Ports? We don’t need no stinkin’ ports! Why Apple’s MacBook will be a hit

“When the MacBook Air first debuted in 2008 there was a lot of media carping about ‘compromises’ and it being too thin for its own good,” Brooke Crothers writes for Forbes. “Fast forward to this past week and the new MacBook: only one connector (like the 2008 MacBook Air) and 13mm of compromises.”

MacDailyNews Note: Actually, the 2008 MacBook Air offered one USB 2.0, one MagSafe port, one 3.5 mm headphone jack, and one Micro-DVI video port. The new MacBook offers one USB-C port and one headphone port (headphone/optical digital audio output (minijack) with support for Apple iPhone headset with remote and microphone).

“But it will succeed because it meets a market need (like the Air before it). And because it’s Apple,” Crothers writes. “The new MacBook, I think, will eventually succeed (racking up big sales numbers) where others have not because it doesn’t try to be a tablet, like many of the kludgey 2-in-1s. It just tries to be a laptop that’s as portable as a tablet.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For users like us, who have iMacs on our desks, but want the lightest possible notebook for working on the road, the new MacBook, with its Retina display, is way too tempting. The more we consider it, the more we want it. For years, the only port we’ve ever used on our MacBook Airs is the charging port. We’ll be upgrading our portable Macs from 11-inch MacBook Airs to MacBooks this summer, barring any decision-altering MacBook Pro/Air developments in the meantime.

53 Comments

  1. Ports are still very important. There are other things I’d be concerned about. For one its not too strong at all. Second no user upgrade able stuff. I love apple but they try to corner the market on upgrades for their own stuff not cool at all. Especially the fact you pay a premium to get upgrades from them as bto options. I do believe you should be able to upgrade ram and cards of need be. Example no user upgrade path for the 21 inch iMac as memory is soldered. On the 27 inch there is an upgrade door for user upgrades to ram. Bad apple

    1. I can understand not making the new MacBook or the Airs upgradeable. The weight and space savings are pretty significant there. On the other hand, on desktops, it really sucks. On the MacBook Pros, it’s a shame because they’ve made them significantly less Pro by doing so, which is why so many of us have held on to our pre-Retina Pros for so long.

      The new MacBook may be successful, but there are a lot of us MacBook Air owners who would’ve upgraded had they just offered 1 more USB-C port.

    2. It’s been a while but when I was traveling, what I hated most was making sure I had all the accessories, cables, power supplies, etc. It is the era of the cloud. If I have the web and the cloud, why do I need a (insert physically connected device name here)?

            1. Sure, there are plenty of garbage 3rd party products that claim to be awesome and wireless. Have you attempted to use them? Bluetooth SUCKS. WiFi is not always reliable. Radio waves are simply not a complete replacement for a wire, period. Apple is just wrong in assuming that a MacBook doesn’t need a lot of data ports and a separate charging port. The 2015 MacBook isn’t worthy. It’s a hobbled MacBook Air, not a capable entry-level MacBook.

            2. Actually, I don’t see that many wireless MIDI devices in the links you sent me. And even in one of the links you sent me, it still says he’d want to stick with wired MIDI for recording and performance (which, for a pro musician, what else is there? 😉 )

    1. This is so true, and while many people are predicting the same thing will happen with the new MacBook, that is, it will get a second USB-C port (as early as next year), I’m not to sure we’ll see that.

      The good news for those who don’t care about ports is that Skylake is coming later this year, and Cannonlake in 2017. These will bring very significant speed boosts and efficiency increases.

      However, look at the architecture inside the new MacBook and compare it to what happened with the MacBook Air. The MacBook Air was significantly restructured due to major component changes all around. The new MacBook won’t experience the same level of component changes.

      The die shrinkage all the way down to 10nm in Cannonlake, won’t make the board significantly smaller, and more so, not in an area where they can place a USB-C port.

      I have a bad feeling Apple is hell bent on keeping the single USB-C.

      Within 3-5 years, I don’t think there will be a MacBook Air, nor will there be MacBook Pros. There will only be the MacBook, and it will look a lot like this new MacBook (only with the addition of different screen sizes).

      1. I don’t disagree but I hope you’re wrong. I don’t want a desktop computer and use a high-end 15″ rMBP as a desktop replacement with a lot of external storage (9 TB). I don’t see my storage requirements nor need for ports shrinking. If Apple abandons the portable pro/prosumer market, then that market will abandon Apple. I won’t deal with multiple dongles and hubs just because Jony Ive has a particular aesthetic he finds more important than functionality.

