Apple releases $49 Apple Thunderbolt cable

Apple has released the 2-meter Apple Thunderbolt cable for US$49 (Part Number UPC or EAN No.: 885909456635).

Thunderbolt technology supports blazing-fast data transfer with two independent channels of 10Gbit/s each.

Use the Apple Thunderbolt cable to connect your Thunderbolt-equipped peripherals to your new iMac or new MacBook Pro.

Apple Thunderbolt cable can also be used for Target Disk Mode between two Macs that support Thunderbolt, or to use a new iMac as a display for a MacBook Pro equipped with Thunderbolt.

More info: Apple Thunderbolt cable

[Attribution: 9to5Mac.]

46 Comments

      1. Your metaphor works for computers. Cars, not so much. Cables, not at all.

        Apple’s cables are simply overpriced. Way, way overpriced. It’s Monster Cable syndrome: the price is all marketing and massive profit margin in exchange for no substance or quality whatsoever.

        This cable should be $19.95 MAX even WITH the Apple tax.

        See the comments below on Monoprice cables.

        1. I haven’t checked yet as I don’t have TB equipped Macs yet but monoprice.com has always had the best prices and specs on cables. They test as well as Monster or other high end cables. Several years ago I could get a 1 foot FireWire cable for $2.00.

          1. A while back, monoprice said they wouldn’t be selling Apple cables anymore due to some action from Apple. They weren’t the only ones hit with this. If you look under Apple cables, the newest thing is some old serial or ADB cables. They no longer have iPhone/iPod cables.
            I’ve had good experience w/Monoprice, but I think this was for the really crappy cables.

        2. Very true. If Apple wants to get this thing widely adopted, it will have to compete with USB3.

          Apple does this with the iPad, and you can get a $50 iPhone 3GS (not a 4, but still a crazy deal for the utility of an iPhone).

          1. how could it not be adopted? it just trumped USB’s over decade long struggle to keep up with data transfer/consumption rates.
            Hell you can only power one device (if you have a powered USB port) with USB… Thunderbolt will take care of 6…lol.

        3. your metaphor about apple being monster cable, does not apply. Monster cable is selling low quality data/speaker wire and selling it as a premium upgrade in video/audio quality.

          apple/intel have created A WHOLE NEW standard, that has made usb 3.0 into chump transfers. Lightpeak/Thunderbolt is over 3x faster and will be 20x in a couple of years.

          If you can copy/upgrade your whole laptop to another in a few seconds I would gladly pay 50 dollars. As a video editor, i would gladly pay 50 for a cable with an impeccable transfer rate. Ask any video editor, 3D animator, audio editor, anyone that produces work that a netbook was never intended for would buy this cable.

          apple tax or not. USB 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 is not going to cut it anymore. as it stands, only USB 10.0 will be sufficient but that does not exist, Monster Cable or no. USB has taken over 12 years for a 1.0/m per upgrade. While drive space and data transfer, audio/video size has dramatically increased.

          It’s like this, you want a free slow outdated transfer stay on the service roads. The rest of us will take the tollroads.

  1. The thing about Apple and accessories found in the Apple store is that they’ll price something at $1,999 when you can find the same thing for $19.99 at Best Buy, Radio Shack or whatever.

      1. They aren’t the same thing though. A Thunderbolt cable can work as a Mini DisplayPort cable but not the other way around. I’m sure monoprice will have full fledged Thunderbolt soon though.

          1. just a quick search reveals this.
            http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/tag/displayport/

            “You won’t have a data channel, but the video connection will function.”
            Think of the cables this way.
            Mini Display port cable, 1 channel.
            Thunderbolt cable, 2 channels. (PCI Express + Mini Display port)

            or read the first paragraph.
            “Think of Thunderbolt (formerly code named “Light Peak”) as two cables in one. One is a fast PCI Express cable for transferring data, and the other is DisplayPort, for driving an external display.”

            Mini Display port cables don’t have the PCI Express part.

            1. Thanks for the info, but the Wired article is predictably absent any technical details, so I’m still not clear on what the physical difference is between a Mini DisplayPort and Thunderbolt cable.

              Based on forum comments and such, I presume there are a few more data channels in the Thunderbolt cable that are left open in the Mini DisplayPort cable. So, same physical connecter, but a few more connected conductors in the TB cable, thereby justifying the made-of-unobtanium-style pricing.

