In an effort to save costs, Apple has stopped putting DVD drives in some of its low-end computers. It may sound like a ridiculous move, but stop and ask yourself - when's the last time you put an actual disc into your computer?
Netbooks - a low-end category of notebook PCs that has failed to take off as well as many had expected - pioneered the idea of axing an optical disc drive to save manufacturing costs.
It pretty much works for the most part. After all, everything is digitally distributed these days. You hardly need to ever put in a CD or DVD for any reason.
But the kicker in that sentence is the word "hardly." Even if you just need to download a physical piece of software once a year, that gaping absence in your computer is going to hit like a ton of bricks.
And there are still many applications that aren't available as a digital download, like Rosetta Stone's language-learning software. Or if you're on-the-go and you want to watch a DVD of a movie that's not available on Netflix, you'll end up being SOL.
Nevertheless, Apple thinks it's time. The Mac Mini is now in many ways a trailblazer, but many will certainly say it is just a little bit too soon to say physical media is completely obsolete at this point.
On the flip side, those same people would probably easily agree that we will no longer need actual disc-based content at some point in the future, but the future is not now. Give it at least a few more years.