Mac Tech News

Why the New MacBook Pro Has No SD Card Slot

Dave Parrack 02-11-2016

In its infinite wisdom, Apple has removed the SD card slot from the new MacBook Pro. It’s gone, it’s no longer a thing, it’s as dead as the metaphorical dodo. But why has Apple dumped the SD card slot when most people still use one? Only Apple has the answer…


After four long years, Apple recently unveiled the brand new MacBook Pro Apple Unveils New Touchy-Feely MacBook Pro Apple has taken the wraps off of its brand new MacBook Pro. It's a beautifully designed piece of hardware, with several innovative touches and some annoying caveats potential buyers will have to beware. Read More . It’s fair to say reactions varied. Some focused on the innovative changes such as the Touch Bar, while others focused on what Apple removed to make way for these exciting changes.

Apple dumped all of the various ports in favor of USB-C ports What Is USB Type-C? Ah, the USB plug. It is as ubiquitous now as it is notorious for never being able to be plugged in right the first time. Read More . That means there’s no room for an SD card slot which most people use to transfer photos from their camera to their laptop. Which seems like a strange decision, and one which has annoyed many users.

Phil Schiller Explains It All

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller has given an interview to The Independent covering a range of subjects. One of which is the removal of the SD card slot. Schiller was asked why the new MacBook Pro has no SD card slot, to which he replied:

“Because of a couple of things.

One, it’s a bit of a cumbersome slot. You’ve got this thing sticking halfway out. Then there are very fine and fast USB card readers, and then you can use CompactFlash as well as SD.

So we could never really resolve this – we picked SD because more consumer cameras have SD but you can only pick one. So, that was a bit of a trade-off.

And then more and more cameras are starting to build wireless transfer into the camera. That’s proving very useful. So we think there’s a path forward where you can use a physical adapter if you want, or do wireless transfer.”

Another Courageous Decision

So there we have it. There’s no real mystery involved. Apple thinks there are better options available than the SD card slot. So, in the same “courageous” way it decided to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 Apple Launches New iPhone 7 With No Headphone Jack... [Tech News Digest] In case you've been living under a rock, we have a brief rundown of the latest Apple event during which Apple showcased the iPhone 7, the Apple Watch 2, and Super Mario Run for iOS. Read More , Apple removed the SD card slot from the new MacBook Pro. Like it or lump it.

What do you think of the new MacBook Pro? Will you be buying one? Or are you going to give this particular Apple product a miss? Are you annoyed at Apple removing the SD card slot? Or do you transfer your photos another way? Please let us know in the comments below!


Related topics: Apple, MacBook.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Lisa Van Enkevort
    December 22, 2017 at 12:34 am

    I'm sad that my iPhone was stolen and my new phone doesn't have a speaker jack. I've already lost 4 of the tiny dongles. Now, I am looking at replacing my 2012 MacBook Pro. But, what is a person supposed do when there is no SD card reader, no USB, and so many more ports and options on my old Pro including a DVD player. Apple's idea of just sending data wirelessly from cameras, phones etc, is not always easy-- you have to have a strong wifi signal--and I'm tired of having to buy adapters. I think that I am not going to buy a Mac.

  2. Ryan
    December 18, 2016 at 7:53 am

    I just got the new MacBook Pro and I love it! If I need to use my SD card I just use my adapter and I'm happy. I really don't see the need for a SD card slot, but on the other hand I don't feel the same way in regards to the iPhone 7's lack of a headphone jack.

  3. Gary Gemmell
    November 8, 2016 at 4:22 am

    Good idea when you have bluetooth and wireless - in future you will just walk into the room , the camera or phone will connect and autodownload your photos in the background.
    The only downside would be slightly higher battery use!

    He is right , it is the future - everything is going hands free with minimal manual work needed.
    Is this a good thing for the human race though? - we now no longer need to get up to change tv channels but people are fatter and lazier.
    What to do , what to do!

  4. Mestengo Hidalgo
    November 8, 2016 at 2:36 am

    Schiller is clueless!
    25-yrs Mac User, won't be 26th

  5. Mestengo Hidalgo
    November 8, 2016 at 2:35 am

    Schiller is clueless!
    25-yrs a Mac user, there won't be a 26th

  6. Gaz
    November 7, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Another stupid decision like this in a long list of them, this just typifies the reason why I have never owned a rotten apple.
    Far too proprietary and restrictive in the way it controls those who own them.
    And their absolutely stupid excuse about the SD card poking half out, well on my 2x laptops, my families 3x laptops, my tablet and my families tablets, plus all the other non-apple laptops and tablets I have seen my friends with, none of them have the SD card poking out when fitted. If it pokes out in a mac, then it's all down to rotten apples fault for not implimenting the hardware incorrectly. Besides, has anyone else noticed how much slower wireless transmission is in comparrison to just plugging in a high speed SD card, it takes sooo long, especially when there big files to move. Then you have to have the extra space left on the internal memory, again no good if you have over 100GB of files to move. Finally, you also have to carry around a extra USB SD card adapter - just in case - what a pain! Whereas I can just fit a 128GB SD card (or micro SD with a adapter which can be left, out of they way, in the SD slot of the laptop) without all that hassle.
    Same reason I have switched from Samsung after being faithful for many years (no removable battery any more and look what mess that got them into - and no micro SD slot - both of which I make use of).

    AAgghh, what is wrong with companies today, another example - Microsoft first gets rid of a perfectly good GUI (Win 8) and then brings it back (win 10), but in such a badly broken form after a monumental number of complaints.
    Why do they think that they have to keep changing things for changes sake.
    Didn't anyone every tell them that "Don't try to fix that which is not broken, you only just end up it up!!"

