Update 11/4/2016 3:41pm ET: In response to widespread complaints about a dongle prices, Apple has expelled a following statement: “We commend that many users, generally pros, rest on bequest connectors to get work finished currently and they face a transition. We wish to assistance them pierce to a latest record and peripherals, as good as accelerate a expansion of this new ecosystem. Through a finish of a year, we are shortening prices on all USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 peripherals we sell, as good as a prices on Apple’s USB-C adapters and cables.”
- USB-C to normal USB: $9 (was $19)
- Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2: $29 (was $49)
- USB-C to Lightning (1 meter): $19 (was $25)
- USB-C to Lightning (2 meter): $29 (was $35)
- Multiport Adapter with HDMI, USB, USB-C: $49 (was $69)
- Multiport Adapter with VGA, USB, USB-C: $49 (was $69).
Third-party USB-C peripherals have also perceived a 25% cost cut, and SanDisk’s SD Card reader was slashed from $49 to $29. None of these changes directly residence a issues discussed in a post below, though they do relate to Apple’s altogether dongle business and consumer unhappiness over being forced to strip out so many money for adapters.
Original Story Below:
It seems that soundness is attained, not when there is zero some-more to add, though when there is zero some-more to take away. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
In a 5 years given Steve Jobs died, I’ve generally resisted a titillate to review his reign during Apple with Tim Cook’s. Given a prolonged lead times in product development, it was never satisfactory to arbitrarily collect a indicate and contend that this product represented Steve Jobs’ quintessential leadership, while that product represented Tim Cook. That is, until today. Tim Cook has left his symbol on Apple, though it’s not a company’s iPhone, iPad, or Mac products that heed him from his prototype — it’s a dongles.
The stupidity of a conditions is orderly prisoner by a following fact: None of Apple’s newest laptops can bond to a possess flagship smartphones though regulating a dongle or purchasing a detached wire that doesn’t differently boat with any of Apple’ s hardware.
I’ve got zero opposite dongles. Over a years I’ve been in computing, I’ve purchased dozens, and hung on to dozens more. I’ve still got a few DVI-to-VGA and keyboard PS/2-to-USB adapters unresolved around a house, on a off possibility that a crony or neighbor will need to collect information off a PC that’s aged adequate to vote. Twist my arm, and I’ll acknowledge we even have a 3.5-inch floppy expostulate in storage, along with a few floppy expostulate cables. Dongles are great. Dongles are useful. But dongles were always a discord of what Apple claimed a Macintosh was all about.
In a early 1990s, Apple mocked Microsoft and a PC ecosystem for being overly difficult and requiring all demeanour of confusion to indeed make hardware duty smoothly. Granted, this was always some-more a offered play than a proof of technical superiority. Macs, too, could be upgraded and extended, and some of those upgrades were required if we wanted to use them for certain tasks. But Apple products have historically focused on charity what we indispensable or would need though requiring we to lift a wire bag.
Of dongles and courage
I’m not a Mac owners — detached from a corporate laptop we used behind in 2008, I’ve never used a Mac as a daily driver. But we do follow a expansion of Mac hardware, and a biggest trend we’ve seen given Tim Cook took over is a proliferation of dongles in a Mac ecosystem. The late-2013 revised Mac Pro kicked off a trend. The 2012 Mac Pro had 5x USB 2.0 ports, 4x FireWire 800 ports, dedicated digital audio ports, 4 inner expostulate bays, a SuperDrive, and twin gigabit Ethernet ports. The 2013 Mac Pro kept a twin gigabit Ethernet and substituted 5 USB 2.0 ports for 4x USB 3.0 ports, though dumped a FireWire 800 standard, dedicated digital audio, inner expostulate bays, expandable PCIe cards, and a SuperDrive. In their place, it offering 6x Thunderbolt 2 ports and a dongles you’d need to bond your aged hardware to a new standard.
