Many Apple fans have been irked by how the new line of MacBook Pro laptops offers only Thunderbolt 3 ports (which are backward compatible with USB-C). To connect to existing peripherals, users will require one or more adapters, such as those for USB-A, DisplayPort, HDMI, Ethernet, and even older implementations of Thunderbolt. See “Explaining Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, and Everything In Between” (3 November 2016) for a thorough explanation.
Apple doesn’t get any points for thinking ahead, but happily, the company does appear to be responding to the waves of criticism. According to the Loop, Apple is dropping prices on many of its adapters through the end of 2016. Affected products 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
Apple is also discounting other USB-C products sold in the company’s online store, such as the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II Card USB-C Reader, which drops from $49 to $29.
If you purchased any of these adapters in the past 14 days — Apple’s return window — the company may automatically credit you for the difference in price; Adam Engst got email from Apple about that after the initial publication of this article. If you don’t hear from Apple in a few days, I recommend calling them and asking for a partial refund. I did that and obtained a $30 refund for my USB-C to USB Adapter and my Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter.
MacRumors reports that Apple has also cut the price of the LG UltraFine 5K Display, which it developed with LG, from $1299 to $974 until the end of 2016. Also, Apple slashed the price of the LG UltraFine 4K Display from $699 to $524. The 5K Display isn’t yet available for sale but should launch in December 2016.
Apple could have avoided the entire hullaballoo by including an adapter or two in the box with new MacBook Pros or giving customers the option to receive the adapter of their choice for free when ordering. Instead, Apple came off as trying to nickel-and-dime its most eager customers, who were already spending significant sums on the company’s latest gear. And even still, dropping the prices only through the end of 2016 seems stingy, given that Apple’s adapters and cables are almost always the most expensive by far.