Report: Apple Stops Third Party MacBook Air SSD Upgrades

Apple has asked Taiwanese device maker PhotoFast to stop making and selling 256GB SSD upgrades for Apple’s MacBook Air laptops. “A source close to the company” told 9to5Mac that Apple asked the company to stop selling the upgrades over the Thanksgiving, and the company complied under fear of losing its MFi license from Apple to make iPod, iPad, and iPhone accessories.

What made PhotoFast’s SSD upgrades was their speed. While Apple also offers a 256GB SSD option on its MacBook Air models, they operate with a read/write speed between 150MB/sec and 160MB/sec. PhotoFast’s would run with a read/write speed of 250MB/sec.

We don’t know, of course, why Apple asked the company to stop making these upgrades. Reasons could range from “You’re doing it wrong” (i.e. they were causing problems with MacBook Air units) to “We want all the business.”

PhotoFast sells a large number of other SSD products, as well as memory cards and adapters. Currently it offers three products covered under Apple’s MFi license, two docks and a wireless device for getting your iPod or iPhone’s music to your car stereo. We should also note that there are many millions of more iDevices than there will ever be MacBook Air units, and that may be a clue of why the company was quick to fold.

In the meanwhile, 9to5Mac’s source said that PhotoFast is still hoping to work out permission from Apple to sell its SSD upgrade. The product is no longer available on PhotoFast’s Web site, but the image below was originally posted by the company. The upgrade kit includes a USB housing to turn your old SSD unit in the MacBook Air into a USB drive, which is what is next to the SSD unit in the image.

PhotoFast MacBook Air SSD Upgrade

PhotoFast’s MacBook Air SSD Upgrade