Why I think USB C transition will be very long.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by /V\acpower, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2007
    Ok, I just wanted to start a topic about something that's been bothering me lately about USB C.

    Personally I love USB C and I totally want it to become the "standard" for every peripheral as soon as possible.

    And I am totally on board with using dongles to achieve that. I personally own a 2016 non-TB MacBook Pro, which mean I have only 2 USB C ports.

    Personally I don't use usb peripherals often. Once in a while to do a local backup of my iPhone and transfer some files to it, I use a usb key about 3-4 times a year. My main use for USB C actually is for connecting my Mac to external displays/projector.

    However, something has been bothering me very much, the fact that it's almost impossible to find a "USB C to multiple USB C Hub", and I think that is a very big problem if we want peoples to transitions.

    Because the whole idea of dongles and having USB C right now is that eventually peoples will buy new accessories who will be by default USB C. USB C Key, Harddrives with USB C cables, mouse, keyboard, even monitors with USB C, etc.

    The problem is that right now if you are a "super giga early adopter" and you want to shift 100% to USB C. USB C key, USB C cables for all your connections and such, you will hit a wall : There is almost no way for you to simply get a hub to connect more usb C device than what is already on your device. That is a huge problem because right now if you want to connect more than 2 devices to the 2016 nTB MBP, you cannot use USB C, you have to have USB A devices, or HDMI, DP, VGA screens connector.

    It is super easy to find hubs that will give you tons of legacy ports, but almost none who can simply give you the same amount of usb c ports.

    So how is someone supposed to make the transition to USB C if you cannot add more USB C port through a simple hub ?

    (Of course, it is technically possible to make usb C to usb C hub, however right now, while I search on the web, it's almost impossible to find one) (but if you find one, feel free to put a link !)
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Another problem is that the average quality of USB-C cables and hubs is still fairly low, which of course sabotages the entire enterprise. Frankly, I was hoping that Apple would do more in the terms of providing the infrastructure for the switch (high-quality cabling, convertor chips, etc.), but it seems that they expect third party to fill the void. And its not working out too good. For instance, good luck finding a full-spec thunderbolt 3 cable in Europe. The accessory market needs more than just a simple nudge.
  3. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    The rate at which users are keeping their existing devices longer, sometimes 5 to 8 years, over the industry norm of 3 years, this transition won't happen overnight. Even Apple themselves realize that. The 2017 iMac still includes USB A in addition to USB C. The company's flagship smartphone and tablets still use lighting to USB A cables. If you want a thunderbolt to USB C cable, Apple has one for $29.

    There are other factors at play too, wireless connectivity could reduce the speed of the transition to USB C completely. Maybe this is something Apple is looking at. Within five years, we might be approaching one USB C devices like the retina MacBook. There are wireless printers, you can connect your iPhone and iPad over wireless to sync with iTunes, you are most likely streaming content, reducing the need to sync with iTunes.

    So, to Apple, its not really a big deal whether you rush to adopt it or not. They would rather no ports at all. The next iPhone will likely support wireless charging, which is embarking on a holy grail for the company where USB C itself becomes legacy.
  4. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68020

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    I was at Best Buy this afternoon and they had a USB-C to USB-C hub on the shelf, along with many other USB-C adapters.
  5. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    If there's demand for a product, people will make it.
  6. skottichan macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2007
    Columbus, OH
    I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Wacom doing USB-C with the new Cinitqs
  7. argentum47 macrumors regular


    Jun 18, 2014
    Another problem is that even Apple is being half assed in transitioning to USB-C.
    Newest iPhones and iPads still come with USB-A chargers and cables.
    If they were sincere in their transition to USB-C (instead of trying to squeeze profit margin by holding bundle accessories cost low), they should've moved to full USB-C cables by default on all devices this year, with USB-C to USB-A dongles as the option.
  8. killawat, Jun 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017

    killawat macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2014
    I completely agree . Today it IS possible to live in a fully USB-C eco system. USB-C monitors, drive enclosures, connecting to phones, ethernet adapters etc etc.

    But most adapters only come with one, at max two USB-C ports.

    OP I think its more of a technical issue than anything else but like I said, I agree with you 100%. No USB-C hubs available. TB3 docks are nice (I have one) the TS3 lite includes two extras (one TB3 and one USB-C on the front).

    I would love to see a five or ten port TB3 to USB-C hub from the usual vendors (Anker, Hootoo etc). Plenty of bandwidth to go around, Premium kit using the best VIA chipsets with enough Juice to run those hungry 10W enclosures and such.

    But most vendors are spinning their wheels trying to offer solutions that restore functionality (such as multitap solutions with SD card readers, HDMI, USB-A and the like). The hyperdrive is OK but still you get all that extra stuff alongside the two USB-C ports (in exchange for two TB3).

    I think vendors will offer what we need soon, I think the demand is just too low for now. Its just us enthusiasts and junkies at the present time.
  9. Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    Always maintained Apple should have offered a dock similar to Microsoft's Surface Dock, on release of the 2016 MBP. As this would have softened the blow for many, they chose not too for their own reasons.

