Apple is cutting prices for all of its USB-C adapters following a week of complaints about the MacBook Pro’s inconvenient port situation.
The new MacBook Pro only has USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 ports, so the vast majority of the peripherals people use today will need adapters to work. Someday, all those devices will likely use USB-C, but that day is not today and the Pro users interested in Apple’s new computers have been vocal about the problem.
Apple released a statement explaining the price cut: "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 a sign that Apple recognizes these dongles are a hassle, and it seems to hope that reducing the prices on them will lessen the pain of this transition. Starting immediately, all of Apple’s USB-C adapters and some of its USB-C cables will have their prices cut by $6 to $20:
- USB-C to traditional USB adapter from $19 to $9
- Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter from $49 to $29
- USB-C to Lightning cable (1 meter) from $25 to $19
- USB-C to Lightning cable (2 meters) from $35 to $29
- Multiport adapter with HDMI, USB, and USB-C from $69 to $49
- Multiport adapter with VGA, USB, and USB-C from $69 to $49
Only USB-C charging cables aren’t being discounted.
Apple is also cutting prices by around 25 percent on all third-party USB-C peripherals that it sells. SanDisk’s USB-C SD card reader is getting a slightly steeper discount, from $49 to $29.
The discounted adapters will be available at Apple’s physical and online stores through the end of the year. It still has no plans to ship adapters in the box with the new MacBook Pro.
While it’s never been hard to find cheap USB-C adapters — they’ve always been plentiful on Amazon — these price cuts will still be a big help for early buyers of the MacBook Pro. Apple’s cables, unlike those you might order from a random seller online, are going to be well-made and reliable. With their prices cut lower, it now makes sense to buy from Apple instead of a seller you don’t have experience with.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar is already on sale, and reviews have been coming out — including our own — critical of Apple’s decision to use USB-C ports exclusively, effectively mandating that buyers use adapters to get anything connected. Cutting adapter prices doesn’t solve the problem, but it does ease the transition, something that Apple ought to be doing since it’s the one pushing people headfirst into this change in the first place.
Perhaps more important to Apple than any individual MacBook Pro review has been the mass of complaints on Twitter and various blogs from the very professionals who are supposed to buy these computers, with people saying that Apple isn’t meeting their needs. On one hand, Apple says that preorders for its new Pros are higher than for any prior MacBook. But on the other, it’s hard to imagine that inconveniences like this — however minor — won’t start to add up.