        1. Oh, I feel your pain. I have a MacBook Air for travel and a pre-Retina 15″ MBP. I never upgraded to Retina because I prefer to have dual internal bays. It’s quad-core i7 with 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and 1TB HDD, so I consider any rMBP after it to be a downgrade.

          And I eat external 4TB hard drives for breakfast.

          That said, I mis-wrote what I meant…

          On the 15″ (new) MacBook, I’d see them offering more than one USB-C port. And while I have a bad feeling Apple won’t add another port to the 12″ when space is opened up with Skylake or Cannonlake, there is certainly the possibility that they might.

  2. I have a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. I use these ports regularly: MagSafe (to charge), USB (to attach wireless mouse dongle, to attach external hard drive, to attach USB flash drives, to attach iPhone, to attach Garmin GPS, to attach Apple superdrive), audio output jack (to attach headphones), HDMI (to attach television set), SD card slot (to attach memory card from GoPro camera).

    I’m personally not ready to whittle down to just one port, but I’m sure it is fine for many other users who don’t use their Mac the way I use my Mac.

  3. People don’t buy products that fit their needs. They buy products that fit their fantasies. That’s why so many people buy overpriced, oversized and over stupid SUVs to drive ten miles to work everyday. To be seen driving a sedan would be to face the truth about who they are.

  4. At least, for those of us who do need ports, there’s still the MacBook Pro. Especially for those of us whose laptop is our _only_ computer. Music professionals especially, who hook up MIDI keyboards and other peripherals, ports are still very necessary.

    I suppose as wi-fi on planes and trains becomes more prevalent, using thumb drives will be less and less necessary. But there are some industries where connecting to physical hardware is still necessary.

    But again, for that, there’s still the MBP. 🙂

        1. I actually only use one port regularly, my Thunderbolt (well, and charging obviously), because it connects my wired keyboard (attached to monitor) and wireless mouse (attached to keyboard). I think the true power in this port is in docking station type setups. Thunderbolt is great for that. I hope USB-C is too.

  5. It wasn’t the lack of ports that bothered me. At least USB-C is a n open standard and we’ll be able to buy black adaptors (This “white” thing is what makes me question Jony Ivy designs – Build a beautiful machine in Aluminum & Black, Silver & Black. Space Gray & Black, Gold & Black, then tack on cheap white power cables and keyboards with white keys).

    I was looking for a replacement for my Late 2010 MacBook Air. After seeing the new MacBook, updated MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, I ended choosing the updated 13″ MacBook Pro. I wanted a Retina Screen and the Intel M(mobile) chip was a turn off for the MacBook (they somehow aren’t good enough for an iPad, but they are for a more expensive computer – Yes, I know they’ve improved, but they are an unknown in the Mac world).

    The MacBook is beautifully designed and will sell well. Buy the machine that suits your needs best…

    1. There are already 3rd party charges and cables. Being USB-C, anyone can (and many will) make them, not just for Apple products. Google has one available already in black (charger and cable).

  6. Hell yeah we need ports!!! Where are all the ships going to dock?

    I am very excited by the new MacBook. For me, it was the most exciting thing from the “Spring Forward” event.

  7. … USB port on my MacBook Pro. Mainly for thumb-drives, but occasionally for something else. Mainly, though, for thumb-drives. Yes. Said that twice. And, my MBP is powered up 99% of the time, and plugged in over half that time. Suddenly I NEED an extra port! OK, sure, a little planning and some contortions and I can work around this problem. And I can (maybe?) get a converter to fit the USB in my car.
    Did Apple intro the new MacBook to help push the sales of the MBP?

  8. Let me get this right:
    Since Buffy doesn’t need ports to do Facebook Apple wants to screw over those of us who might actually need them at the lower end of the laptop market.

    Mr Cook, there a millions who NEED port connector but do not need to be spending $2k on a laptop.

    A computer is a tool- not a fashion statement.

  9. I can run Parallels on my 11″ Macbook Air, esp. after an upgrade to a 1.0tb drive from OWC. I can not do the same on the Mobile processor on the new Macbook. I will, therefore, not be buying one, no matter how nice it looks. I really want an ultraportable with Retina, but am not willing to give up, you know, being able to do something on it. And note: I’m an avid fanboi.

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