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.