Apple cuts prices on USB-C adapters and accessories

Apple on Friday cut the price on its USB-C adapters in the online store. The company also said that third-party USB-C peripherals in the store would be reduced in price.

“We are extremely excited about the new MacBook Pro, which is the best pro notebook we’ve ever made,” Apple said in a statement provided to The Loop. “It has the fastest CPU, graphics, memory, storage and I/O, best display, the innovative Touch Bar and more. MacBook Pro uses the most advanced industry-standard connector, USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, to provide maximum performance, expandability and compatibility.

“We recognize that many users, especially pros, rely on legacy connectors to get work done today and they face a transition. We want to help them move to the latest technology and peripherals, as well as accelerate the growth of this new ecosystem. Through the end of the year, we are reducing prices on all USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 peripherals we sell, as well as the prices on Apple’s USB-C adapters and cables.”

It’s obvious that pros looking to move to the new MacBook Pro will have to buy adapters to continue using the same gear. I’m in this position myself if I want to use my pro music gear, so having steep discounts on adapters will save me quite a bit of money.

In looking at Apple’s decision to reduce the price of the adapters, I immediately thought of Phil Schiller’s comment in an interview earlier this week.

“We care about what they love and what they are worried about. And it’s our job to help people through these changes. We know we made good decisions about what to build into the new MacBook Pro and that the result is the best notebook ever made, but it might not be right for everyone on day one. That’s okay, some people felt that way about the first iMac and that turned out pretty good.”

Schiller, and Apple, are taking the transition responsibility seriously. They know there are costs associated with moving to the new MacBook Pro and they are trying to ease that transition.

It’s also important to note that new MacBook Pro sales are not suffering, as Schiller pointed out in that interview.

“And we are proud to tell you that so far our online store has had more orders for the new MacBook Pro than any other pro notebook before,” said Schiller. “So there certainly are a lot of people as excited as we are about it.”

Adapters included in the price reduction include:

  • USB-C to USB Adapter (from $19 to $9);
  • Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter (from $49 to $29);
  • USB-C to Lightning Cable (1m) (from $25 to $19);
  • USB-C to Lightning Cable (2m) (from $35 to $29);
  • USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter (from $69 to $49);
  • USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter (from $69 to $49).

The cost of the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II Card USB-C Reader will be reduced from $49 to $29, and all other third party USB-C peripherals will also be discounted.

Great move on Apple’s part to ease the transition. I’ve been using the 13-inch MacBook Pro for just over a week and love it.

  • temm

    Pros don’t care about prices of adapters. They are concerned that they won’t have the damn adapter when they need it.

    • Mo

      When has that ever not been true, for any accessory you’ve ever used?

    • Sure – though, dropping the price by half will mean these pros can have twice as many of each adaptor they need about the place for the same $$ – thereby reducing that risk?

      Seems a sensible way to help ease the transition into a USB-C cable for everything type of future?

      • Prof. Peabody

        How can what is obviously a “stop gap” solution, also be a “sensible” solution. Sensible would be not needing the stop gap solution in the first place, no? Not creating the situation that requires the emergency placation?

  • Mo

    This sounds fair to me. But it won’t stop the whining.

  • marv08

    Even more lucrative… the 4k and 5k LG displays with docking / charging capabilities will see the same discounts. Might get the 5k one and find a CNC expert to make a proper casing 🙂

    • Mo

      Don’t get rid of the pedestal. It has proper height adjustment, unlike Apple’s.

  • freedonuts

    Assuming my 15″/512GB order is adjusted, it now became 0.8% cheaper due to these discounts. Heading out now to buy some champagne to celebrate!

  • JohnDoey

    OMG pathetic.

    This company is supposed to be the world’s leading designer of client computer systems, and they just shipped an iPod that is incompatible with most of the world’s headphones and speakers, and a “pro” notebook that is incompatible with every single cable you will find at any of your job sites. With no transition at all. They didn’t ship wireless and Lightning earbuds with iPhone 6 to get the market ready. They didn’t ship this MacBook Pro with all the old ports on the left and 2 Thunderbolt 3 on the right for one generation. It is absurd.

    iMac did not ship with 4 USB-A and nothing else. The USB only replaced the ADB ports. It had Ethernet instead of an Ethernet-USB dongle. The Ethernet dongle literally came exactly 10 years later. The ADB-USB switch was sudden but the everything-else-to-USB was a transition.

