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  • Apple Axes MacBook Air Upgrade Kits


    Apple has pressured accessory maker PhotoFast to halt export of its SSD upgrade kits for MacBook Air, according to reports making the rounds this morning. 9to5Mac is quoting a "source close to the company" as saying that Apple threatened to kick the Taiwanese company out of the MFi program if it didn't submit.

    The PhotoFast GMS-SFV1, which offered larger, faster solid-state drives than the stock Toshiba modules provided by Apple, was announced at the end of October. The upgrades were to come in 128GB and 256GB SSD sizes with a claimed speed bump of 250MB/s sequential read and write speeds as compared to 140 to 160 MB/s on the stock MacBook Air. Additionally, a USB 3.0 adapter was to be provided to transfer data during the upgrade process and allow reuse of the original SSD as a USB jump drive.

    According to the reports, Apple objected to the marketing of the the PhotoFast SSD upgrade kits as specifically for the MacBook Air. Similar to the way Apple killed HyperMac's external batteries with MagSafe charger cables, they appear to have blocked the solution as an unauthorized aftermarket accessory. Apple is very protective of its licensing arrangements, and reportedly threatened to ban PhotoFast from the MFi (Made For iPod/iPad/iPhone) program and prevent it from selling its other ranges of Apple-approved accessories.

    Given that most of the individual parts of the kit are freely available off-the-shelf components, there is still hope that the kit may go back on sale once Toshiba starts directly selling the Blade X-gale SSD chips used in the MacBook Air, or at least that modders will be able to make their own kits.

    Source: 9to5Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Axes MacBook Air Upgrade Kits started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 35 Comments
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Apple once again trying to kill consumer choice...
    1. Tyronal's Avatar
      Tyronal -
      According to the "original" story on 9to5Mac it's stated "according to some sources close to the company", oh really? And the credibility of this "source" is? I just checked their web page PhotoFast and it's still on its products page. WTF??? Don't believe everything you read or better still, don't assume anything coz we all know what happens when you ASSUME anything. And the trolls eat this rubbish for breakfast. Did anyone "check" this story at all??????
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Wow so they said stop making our products better and having more solutions/options for our customers
    1. doitchinkstyle's Avatar
      doitchinkstyle -
      Quote Originally Posted by Xenthis View Post
      This is crazy. Apple is an evil empire.

      yet i buy products from them. i just love apple products too much to care about all their "wrongdoing"
    1. prgeno's Avatar
      prgeno -
      Quote Originally Posted by doitchinkstyle View Post
      yet i buy products from them. i just love apple products too much to care about all their "wrongdoing"
      And they know that about people like you, which is why they know they can get away with it.

      As long as you buy form over function, closed over open, restricted over free, Apple will work well for you.

      By the way, you aren't really "buying" Apple products. Jobs is just giving you the priviledge of USING one of HIS toys, and only in the fashion he chooses for you.

      As long as you're good with that, Steve loves you.
    1. Nickaroni22's Avatar
      Nickaroni22 -
      Greed!!!
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      Quote Originally Posted by prgeno View Post
      And they know that about people like you, which is why they know they can get away with it.

      As long as you buy form over function, closed over open, restricted over free, Apple will work well for you.

      By the way, you aren't really "buying" Apple products. Jobs is just giving you the priviledge of USING one of HIS toys, and only in the fashion he chooses for you.

      As long as you're good with that, Steve loves you.
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I just had to hit the thanks button because you completely made my night with this post! Thank you so much for enlightening me, I had no idea I actually haven't "bought" any Apple products. Does this mean everything I have is borrowed, and once a few years are up I have to give it back? Well at least Jobs is playing nice and sharing his toys with all of us.

      But seriously, I'm scared that no one understands how the free market works. This is just a competitive business move. Believe it or not stuff like this happens every single day! People just come in here looking to wag their finger at Apple.
    1. FrankyMcGee's Avatar
      FrankyMcGee -
      Geez talk about trying to monopolizing the world. As soon as another company tries to "help" apple.... BAM! Lawsuit! I wouldn't really be surprised if apple became ruler of all technology in the world.