In Mar 2015, Apple denounced a MacBook Retina, a new appurtenance with usually dual ports: A USB Type-C pier for charging (and all else), and a headphone jack. Reviews remarkable this as a poignant reduction of a machine, with some publications dogmatic that a miss of I/O support was a deal breaker. Apple contingency have favourite what it saw from sales figures, given a MacBook modernise progressing this year combined a faster CPU, some-more RAM, and a new “rose gold” tone — though not any some-more ports. Then, in a final 6 weeks, Apple dumped a iPhone 7’s headphone jack and got absolved of all though USB-C opposite a whole rested line of MacBook Pros, that brings us to a stream ridiculous situation, in that a iPhone 7 doesn’t boat with a wire that can bond to a newest MacBook Pro, while a MacBrook Pro doesn’t boat with a wire that connects to a iPhone 7. Given that Apple tends to run a possess ecosystem, we’d lay contingency that many MacBook owners are also iPhone owners, though a company’s finished hardware doesn’t simulate that reality.
Apple has a prolonged story of transfer standards prolonged before a rest of a PC attention is prepared to follow suit. But Jobs and Cook went about it in unequivocally opposite ways. Under Jobs, Apple phased out certain standards, though it was always clever to possibly reinstate them with new technologies (the floppy to CD-ROM shift, for example), or to keep standards that gave business a comparatively elementary approach to say a same turn of functionality around widely determined standards like USB. Were there dongles? Absolutely — though dongles didn’t swing near-total control over your ability to interface with your possess hardware. Tim Cook has blazed an wholly opposite trail for himself, and we determine with Chris Matyszczyk at CNET: There was a time when Apple plainly mocked this strategy. Now, it’s embraced it.
One approach of interpreting Cook’s uncontrolled assign into donglehood is to disagree that he’s usually doing what Apple has always done, though that he’s been a bit too assertive about it, pulling capabilities opposite whole product lines where Jobs tended to keep during slightest a few options open for a longer duration of time. Another is that Cook, who started as Apple’s Senior VP for worldwide operations and has a repute for cost-cutting and supply sequence management, realizes how many money a dongle and appendage marketplace is potentially worth, and is peaceful to concede Apple’s pattern sensibility in his hunt for additional revenue.
While a sum volume wouldn’t be terribly vast in comparison to a company’s smartphone and inscription business, dongles have proliferated opposite Apple products in a approach that implies they’re there for a reason — and it certain as heck isn’t given a company’s veteran business have been vagrant to reinstate integrated SD label slots, HDMI support, and USB 3.0 ports with dongles. We also doubt they’re quite anxious with a 16GB RAM extent on a MacBook Pro — a extent Apple has stranded to given it launched a 2010 MacBook Pro refresh.
There’s been some discussion, after final week, on either Apple and Microsoft have switched places, with Redmond pulling a pouch in terms of what PCs could be, while Apple plays it protected and creates sincerely medium changes to a hardware. we don’t unequivocally consider that’s loyal — Microsoft is pulling Surface into some of a usually niche PC markets that have seen postulated expansion in a past few years. Gaming PCs, high-end sales, and business/workstation products have all been comparatively clever categories compared with a ubiquitous market, that has taken a beating.
Put simply, Redmond wants to go reward given a mass marketplace is still collapsing. Apple’s Touch Bar might or might not infer to be an fast invention — this article argues that it’s a useful UI allege that’s designed to work with a laptop’s surreptitious interface, as against to a approach interface on Apple’s iPhones and iPads — though we won’t be means to decider that until we see what developers do with a new capability.
For now, Tim Cook’s vital present to a world, his fast grant to Apple hardware design, seems to be a dongle. We’d humbly advise he’s holding it wrong misreading Saint-Exupéry. And there’s no blank a fact that underneath Tim Cook, Apple’s laptops have grown considerably some-more expensive. To quote Ars Technica’s review of a $1,499 13-inch MacBook Pro: “The Mac Mini is dual years old, a Mac Pro is 3 years old, and a iMac usually missed out on a yearly modernise for a initial time given a 2012 models came out. The association is portion a entry-level Mac business by offered them 2015’s laptops probably unvaried for a same cost as it sole them for final year.”
When Steve Jobs denounced and after softened a MacBook Air, he set a customary that PC ultrabooks would essay to follow and best, with varying degrees of success. So far, no consumer product Apple has launched in 2016 has been anything like an homogeneous trendsetter. If a destiny of PCs is a little appurtenance and a path full of accessories, I’ll hang with a standing quo. Yes, in a unequivocally prolonged run, we might see a universe in that USB-C is used for roughly all — though HDMI, USB Type A, DisplayPort, Lightning, and SD cards aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.