    Majority of businesses are not interested unless they see any advantage to USB C/TB-3, nor is it 100% reliable currently, especially with display devices. Complexity of USB C also tends to work against it as the accessory vendors can produce USB 3 type A peripherals for a fraction of the cost, priced far more attractively, with better margin, versus the still relatively expensive USB C, let alone TB-3. Add in that USB C is far less forgiving to deviations from the standard you can see their reluctance to step up.

    Thunderbolt has always been niche and will remain so as the vast majority of users do not have any purpose for the additional performance, likely remaining to be in the domain of relatively few professionals until consumer technology demands such bandwidth.

    USB C will happen, equally it will be a relatively slow journey, with the mobile market being the stronger driving factor...

  10. ZapNZs, Jun 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    I actually think it will be faster than I initially expected. A few months ago, my guess was at least 5 years before it overtakes USB-A. However, many of our accessories we carry are now USB-C, and we sell a lot more than just Apple products. In fact, our in store brand external 2.5 inch SATA enclosures now have a USB-C port on the enclosure side, and come only with a USB-C to USB-A cable. How crazy awesome is that?! It's still acknowledges that USB-A is the dominant standard, but makes transitioning to USB-C as simple as a cable.

    Part of the reason for the speed up may be because consumers are wising up to the garbage that is USB Mini/Micro and are demanding the far more durable & versatile USB-C. When interacting with customers, I tell them not to buy devices that use other forms of USB as the charging port because they all suck big dongs compared to USB-C. Further, with as many bad experiences as people have had with USB Micro/Mini, as soon as you explain to them all of the benefits of USB-C they are pretty much sold on it and are ready to only buy a model with USB-C (you would be amazed how many tablets and phones with USB Mini/Micro see an early death because the charging port is so fragile...)

    I agree we need more USB-C dock selections - especially since many Windows computers only have one USB-C port, and that port on some Windows devices will offer 3.1 gen 2 like the MBP (so an extra 5 Gbps to incentivize using USB-C even more - and when we are talking about multiple devices being used at once, the 10 Gbps of gen2 vs. 5 Gbps of gen1 can make a big difference in terms of flexibility.)

    I think Apple missed a great opportunity in making an Apple-branded dock. By not doing this, they left everyone fend on their own for certain USB-C/TB3 products, where as I think many owners would be glad to pay a few hundred bucks more to get something standardized directly by Apple.
  11. /V\acpower thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2007
    I'd like a link to that usb c to usb c hub.
  12. seadragon Contributor

    Mar 10, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    If Apple was really serious about USB-C, they would offered only those ports on the new iMac. They didn't do that. In fact, they quite strangely even put an improved SD card reader in the new machines. So, why did they hobble the MacBooks? Complete pain in the ***.
  13. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Uhm, desktop vs. laptop? Much more space on the iMac for all those extras.
  14. seadragon Contributor

    Mar 10, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Desktop vs laptop isn't the point IMO. If just a matter of space, they could have easily left the SD card reader in the laptop, but they didn't. This whole "Apple is leading the way with USB-C" and showing "courage" just went out the window. If they truly wanted to push the new ports, they would have made the iMac the same as the laptops. I'm not complaining though as I want the other ports.
  15. jrasero macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011

    I agree, I don't think this is like ditching an optical drive. I think the 2016-2017 Macbook models 2-3 years from now still are going to look bare bones ports wise and USB C still will be slowly being adapted. I think it will take a larger switch in consumer products like the iPhone switching to USB C for people to really adopt it.
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    It will be 5-7 years, possibly even longer, before the number of USB-c peripherals sold surpasses the number of USB-A peripherals sold.

    Could even be closer to TEN years.

    To steal the line from a Dylan song, USB-A "ain't goin' nowhere" any time soon.

    I have yet to encounter a USB-c peripheral to plug into my (USB-A) 2015 MacBook Pro...
  17. killawat, Jun 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017

    killawat macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2014
    So Apple basically can't win in this regard? Because people would riot if there were only usb-c ports on a dang iMac.

    Since the iMac is not hurting for space, the obvious advantage is for eGPU that displayed at WWDC. Now that Apple offers one, the iMac supports it too. Also you get 10 Gbps LAN with the plethora of NAS devices that support TB3 or other TB3 Macs. This is out of the box!! No adapters required!

    Replace Apple with "USB-C" and Microsoft with "USB-A" and the same could be said for here. Apple moved to USB-C because it met their agenda, skinniest tiniest notebooks on the market that look better than anything else available today and TB3 can do it all.

    Also Apple is the only vendor (Imo) to "get it right" by connecting the TB3 lanes directly to the CPU. This probably limited their options somewhat (their were only so many lanes available), in exchange for being able to drive 2x 5k monitors.

    USB-A does not have to disappear overnight for people to effectively use their 2016 MBP. I may not be able to walk to staples and grab something off the shelf, but I've been buying USB-C stuff off amazon since early 2016.
  18. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Do not mind the industry moving to USB-C but do mind when they remove all of your other ports including a SD card reader.
  19. seadragon Contributor

    Mar 10, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    There would be NO riots if they just left some useful ports like the card reader in the MBP and maybe offered just 2 USB-C. Then again, I'm someone who isn't a fan of the thinness game. I'd be happy with ports, larger battery and slightly thicker machine. For thin, there is the MB.

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