I don't know what Apple is thinking about removing one of the most useful accessories it has created for Macs. The Apple Remote is a must have for many users who want to control basic aspects of the Mac through this small remote control, in addition, the Sofa Control application greatly increases its possibilities.
When the white Apple Remote existed, some iMac had a magnetic area on its side to have the remote accessible, in addition, the remote came standard on each computer. Later, Apple removed that area dedicated to the remote control and stopped offering it as standard on its computers, charging for it in the configurator.
Now it turns out that MacBook Pros with Retina Display and iMac released in 2012 are also not compatible with the Apple Remote since Apple has decided to do without the IRDAs, an element that did not hurt anyone and whose price is ridiculous. In return, the user is affected by a decision that does not benefit him at all.
You may already know that the Apple Remote is not compatible with the latest iMac but the apple company never mentioned this point, what's more, this detail is discussed above on the remote control specification page.
In view of this movement, it wouldn't be surprising if the Mac Mini and MacBook Pros lost compatibility with the Apple Remote in the future, forcing the user to use less efficient and much more expensive alternative routes.
More information - Tip: put your Mac to sleep with the Apple Remote