Apple’s new Thunderbolt 3 MacBook Pro spurs new gold rush

“Apple’s decision to move to Thunderbolt 3/USB-C in its new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models generated some heat but is also fostering a boom in MacBook Pro hubs,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “These hubs are designed to add support for earlier flavors of USB, Lightning, HDMI and other interconnect standards.”

“Elgato’s newly announced Thunderbolt 3 Dock provides you with three USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two Thunderbolt USB-C ports, 1 DisplayPort (1.2), and both headphone and microphone jacks,” Evans writes. “The intention is that you leave the powered dock on your desk where it connects all your peripherals, including displays.”

“Introduced at CES 2017, the [OWC] DEC is attracting lots of attention,” Evans writes. “This is because while it makes your svelte new MBP as thick as the 2012 model, it also adds USB-A and Gigabit Ethernet ports, an SD card slot and 4TB of storage to your Mac. The product is designed to slot to the underside of your Mac and is expected to ship in Spring 2017, price to be announced.”

Thick as a brick. OWC's new DEC for Apple's MacBook Pro
Thick as a brick. OWC’s new DEC for Apple’s MacBook Pro

“‘We’re absolutely more sure than ever that we’ve done the right thing,’ Apple’s VP marketing, Phil Schiller said when discussing the move to USB-C,” Evans writes. “The rash of new peripherals suggests that third party Mac accessories vendors agree. They really want to hook you up.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, moving to all-Thunderbolt 3 / USB=C on the MacBook Pro was the right decision. They’re future-proofed.


    1. Yep
      Like when the Trashcan ‘replaced’ the Mac Pro Tower.
      Apple said you can buy a Promise box and stuff it with drives. What they didn’t say is the damn box cost as much as the Mac Pro Trashcan.

      Apple milks it’s customers where they used to be noted for value- Macs cost more, but were better. The new Gozmo Bar MacBook Pro doesn’t even give you the adapter extension cord anymore, despite having a higher price.

      I imagine a day is coming where in app purchases come to Mac OS, where you have to buy features that used to be included.

    2. Plus you get a mess of shit on your desk that you have to pack up and take with you if you need it elsewhere. The sum total being more weight and volume than if the ports were built in.

  1. Part of the Apple tax is investing in a bunch of soon to be abandoned connectors and cables. Apple Display Connector, anyone? FireWire 400 & 800? MagSafe 1&2?

    Going the other way, Apple takes away useful stuff and then charges you for dongles that replicate what your Msc used to do internally like Ethernet, Fax Modems, FireWire, SD Cards, USB 1,2,&3, Toslink …

    Note that when Apple took all that stuff away they did not lower the price or give you the dongles- they are priced like a King’s Ramsom.

    1. Dude FireWire was around for 22 years, I wouldn’t call that “quickly abandoned”. It didn’t even fully go away until this year from the lineup when the 13″ mbp was discontinued and the Thunderbolt Display went away. The iPod dock connector lasted 10 years before they switched to lightning, and it’s now 5. The only reason they did that was because USB-c wasn’t ready yet, and at this point going wireless and then killing the connectors on iOS devices all together might be the better path. have championed and pushed USB (1998 with iMac) and thunderbolt (2011- present) since its inception and have continued to do so with the type c connector (2015-present) . Technology moves forward, and this new connector might finally be the universal connector we have been looking for since the 80’s. In a year or so this will all be a distant memory. Dealing with adapters right now isn’t really an issue.

    1. ….with the Apple Fun Machine Pro you can have your own hootenanny and shindig rolled into one groovy light show! You’ll be the envy of your pals when you show the gals your DOnGleMaNIa!

      More fun than Twister!

  2. Uh.. my PC had thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1gen2 ports early last year… How is apple the leader here?

    ps i can also plug in regular USB cables.. as well as any new peripherals that come out.

    dum fruit.

  3. “‘We’re absolutely more sure than ever that we’ve done the right thing,’ Apple’s VP marketing, Phil Schiller said when discussing the move to USB-C,”…
    “The rash of new peripherals suggests that third party Mac accessories vendors agree. They really want to hook you up.”

    Of course they agree, Apple just gave them sales of connectivity devices. Apple pulled the most common connection interface – USB Type A, the most common A/V connector – HDMI, the most common memory card format – SD-Card, etc.

    The only reason there is a gold rush is because of “Apple caused” lost connectivity.

    I would have been happier with the MacBook Pro actually being a “Pro” device. Add one USB-A, one HDMI and one SD-Card slot. Oh, and a slightly thicker device with a larger battery so I can use it longer.

    1. Exactly.

      Also, Apple isn’t the only player leading the charge for Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. Intel offers them to all PC makers, and they are being released alongside legacy connections to ease the transition for consumers. Apple is the company that chose to make connectivity unnecessarily awkward for its customers.

  4. Isn’t this kind of like a car manufacturer (GM, Toyota, BMW, etc.) deciding that the only input format their stereo would accept is Bluetooth and then claiming that it was the right thing when aftermarket companies create devices that allow input from AM/FM/XM/CD/DVD/Line-In?

  5. I have the new MBP withe 4 USB-c. Bought a Sathechi USB-c thunderbolt 3 portable dongle with 2 USB-a, hdmi and a USB-c input that is connected to MBP power adapter. I use it to connect to my desktop monitor and iPhone dock with a single, simple connector. It has made it so easy and attractive to unplug the laptop when I want to be mobile. There is no dongle gate. This is simply the best connectivity arrangement I have ever seen or experienced. Makes my old thinkpad docking station look like a dinosaur. The satechi dongle is very small, lightweight and made of same aluminum material as MBP. Sits unobtrusively behind the MBP and makes all the wires disappear.

    Like removing the floppy drive from the iMac-much ado about nothing. Using it is believing.

  6. Apple has too tiny a market share and too timid leadership to spark any gold rush.

    However, Intel just saved Apple’s bacon by making Thunderbolt 3 royalty free. Finally, TB3 accessories will be affordable and commonplace.

    On a similar note, it would be wise for Apple to either drop licensing prices on Lightning or do away with it altogether.

    USB-C is everything Lighting is and more, without the insidious Apple tax.

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