Apple should include a combo FireWire and USB 2.0 cable in every iPod box

With the latest iPods, Apple is no longer including a FireWire cable in the box. The music players will still work with FireWire, if a cord is purchased separately, but only a USB 2.0 cable comes with the device. What’s the problem, you ask? Well, Mac users who have machines that are less than a year or two old have Macs that do not have USB 2.0. They do have FireWire.

MDN reader “macnut222” has suggested an interesting solution to this issue in a thread to a related article:

What Apple should have done is put the FireWire+USB Combo cable in the iPod mini/photo’s box. It retails for $19 – the same price as the individual FW and USB cables. This way, Apple only has to provide one cable, but no one is left out.

Apple’s website features the cable:

Use an extra iPod Dock Connector to FireWire and USB 2.0 Cable for charging and syncing your iPod or iPod photo to your Mac or Windows PC. Compatible with iPod photo. Price – $19.00. The iPod Dock Connector to FireWire and USB 2.0 Cable offers up to 480Mbps data transfer for quickly loading an entire music library on iPod or iPod mini. Connect the FireWire cable up to the iPod or iPod mini power adapter to charge while syncing. Compatible with iPod with Click Wheel, iPod mini and iPod with Dock Connector.

MacDailyNews Take: Why isn’t this cable in the iPod boxes instead of just a USB 2.0 cable, Apple? You already have the cable. Are there margin issues? Does it cost a few pennies more per cable? Was this just an oversight, a tiny miscalculation? Wouldn’t this cable be a better solution for your Mac users? You do care about your Mac-using iPod owners, right, Apple?

If you want to switch iPod over to USB 2.0, that’s fine, but perhaps you should wait until the majority of Mac owners have realistically had a chance to acquire USB 2.0 capable Macs? After all, it was Apple that just recently started adding USB 2.0 to their Mac computer lines. We know Apple likes to move fast, but this “USB 2.0 included/pay if you want FireWire” move was made a bit too soon. Apple should put the combo cable in the boxes now and do the move to USB 2.0 only in 6-12 months, if that’s what they want to do. What could be the harm in that?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple disrespects its own Mac users with iPod’s FireWire fiasco – February 24, 2005
Griffin debuts Dock400 FireWire cable for Apple iPods – February 24, 2005
Petition to Apple for iPod FireWire support posted online – February 23, 2005
Apple knifing its own FireWire baby by pushing USB 2.0 as iPod’s primary connectivity option – February 23, 2005

108 Comments

  1. So what!!!!! Big frickin’ deal. If you don’t want to spend the $20, buy last week’s less featureful more expensive version with the “free” cable. Sheesh!

    Gee, the Mac mini is “brilliant”, yet has no included keyboard, mouse, or monitor.

  2. Whatsamatta, zupchuck? Is MacDailyNews’ solution making too much sense for ya?

    This Apple combo cable is the perfect solution. Put it in the box Apple and we’ll shut up about it!

  3. I don’t like the combo cables. My dog has been known to chaw on loose cabling. Besides, someone is likely to plug both of them in and wonder why nothing is working. More tech support headaches for Apple I would imagine.

  4. Stop beating a dead horse. FireWire has no advantages for the average Joe/Jo iPod user. Power users are going to spend the $19 to get the better Apple FireWire cable, or a cable of the choosing anyway!

  5. The marketing department probably made the final approval on the USB cable so it’s understandable that they would “forget” that there might be another solution available. I bet someone is slapping their forehead right now after the negative feedback (which I think is totally unnecessary and misplaced).

    Is it an Apple branded cable? If not then it brings up other issues that are easily dealt with, but again, the marketing department forgot this option.

    It probably is an innocent mistake and not an indication of any of the grand conspiracies concerning this that Apple doesn’t care about us or are cheapening up.

    And by the way, if they sell more of them to Windoze users, it makes perfect sense to include a USB cable as opposed to firewire. Ultimately though, the dual use cable is the right answer and if I was Apple, I would offer a trade in. I would also turn it into an opportunity. A store event, free Apple Bag. iPod add-on reps there to sell their products.

    Brought to you by the word products. As in “Insanely Great”, no matter what cable they put in the box.

  6. zupchuck,

    Apple’s prices are lower today, they could just have easily been lower last week. Apple’s artificially-determined prices have zero bearing on the fact that they haven’t had USB 2.0-capable Macs on the market long enough to cut out the FireWire option for Mac users. They are taxing Mac users for the cost of the FireWire cable – plain and simple. And it’s not the Mac users’ fault that Apple didn’t add USB 2.0 to Macs earlier enough to make this a moot issue. It is Apple’s fault. USB 2.0 was available on the market long before Apple decided to start adding it to Macs. Apple screwed up and I hope they have enough sense to fix this. The combo cable seems like a win, win solution for everybody.

  7. A couple other things:

    1) Apple will never budle a 2-1 cord with a product because it looks ugly as hell to have one connector plugged in and the other just hanging out.

    2) MDN constantly compliments Apple on looking forward, then bitches in this instance about not offered enough backwards compatibility. All Macs manufactured today offer USB 2.0. Most PCs offer USB over Firewire. USB 2.0 is now bundled with iPods.

    MOVE ON.

  8. You can say MOVE ON all you want, but the question MDN asked remains, “Why isn’t this cable in the iPod boxes instead of just a USB 2.0 cable, Apple?”

    As someone who spent over $3000 on an Apple laptop less than two years ago, don’t I have a right to expect to have a realistic connectivity cable included just like the common Gateway-using iPodder?

    I think I actually deserve BETTER treatment from Apple than an Gateway-using iPodder. Imagine that.

  9. You can say MOVE ON all you want, but the question MDN asked remains, “Why isn’t this cable in the iPod boxes instead of just a USB 2.0 cable, Apple?”

    1) Apple will never budle a 2-1 cord with a product because it looks ugly as hell to have one connector plugged in and the other just hanging out.

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