    I don’t care how much the dongles cost. I’m not buying them because they provide zero benefit to the end user over the next 3 years at least. Until then, it is just a new kind of incompatible USB cable. You switch over and get nothing in return. And when you consider I take a MacBook Pro to various studios and offices where in some cases they are 5 or more years behind in technology, the new MacBook Pro is absurdly useless to me. I will be laughed at when I’m pulling a megabyte per minute over some lousy Wi-Fi with a GigE port right on the desk and I only need a $50 dongle to hook up to it and can’t find it and that is fucking unprofessional.

    The notebook itself is a Swiss Army Knife. Apple just shipped a Swiss Army Knife with 4 knives in it and nothing else, and then you choose from a wall of dongles to get one that converts a knife into a fork, into a screwdriver, into a nail file. And you carry those little converters separately in a pocket or bag in case you need them. That is not good design because the adapters will be lost all the time, and the whole point of Swiss Army Knife or MacBook Pro is to be adaptable immediately to tool needs.

    Same with Touch Bar. Even if they reduce the price of Touch Bar from $500 to they give me $500, I am not interested in yet another indirect control method when I have been using a direct control method for 7 years on iPad, 10 years on iPhone, and 20 years on Mac (pen) and when I have many indirect control methods such as the buttons on my graphics tablet that I still need because the Apple Pencil sensors are only built-into the $600 iPad, not the $4200 MacBook Pro, or the mixer controller I use with my Mac because it lacks touch, 10 years after iPhone. I have all the indirect buttons I need. What I need from Apple is a 2016 pro notebook with pen sensors built-in.

    Imagine if Apple still had not built Wi-Fi into its computers in 2010, and all of the accessory Wi-Fi dongles at that time were being bought only by Mac users, who were mercilessly mocked by PC users for the stupidity of that and had no retort — yes it would be stupid. That is where we are with the pen sensors that are missing from Macs. In graphic arts they were expected to be in the screen years ago, so that a pen is a $99 battery-powered add-on for any artist, not a $1000 AC-powered add-on that requires a desk because it is a second screen. You are literally supposed to pay $4200 for portable MacBook Pro, walk past the $99 portable Apple Pencil, and buy a $1000 non-portable Wacom Tablet that turns your portable MacBook Pro into a desktop computer.

    The worst is that there is no Editor-in-Chief at Apple who would have seen this mess coming and prevented it on behalf of the user before it started. So Apple is just expecting you to modify your behavior dramatically to work around their almost random set of features that result from a design spec that literally had the primary goal “be smaller than MacBook Air” so that Apple can stroke itself for its cleverness. How do you make the smallest Swiss Army Knife ever? Take out all the tools and just put in 4 knives and sell a set of 35 adapters that you don’t include in the size of the knife itself but you actually should. So it is actually the biggest and most-complicated Swiss Army Knife ever.

    Thunderbolt is a failure up until now. It may or may not succeed in its 3rd version, but even if it does, it will be a 3–10 year transition from the other interconnects (some of which have 15+ years of deployment.)

    People are replacing DVI-to-Thunderbolt2 dongles with DVI-to-Thunderbolt3 dongles. People are buying dongles to hook iPhone 7 to MacBook or MacBook Pro from the same manufacturer in the same year.

    Why is the headphone jack on MacBook Pro? Why not a Lightning instead?

    Reminds me of when Apple removed FireWire from the 13-inch MacBook Pro in 2008 or so, only to hear from users that 13-inch MacBook Pro was the music Mac (small, cheap, don’t need a big screen) and that FireWire at the time was the digital audio interconnect, so it was the Mac that most needed FireWire and it was the only one they stripped it off of. Then they had to put it back on the next version. Because they are not designing for users, they are designing for their own academic goals and to impress design professors with materials and small size. If they were thinking about users at all, they wouldn’t ship a notebook that needs $300 of dongles just to replace the previous notebook in every configuration everywhere in the world, and then price cut that dongle mess down to $200, like that helps in any way.

    It’s the Apple of 1986–1996 again. A laughing stock. Hugely expensive impractical Macs that aren’t better than the ones from years before. MacBook Pro (2010) is the best-selling MacBook Pro this decade, not the 2012 model, which was essentially a failure. Stripping the practical ports off there and still not building in pen sensors even though it is another 4 years later and the 10th anniversary of touch, all while raising the prices $300–$500 across the board while requiring $200 of dongles does not make it a better notebook.

    I have a 2010 MacBook Pro here with 16GB of RAM and 2 terabyte SSD. The maximum I can get in a 2017 MacBook Pro is 16GB of RAM and 2 terabyte of SSD. So I cannot retire the external hard disk — instead I am supposed to get a dongle for it. I’m supposed to get 2 dongles for the graphics tablet instead of retiring it, because the sensors are not built-in to any Macs yet.

