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Apple is killing the USB port

Apple is killing the USB port

We have been reporting about Apple's rumored plan to revamp its Mac line and the changes we have gathered. We even advised readers that even with the hefty price cuts and discounts offered with the current (and soon to be older) models,  shoppers should wait until the new versions drop.

Now that Apple has confirmed its October 27 event with the tagline "Hello Again," referencing the word "hello" used to introduce the original Mac in 1984, it is all but certain that we will see the unveiling of new versions of the MacBook laptop line.

This is great news for the MacBook Pro since this line has not been refreshed since 2012. The long overdue update will surely bring with it significant upgrades and improvements like the Touch ID power button and the touch-sensitive OLED bar above the keyboard codenamed "Dynamic Row Function."

Macbook Pro New

Rumored OLED TouchBar on new MacBook Pro

These all sound like great features to have but just as with the floppy disk and the CD drives before it, what traditional hardware feature is on the chopping block?

We all know that the headphone jack was removed from the iPhone 7 and now, there's an expected change in the MacBook line that will surely be as polarizing: the removal of the traditional USB ports in favor of a newer standard, USB Type-C.

First introduced on an Apple product with last year's MacBook, a single USB Type-C port replaced all traditional ports and connectors for charging, data transfers and connecting external gadgets. This means with the latest MacBook refreshes, we are going to say goodbye to the SD card slot, the Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3 ports, and the MagSafe 2 power connector.

If you are wondering what exactly a USB-C port is, well it is smaller than the traditional USB port and it is reversible. USB-C also has twice the theoretical speed of USB 3.0 and it can handle higher power loads.

USB Type-C

Click here to read more about USB-C.

The biggest drawback with this change is compatibility. The ubiquitous traditional USB port has been gracing our computers and gadgets for about 20 years now. Although it has gone through several versions and improvements, one thing remains the same: the shape of the port.

USB-C has a different port shape so USB 3.0 adapters will have to be purchased separately to connect older gadgets. Also, similar to the 2015 MacBook, charging will be done via USB-C port and a separate USB 3.0 to Thunderbolt 3 adapter for peripherals will be required. (Apple conveniently sells a $79 USB-C dock that will provide multiple ports for USB 3.0, power and HDMI video.)

What we are hoping for is that Apple will provide more than one USB-C port for the MacBook Pro. Earlier rumors suggested that we might see four USB-C connectors and I hope that will be the case. A single USB-C port might be fine for a MacBook or a MacBook Air but even with a Thunderbolt 3 port, a single USB-C port for charging and other connections sounds too limiting for a portable workhorse computer like the MacBook Pro.

So will the death of the traditional USB port make you think twice about getting this new line of MacBooks? Drop us a comment below!

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