Removing I/O ports from devices is nothing new for Apple. In fact, the company has become known for it over the last few years. However, its last few decisions to remove several key I/O ports could be hurting the company more than ever.
Over the last few years Apple has always been one of the first in making major changes to the I/O it provides on its products. The first major change was a few years ago when Apple hopped on the Thunderbolt bandwagon, removing key ports on their MacBook Pros and Airs in place for Thunderbolt. The change led Apple to create a variety of expensive dongles and adapters, and the company has continued the pattern. Earlier this year, Apple announced a 12” MacBook with only one USB-C port. This made charging the device and trying to use an external drive, for example, impossible unless you purchased a dongle from Apple or from a third-party.
In September, Apple unveiled its new iPhone 7. The device lost its 3.5mm headphone jack, and only had a single Lightning port. Again, trying to charge the device and use wired headphones was impossible, unless you purchased a dongle to allow charging and listening to music with a traditional pair of 3.5mm headphones. Using 3.5mm headphones by itself required a dongle, which Apple included with the phone, but it was very small and easy to misplace. Then again last month, Apple unveiled its new MacBook Pro witch had two/four USB-C ports (depending on the model you purchase) and one 3.5mm headphone jack. Using a pair of 3.5mm headphones wasn’t a problem. However, trying to connect your iPhone or iPad required, yes you guessed it, another overpriced adapter or a new cable form Apple itself. Users would need an adapted to use an HDMI monitor, a VGA monitor, wired Ethernet, or any USB-A device (traditional full-sized USB port). Apple also removed the SD Card Reader, thus requiring users to purchase another third party adapter. The beloved MagSafe charging port, that prevented tripping on the charging cable and damaging your device, was also removed. Critics immediately started complaining, and it looks like these recent decisions have been hurting the tech giant.
Last Friday, Apple released a statement saying:
"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."
The price cut is aimed towards those who have complained about the outrageous prices Apple charges for its dongles. It is also aimed to keep people from buying cheaper adapters on Amazon, that could potentially be faulty or take business from Apple. Below are all of the adapters that received a price cut:
· USB-C to USB A – Originally $19, Now $9
· Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter – Originally $49, Now $29
· USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter – Originally $69, Now $49
· USB-C to VGA Multiport Adapter – Originally $69, Now $49
· USB-C to Lightning Cable (1m) – Originally $25, Now $19
· USB-C to Lightning Cable (2m) – Originally $35, Now $29
Apple will also credit customers that have already purchased the adapters. For those that have a pending order, Apple will charge the new sale price. If you have been waiting to purchase the new dongles, make sure to order them by the end of the year as the sale only lasts until then.
It finally looks as though Apple has listened to its customers on the argument of dongles, but only time will tell if they continue to listen or return to their old habits.