Why is USB Type-C adoption so slow?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Yr Blues, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I don't think anything at this years NAMM included any USB Type-C devices.

    I really do want to discard my dongles.
  2. Wowereit macrumors 6502a

    Feb 1, 2016
    Does your USB equipment use fixed cables?
    If you can replace cables, you could get a USB-whatever to USB-C cable and be done with it.

    Regarding analog and optical audio, USB-C isn't an option anyway.
  3. ajcgn macrumors regular


    Oct 19, 2014
    Toronto, Ontario
    I feel pretty obsolete, I don't have a single usb c device at home or at work
  4. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
    Buy some dongles, it's gonna take a minute.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Fearless prediction:

    Five years from now -- 2022 -- USB-c products will comprise 20-25% of the TOTAL market of USB products sold.
    If that much...

    Apple is trying to do with USB-c, what it did previously with firewire and thunderbolt -- that is to say, to "push the market" in a particular direction.

    How well did that strategy work with firewire?
    How well did that strategy work with thunderbolt?
  6. frankgrimes macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2016
    Because USB B is doing a damn fine and stable job for the most part? There are already powerbanks that can charge a SP 4 and maybe even a MBP.

    Welcome to the club, I don't have one either guess my first one is going to be my next Notebook or the Note 8 if it has that slot.
  7. ZapNZs, Jan 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    My guesses are:
    • Unlike 3-A, the plug is not directly backwards compatible with 2, which still comprises billions of components, and most Buyers today may still be most interested in USB-A (bear in mind the Macs tend to adopt newer technologies earlier...sometimes several years earlier) - Where as someone with a legacy system with only USB 2 capability could buy a USB 3 component (and this would encourage them to eventually upgrade to a system with USB 3), this isn't possible with Type C and so this could only be incentivized if a component accepts both A + C, which can drive up costs, leading someone to opt for the A-only version
    • The USB IF has made USB-C unnecessarily dangerous through their inaction until just recently, and this isn't good for PR, because USB-C may be becoming increasingly associated as being "unsafe" (even though it should be extremely safe)
    • USB 3-A had the added justification of being capable of high speed transfers that 2-A could not - the speed increase of 3-A to 3.1/C may be less justifiable, especially if we are talking about HDDs or SATA SSDs
    • While many Makers are beginning to offer computers with USB-C ports, they aren't making a tremendous effort to offer in-house peripherals and instead are sticking mainly to adapters, which may encourage the continued purchase/usage of USB 3-A hubs. I have felt and I still feel Apple should have developed Apple-branded USB-C hubs.
    • A limited selection of low-cost, high-reliability, durable, safe, AND inexpensive USB-C hubs may further encourage consumers to use a C-->A adapter and go with a USB 3 hub instead of investing in new C-components
    • Before embracing USB-C, some may be waiting several years to see how it pans out after frustration with USB 3's interference with Bluetooth and 2.4 WiFi signals (USB 3.1-C is supposed to be far better shielded than 3 IIRC)
  8. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    I guess it depends on what you mean by a USB-C device?

    I don't see many peripherals with USB-C ports on them, but while it would be great if all we needed was USB-C cables to connect everything, it doesn't matter that much if they don't have a fixed cable because you can simply get a USB-C to USB-B (mini, micro or 3.1) cable and the peripheral "becomes" a USB-C device in the same way it "becomes" a USB-A device with a USB-A to USB-B cable

    Where things are more problematic is things with fixed USB-A connectors (such as memory sticks, etc) - There are a few USB-C memory sticks (such as this one) and some that have both USB-C and USB-A connectors (such as this one), but I think it will take a few years for them to become ubiquitous
  9. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I like USB-C. My Samsung portable drive (T-3) has it, and did my Nexus phone. All of the new Samsung Galaxy phones will be USB-C. They work great and never have to worry about which way to insert the plug.

    Hopefully, Apple moves to USB-C for the iPhone 7S. That will push adoption way up.
  10. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    That is indeed a fearless prediction.

    Firewire was designed by Apple and picked up by Intel. Thunderbolt was designed by Intel and picked up by Apple.

    USB-C was implemented by the USB-IF of which there are many signatories. I think it will do fine.

