix the AEBS TM problem so I can back up to my two HDD's I have plugged in to it. I was a bit shocked they kept the wired option backup disabled. That would seem easier than wireless to me.



    On a gigabit network and the gigabit N AEBS, I don't think back up times will be that bad and I definitely can't wait for Apple to enable that option.
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