    The fact that basic stuff you expect in a $4000 notebook in 2016 is missing from MacBook Pro 2016/2017 means I have to plug more stuff into it, which again is more dongles.

    I’m not going to buy a Thunderbolt3 graphics tablet if such a thing even ever exists, because the concept of a graphics tablet is OBSOLETE ALREADY. But I would have to dongle up my old one with 2 dongles for my $4000 2016 MacBook Pro and just use it that way at a desk like it is a previous decade. Even though the touch sensors are cheap enough to be in $599 iPads.

    Instead of $99 for Apple Pencil I am supposed to buy $99 worth of dongles for the graphics tablet that I should no longer even need.

    Keep in mind that about 90% of the music, movies, apps, and websites that you consume daily are made on Macs. Not on iPads or iPhones or Windows PC’s. The Mac is really important. Shipping toy Macs for rich kids instead of working Macs for professionals has a real cost to society.

    And just like in the 90’s, Microsoft is building the next generation while Apple screws around.

    • StruckPaper

      Stop whining and go buy something else. Simple solution.

      • Wait. I thought JohnDoey was using long form sarcasm to stick it to the whiners.

      • Prof. Peabody

        This is the stupidest most meaningless and most offensive “retort” ever invented. It’s what your Dad used on you when you were a kid. It made no sense then, but you internalised it and now are regurgitating it as us as if it’s actually meaningful.

    • Prof. Peabody

      I wish I could up-vote this like twenty times.

    • rj

      Holy unhinged rant.

    • Mo

      Well, that’s your anecdotal situation. Here’s another: a good friend of mine, a very talented designer/illustrator, having tried both iPad Pro’s limited drawing apps after having used several generations of Wacoms, is still looking forward to the new Wacom Cintiqs for his work so he can stay in Photoshop and Illustrator.

  • “…some people felt that way about the first iMac and that turned out pretty good.”

    A huge difference between Apple putting only USB on the iMac and dropping all ports but USB-C on the pro MacBooks now: The iMac wasn’t a “pro” machine.

    Apple didn’t drop all ports but USB on their pro machines after the iMac came out. They didn’t even drop ADB. The Blue & White Power Mac G3 that came out a year after the first iMac still had an ADB port!

    Over time, the iMac actually gained ports, too. They quickly added FireWire, then VGA, DVI, FireWire 800, Mini DisplayPort, an SD Card slot, and finally Thunderbolt.

    Even the MacBook Air went from only having a single USB port and a proprietary Micro DVI port to gaining Mini DisplayPort and finally having 2 USB, Thunderbolt, and an SD Card slot.

    • StruckPaper

      Bestselling MacBook Pro out of the game. End of story.

  • Prof. Peabody

    This gives Apple too much credit. They are doing some very standard PR “damage control” with this action. The cost of the discount on the adapters is minimal to them, does the PR thing and also encourages more sales.

    It’s not like Apple is going to actually lose money by doing this. It’s not like they are doing it “because they care.” Anyone who truly believes that should really believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny as well.

    If this was really a good move, and if Apple’s customers were really behind them on it, then this thread wouldn’t be so short and (mostly) silent. Apologist pieces like this one usually attract a lot of “here-here”‘s and “bravos” if the public agrees. All I see is silence and a very few brave souls actually continuing to criticise. Apple execs should see this as the REALLY BAD news that it is.

  • Forgive me for picking nits but it’s inexcusable that the 2m USB-C to Lightning Cable is $10 more than the 1m version. All the expense of those cables is in the connectors. An extra few feet of wire can’t cost more than 25¢. And it’s not just Apple. I used to work in a music store and when I saw how much the markup was on cables I couldn’t believe it. Industry cable markup is what made Monoprice as huge as they are. They sell cables dirt-cheap and still make enough money to continue expanding. I will never pay $30 for a lightning cable.

    Ok, rant over. Go back to what you were doing.

  • Luke MacWalker

    One thing looks totally lost on people praising this Apple’s decision: the price cut is time limited. If this is to ease the transition, do you really expect the transition will be finished in 2 months? This makes no sense and I think it should be filed as “bullshit”, like Schiller saying the MacBook Pro is machine used by audio professionals and as such had to retain the Jack connector… but without its optic output!

    I don’t care so much about adapters, except the SD card, as I think I would rather buy cables, but the price hike and the lies and poor excuses are really, really disappointing, to says the least. And worrying.