            2. correct about the Wired article not having technical details.. But the basic idea is there.

              I bet you could go to Intel.com and find all you wanted. but i went there once, and i’m still recovering from the loss of sleep trying to find specs…

              I think you are right, the pinout on a Mini Display port has 20 connections and like 8 or so are ground… (i saw the pinout earlier today) So i can only assume the thunderbolt cable actually uses those.

              I do remember seeing some article somewhere explaining the whole thing.. just can’t remember where.

      2. I like how people rag on Apple when they have no idea what the difference is between a mini displayport cable and a thunderbolt cable. The two are not the same at all. I can assure you that if you can find one out there cheaper thats an ACTUAL thunderbolt cable……the quality won’t compare. If you buy equivalent quality from Monster…..you’ll probably pay more.

        As far as Apple always overcharging for cables…..I seem to remember when Apple started selling HDMI cables they were much cheaper and better quality than the stuff Best Buy and Radioshack was selling at the time. We used to get raped on HDMI cables until AppleTVs went on sale.

        1. I like how people defend Apple’s prices on cables when THEY have no idea what the differences are, either.

          I’ve bought dozens upon dozens of cables (for both digital and analog signals) for many, many installs from Monoprice (and some other lower-cost suppliers), and in general, the quality is equal or even far superior to what Apple, Belkin, or Monster Cable offers for many times the price. That’s a simple fact.

          A higher price does NOT automatically equal higher quality. Monster Cable is a PERFECT illustration of that fact, as their cables are often of INFERIOR quality, yet are offered at premium prices. Their high price indicates large profit margin, NOT product quality.

          1. go ahead and connect the Mini Display port to the thunderbolt port, you WILL get video, but not data. (read above) the Thunderbolt cables are actually TWO cables in one.

        1. My old man’s first Corvus 5MB drive for the database he ran on his Apple II was about the size of two large VCR’s, weighed 40 pounds, and if I remember correctly was about $2000 – more than the Apple II it was connected to. That was probably 1981 or 1982 – when most new cars were less than $10,000.

    1. Amen.

      My 8Gb Ultra Wide RAID for my Quadra800 cost $8200.00 and that did not include the ATTO controller card. That was an additional $600.00 + I saved my price list for hard drives from the early – mid 1990s…. These whiners… I ponder would think the prices were a joke… Let alone the capacity… Again I say stop the whining and pay the $50 bucks … Cheap Asses.

  2. … for a cable slightly shy of seven feet. How much Cat5e can you get for that, today … 100 ft? Sure, it’s a more sophisticated cable, but at 10x to 15x the price? This seems steep, even for Apple.

    1. You forget that thing called “economy of scale”.

      Everybody and his cousin makes Cat5e (or better), ThunderBolt is somewhat newer and production (and production sources) is just getting ramped up. And tooling up for production of something like this isn’t quite something you do with pocket change.

      Prices will drop over time.

  3. People now have no idea at all how lucky they are regarding the price of computing equipment. My last Mac at my previous job had a 21″ CRT monitor that cost £2000. The Mac tower was also somewhere around £2000, with 256Mb RAM. at that time, around 2001/2, a gig of RAM was £1000. In 2003 I bought a 1Gb CompactFlash card for my Nikon CoolPix camera; it cost £200. And you lot are snivelling about a connecting cable for brand-new tech that’s barely on the market and costs 49 bucks?
    Get a sense of perspective. I’ll bet some of you will pay a hundred bucks for a fancy HDMI cable to connect kit to your fancy widescreen TV when you can pick up a perfectly good one for five. The difference is that technology has been around for years and is now ubiquitous, once Thunderbolt gets picked up for other high-speed data usage then you’ll see the price fall. Happens with all tech.

    1. Paid $2100.00 for EACH 64mb DIMM for my 9500.
      Add it up Apple Punk newbies. I bought 4 of em. Here I’ll help you… $8400.00 FOR 256mb of MEMORY!
      Stop the whining you cheap asses. You have NO CLUE how lucky you are to live in today’s tech world.

    1. The “digital is just 0’s and 1’s so will work or not work” idea a drastic over-simplification, and for the most part, not really even correct. Some digital interfaces do behave that way, but not all do.

      A cable carrying digital signals can “work” at a reduced data rate due to signal-quality-induced errors (and error correction if the interface supports it) or “work” with less data integrity if the interface supports it (“sparkles” in HDMI, for instance).

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