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Circuit Breaker

Apple is finally selling its own Thunderbolt 3 USB-C cables

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Why aren’t these the standard ones, again?

It’s taken a while, but Apple is finally selling its own Thunderbolt 3 USB-C cables in the Apple Store. The company introduced MacBook Pro models that exclusively used USB-C over a year ago, with support for the faster Thunderbolt 3 data transfer standard. But when Apple released all of its USB-C dongles and accessories with the MacBooks, one thing was conspicuously missing: an actual Apple Thunderbolt 3 cable.

Apple makes USB-C to USB-C cables already, but those only transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds and are generally meant more for charging than data. So customers have been stuck with third-party cables for Thunderbolt 3, like the $29.99 Belkin one that Apple has stocked for the last year-plus.

But now, Apple finally makes its own Thunderbolt 3 cable. It’s a 0.8-meter (2.62-foot) USB-C to USB-C cable, and it can transfer data at up to 40 Gbps while charging at up to 100W. It costs $39, or twice what Apple’s two-meter-long cable that it includes with its laptops goes for.

Why Apple didn’t just include Thunderbolt 3 cables from the start instead of making two virtually identical-looking cables with vastly different data transfer capabilities — and why it isn’t including the new cable with MacBook Pro purchases going forward — is more unclear. Still, if you’ve been looking for an official Apple option, now you have one.