  7. Ranjit Kumar Gupta
    November 5, 2016 at 5:20 am

    Apple removed the SD Card reader!
    Thats the only innovation left of them. :P

  8. k1d bl4ck
    November 4, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Being a "Pro" user, I use SD cards (well actually microSD cards in adapters) for images to boot up a range of embedded devices, the Raspberry PI being the most popular. I guess I am now too "Pro" for the MacBook Pro.

  9. Some1
    November 4, 2016 at 2:02 am

    Go ahead drain your camera's precious battery while transferring wireless to your macbook.

    • Ferg
      November 7, 2016 at 10:41 am

      spot on - if you're using a laptop with your camera you're quite likely o be in 'the field'. In which case why kills battery on both devices using a (slow?) wireless protocol...

      Is this what 'Innovation' is now? Removing features?

  10. JEA
    November 3, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    So they removed the slot because you’ve got “this thing sticking halfway out”. Because it is so much better to insert the dongle which is now needed to attach an external card reader.

    The MacBook Pro is now a desktop Macs. Because you can’t have it on your lap if you insert all those dongles.

  11. Hildy J
    November 3, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Cameras are one thing, storage is another. For a trade-off of slower access, SD cards allow unlimited storage in 512gb (soon to be 1tb) chunks. The real reason they were removed- Apple saves money and can charge double the going rate for more SSD space.

  12. Bradk
    November 3, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Most people use still use sd cards? Um no. Almost no one uses them especially in laptops. (And with cell phone tablets that never take them out)
    Serious amateur/Pro photographers sure. Average consumer no way. Photagraphers already carry a ton of shit around so another dongle isn't a big deal.
    Let's be realistic it's a niche market. I'd rather see a laptop locking slot use that real estate. That's something most people could (should) use.

    • Martin Robbins
      November 6, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      I don't know where you got the data that allows you to state as fact that most people do not use sd cards. I for one (and many of my friends and associates) find sd cards among the easiest and simplest way to move data around and, most importantly, to protect valuable data by removing it from the computer.

      I always remove my sd card, which I use to store all of my data, when I leave my machine anywhere it cannot be regularly monitored by me. I travel a lot on business. I always remove my sd card (if I do not need access to my data) whenever I am away from my computer in public, semi-public, and even private places such as hotel rooms, friends' and client's offices, libraries and airplane seats (do I really want to lug a data-laden laptop into the airplane restroom, or do I just want to leave my data card by an unoccupied seat?)

      I even remove my sd card when making presentations when I know that I will not be near my machine for periods of time, particularly before and after a presentation when I am walking around, distracted and busy answering questions. I am particularly conscious of "loose" hands in university settings. I just transfer my presentation to my laptop and pocket my data file.

      I find sd cards one of my best tools for both portability and security. All I need to access my data on a strange machine is a slot or a usb-based card reader. Now they want to take it away from me if I upgrade my MacBook Air.

      I am not sure I want to upgrade to the new MacBook Pro. It's a step down for me.

    • Marco V. Jacquez
      November 7, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      I have to agree with Martin, I do not know were you get the data. I do have four wireless SD cards for four different cameras (from a DSLR to a point and shoot) that I configured to download the pictures to my main computer running Windows 10. However, I do some business travel for which I use a 13" MacBook Air (mid 2012) and some times I take one or two of the cameras but I change the cards for regular cards and then I download the pics to my Mac using the SD card. I am the last one using an SD card slot? I do not think so.

  13. likefunbutnot
    November 3, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    I know! Let's make the guys who haul around $20,000 worth of gear around buy a new camera body because Apple thinks 802.11 can somehow magically keep up with shooting hundreds of RAW files and/or that camera makers didn't plan far enough ahead by not putting USB-C connectors on everything three years ago!

    My company stopping buying Apple laptops because Apple stopped shipping them in configurations with acceptable amounts of RAM and no way to upgrade, but it's a damned shame that Apple thinks it's OK to call something that can only support 16GB RAM *and* doens't have standard USB connectors *and* needs an external dongle for pretty much all standard ports a "Professional" device.

    This new device sounds more like a fashion accessory than a working tool.

    • John Robertson
      November 3, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Likefunbutnot, I couldn't agree more. I am an Apple fanboy at heart, but these changes or direction they are heading just doesn't sit well. I want a SD card slot built in. I can live with, but not the happiest that they removed the head phone jack. I love the OS, and the tight integration with all things Apple, but quit taking away our stuff that we depend on!!!

      • John
        November 4, 2016 at 3:31 am

        Apple does work great with all things Apple, Android works great with everything else

    • Gaz
      November 7, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      I agree, it has not been a working tool for a while now, but it is definitely a "TOOL"! (just in case you mistake my meaning - not in a good way ? )
      Have you checked out how much that rotten apple sell a SD card reader? Not much change left from $65 Australian
      Or you could pay A$75 for a more useful AV multiport adapter, which unfofrtunately only has a standard USB port (for a cheaper SD card reader as long as it is a USB 2.0 adapter), problem is that it is not compatible with some of apple's USB 3 products (and maybe other untested or unmentioned products - apple do not give out any information which THEY don't think or want you need to know). So you need yet another adapter. One good way to get more and more money out of zombied apple users.
      I was stuck in hospital for ages (with no wifi and didn't want the huge expense of trying to download via a mobile phone plan) , where family and friends used to bring in all sorts of recorded TV shows and movies on SD cards that I could plug straight into mu Asus tablet. And too top it off, the SD cards never poked out half way of my tablet, they went in all the way.