Phil Schiller explains the removal of the SD card slot from the new MacBook Pro in an interview with the Independent and in the process gives us an insight into the problems the company is having with circular logic.
Schiller claims that the SD card slot is 'cumbersome'. That's a bemusing comment. A hole in the side of your laptop is the very opposite of cumbersome. Dictionary defintion: large of cumbersome, difficult to use, unwieldy. Exactly all the things that a simple hole in the side of your laptop isn't.
His next comment is illuminating: "you've got this thing sticking halfway out". Only in a MacBook Phil, only on a MacBook.
Apple implemented the SD card slot incredibly poorly on the previous MBP. A standard SD card would indeed stick halfway out of the slot. No doubt this was to allow Apple to shave a tenth of a millimetre off the chassis. Every other laptop I have owned has had an SD card slot deep enough to completely enclose the card, leaving just enough purchase to operate the push eject mechanism.
However poorly implemented the card slot was on the previous MBP, at least it was there. For photographers in particular the ability to quickly transfer files could be important and dropping an SD card into a slot and pulling them from there is as easy as it gets.
For the new MBP Schiller propses two alternatives: get a camera with wireless transfer or carry a dongle. The first is far from ubiquitous and the latter is relatively... cumbersome.