Back in the mid-1990, the optical drive was introduced for use in PCs. One of its primary purposes for the CD-ROM player was to replace diskettes for distributing software. It also allowed users to play their audio CDs on their computers. The optical drive quickly caught on quickly. The technology evolved to include CD-ROM writers followed by DVD players and burners. During the first decade of 2000, Blu-ray high definition technology gained popularity.
Then came advances in internet bandwidth. Video on demand and online streaming replaced the need for the PC hardware required for multimedia tasks such as playing audio and video discs. Software could be downloaded efficiently from the internet. A paradigm shift was well underway.
The following chart shows the decline in attach rates for optical drives on PCs since 2010.
The data shows that Laptop PCs have always trailed the Desktop for the presence of optical drives. It’s intuitive that just by the nature of portables, weight considerations often led to the removal of the optical drive from its configuration. While there will always be some demand for these drives, research shows that technology is changing the role that they once had.