      Also, I found out yesterday that here in Australia apple mac's and such are now toe to toe with windows machines when only a couple of years ago they were nowhere near each other
    1. 400milliliters's Avatar
      400milliliters -
      Quote Originally Posted by Xenthis View Post
      This is crazy. Apple is an evil empire.

      no doubt!!
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Ahhh the good old days! When Microsoft was elbowing Apple down the chain with similar tactics. It's quite eerie how the glove fits all to well on the other hand.
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Quote Originally Posted by lesslinger71 View Post
      I agree.. Maybe apple doesn't like being shown off. I mean, as long as they don't market it as officially approved by apple, then what gives? Im starting to get a sour apple taste in my mouth. Isn't apple trying to create a monopoly by doing this. Only allowing Toshiba the rights means they can charge what ever they want. We need competition.
      +1

      Maybe these guys could 'sell off' their resources used to make these upgrades to a 'separate company' which they have 'no relationship with' (other than the owners of both companies have the same 'investors') that could continue to make and sell these upgrades. That takes them off the hook with Apple, they still make a killer upgrade and a bunch of cash selling them.

      Admittedly, they probably weren't going to get rich on this upgrade: your typical Apple customer wouldn't even know about this let alone how to crack their MBA case and do the upgrade. But, f&#!, I was planning on getting a base MBA and getting this upgrade!
    1. coolguy742's Avatar
      coolguy742 -
      That's a HUGE pile of S@!*, If I were photofast i'd just rebrand the memory sticks as a general memory stick NOT one for macbook airs!
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Quote Originally Posted by coolguy742 View Post
      That's a HUGE pile of S@!*, If I were photofast i'd just rebrand the memory sticks as a general memory stick NOT one for macbook airs!
      Daaaah!

      That's exactly what I was thinking about 5 minutes after I replied!

      Apple forces PhotoFast to abandon 256GB upgrade kit for MacBook Airs

      These guys hint at just as much... Toshiba could sell them the chip/board, PhotoFast puts it into a USB housing (easy to open) and sell it as an SSD stick (just like several others they sell). We buy it, open it and swap out our MBA SSD for that. They are off the hook with Apple and we get a cool upgrade option. I think PhotoFast would probably sell about as many units since I still think this is something that your average MBA user is not likely to use -- maybe about 2-5% of the MBA user-market.

      Worse case, I'll be waiting to see what the prices of a 256GB Toshiba Blade X-Gale (THNSNC256GMDJ, 108.9 x 24 x 3.7 mm and weight 13.2grams, 3.3V) are and if it will fit (it's 1.5mm thicker than the 64 &128GB models) in a MBA. If the bulk rate is good, maybe we could get a co-op going and buy a bunch.
    1. prgeno's Avatar
      prgeno -
      Quote Originally Posted by zoso10 View Post
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I just had to hit the thanks button because you completely made my night with this post! Thank you so much for enlightening me, I had no idea I actually haven't "bought" any Apple products. Does this mean everything I have is borrowed, and once a few years are up I have to give it back? Well at least Jobs is playing nice and sharing his toys with all of us.

      But seriously, I'm scared that no one understands how the free market works. This is just a competitive business move. Believe it or not stuff like this happens every single day! People just come in here looking to wag their finger at Apple.

      It is a pleasure to be able to amuse you. You don't have to give Steve his toys back, but you do have to play only by his rules. You have not purchased rights to do as you wish with his toys.

      Just as seriously, this is an anticompetitive move, not a competitive one. If actually true, and Photofast chose to make Apple a legal enemy, they could legally challenged Apple's stance in a restraint of trade complaint.

      There is a reason King Steve is surrounding himself with lawyers, and with the pile of cash he has, he can certainly outlast any legal challenges that arise.

      But don't fool yourself into believing this is legal or appropriate under the guise of free market competitiveness. This is a big brother, cut throat, anticompetitive move, plain and simple.
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      Quote Originally Posted by prgeno View Post
      It is a pleasure to be able to amuse you. You don't have to give Steve his toys back, but you do have to play only by his rules. You have not purchased rights to do as you wish with his toys.

      Just as seriously, this is an anticompetitive move, not a competitive one. If actually true, and Photofast chose to make Apple a legal enemy, they could legally challenged Apple's stance in a restraint of trade complaint.

      There is a reason King Steve is surrounding himself with lawyers, and with the pile of cash he has, he can certainly outlast any legal challenges that arise.

      But don't fool yourself into believing this is legal or appropriate under the guise of free market competitiveness. This is a big brother, cut throat, anticompetitive move, plain and simple.
      Ok the only toys that you have to "play only by his rules" are the iDevices. And it's very obvious why Apple doesn't like jailbreaking. Buying 3rd party apps from Cydia detracts from the profits of the AppStore. It's very obvious. As for the Apple computers, well you can do anything you want; no "playing by their rules."

      I have no idea how you can think that this move is anticompetitive. Smaller companies that can threaten larger companies get shut down and swallowed up all the time. Case in point, the company my father works for was number 1 in the world in their field, but the number 2 company started buying up smaller companies and axing others which boosted them to number 1. And yes the business world is cut throat, sorry it's not about playing nice all the time.