  11. ThisBougieLife macrumors 68000


    Jan 21, 2016
    SF Bay Area, California
    Don't buy dongles, by USB-C cables; there are a number of them out there. I found ones for micro-USB, mini-USB, USB 3.0-B, etc. Much more aesthetically pleasing than using dongles.
  12. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    I don't think the adoption is slow. It's still USB, just a different connector. A number of manufacturers now have USB-C ports on their devices. New connector is suitable for any device (Computer/Mobile/Accessory), so finally I don't need a bag full of various USB-A to whatever I need cables. USB-A is great but it's too bulky for modern applications. Now we can finally have 1 single cable for everything.

    So there's no need to make USB-A stuff anymore, and I think more-so you'll just see more devices with a separate cable, and USB-C port. So you can easily change the cable at a later date. Therefore direct adoption will be slow as it would be silly to make only USB-C stuff, but having the option going forward is a better idea.

    As others have said, buying new cables saves a lot of hassle. One thing that is causing an issue though is the higher rated cables. I think they should stipulate that any USB-C cable can handle 100w power, make things a little easier for the consumer.
  13. Macalway macrumors 68020

    Aug 7, 2013
    I agree with most of these posts. Apple is trying to push it. It failed in the past, but hope springs eternal; maybe three time's a charm? :D

    But I wouldn't count on it. And to think that previously, they had at least hedged their bets. This time they are all-in; all the eggs in one basket.

    So, if it fails we are left with turkeys. Dongle dongle dongle.
  14. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    When have they tried to push stuff in the past? I get confused with comments like that, I take it you're referring to Firewire/Thunderbolt? Each of those was a high speed data transfer port, nothing to do with USB. Which is why they still had USB ports. The new MBP still has USB ports, they've just removed the FW/TB ports as USB-C is good enough to replace them.
  15. Macalway, Jan 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017

    Macalway macrumors 68020

    Aug 7, 2013
    That's true. Just saying it's going to be a while before there are some things are reworked to work %100 this way, or to natively support USB-C. As far as I can tell there's no problem at all with USB, but the TB3 is causing me some problems with the Apple TB adapter.

    So the point is, it sort of has to work for all these things, and not just USB, or it's broken and could fail, however unlikely (but this is assumption). Not only did they put all their eggs in one basket, but they put all their baskets in one basket.
  16. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    I've heard a few issues with the TB to do with chipsets and stuff. https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT207256 https://9to5mac.com/2016/11/03/2016-macbook-pro-thunderbolt-compatibility-issues/

    TB always seemed expensive to implement which led to competition in the chipsets I think. A pain, but we shouldn't get that issue with USB-C at least with it being USB and royalty free. Silver lining and all.
  17. aevan macrumors 68030


    Feb 5, 2015

    Apple, Google, every PC manufacturer, and most likely Microsoft with the next version of the Surface line. Also, Wacom, the industry standard for artists is USB-C only with new models.

    2022 - most things will be USB-C.
  18. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Many of the above answers are correct I think.

    I would add these two cents:

    We have become accustomed to mobile technology being adopted at very rapid speed, and that is not sustainable long-term, nor even desirable. Don't expect new complex standards to become adopted as fast as, for example, smartphones evolved to all have fantastic mobile cameras.

    Think back to desktop computers and laptops - standards like these take time and stability before reaching a critical mass.

    As others have mentioned, one thing slowing down adoption is the fact that existing technology is for the most part sufficient, and there is no critical need for the new standards.

    I think USB-C, or same near variant of it (maybe USB 3.3 or something like that), will reach critical mass within 2 or 3 years. In 5 years, it will be easier to buy a USB-C cable in a corner convenience store than a microUSB cable.

    Until then, USB-A to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A dongles will be our life, like it or not. If you buy a non-USB-C laptop today, you will need more and more dongles over time as accessories begin to come with USB-C standard, but when you do finally upgrade to a USB-C laptop it will be great. If you buy a USB-C laptop today, you will need lots of dongles today, but they will become less and less useful as accessories begin to come with USB-C standard, until one day you will realize you don't need the dongles anymore, but by then you'll probably want a new laptop anyway. So, go hike a mountain, enjoy nature, and don't worry so much about cable standards, because you're going to live a dongle life either way.
  19. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    I was pretty shocked the new Surface PC didn't have any USB-C ports to be honest.

    Anyway 2022, I think you'll find that's the year we'll stop caring about USB and be all about getting off this trump ridden rock! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37486372

    Now if history is anything to go by, alien dropships are fully compatible with USB, so I hope that they have upgraded to USB-C too otherwise we're in trouble!

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