Will we ever see a MacBook with USB-A ports again?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by richro, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. richro macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2011
    ...or are they officially gone forever?

    This is a huge deal breaker for both my wife and I who regularly use USB devices on a daily basis. I'd like to upgrade our 2012 13" MacBook Air, but I'm not interested in having to use the silly USB-C dongles for accessories.
  2. RichardC300 macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2012
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Yes. Gone forever. Buy a 2015 MacBook Pro or Air until the world has completely moved onto USB-C.
  3. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    Don't buy dongles. Buy USB-C cables for the devices and be done with it.
  4. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    Yup. Also, one USB-C/A dongle is the same as having 1 USB-A port. Honestly nothing to worry about, wait to upgrade if you're that fussy. But you're not going to get USB-A ports anymore, pretty much everything has USB-C now. And now that Apple have had the balls to go all USB-C, we'll probably get more manufacturers following.
  5. raqball macrumors 68000

    Sep 11, 2016
    Apple is done with USB A but the rest of the computer world won't be for a long time.. When businesses and schools make the switch then USB A will be a goner... Until then, PC manufacturers will probably still include it, even if they reduce it down to one A and the rest C..
  6. CaptRB macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2016
    LA, California

    Just curious, but which devices are an issue?

    I have the following:

    Large format photo printer - Added a USB adapter for a few bucks and done.
    Superdrive - rarely needed, but I stuck an adapter on it anyway since they're so cheap.
    USB Thumb Drives - Can easily use with tiny adapter, but I also bought some new USB-C versions.
    4K Dell Monitor - as you know any good modern monitor will be DP to USB-C, so no issue there.
    Card readers - Same deal, stuck on some adapters and I don't even know they're there.

    I can't see how this impacts anyone and whenever I ask for details...they don't seem to come. But I figure some folks have some sort of gear that's not going to work with the new ports, but I don't know what they are.

  7. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
    How long did you wait to 'upgrade' from your floppy disc drive?

    USB-C is here to stay and it's NOT just Apple. This is an industry wide move that had many of the biggest players inputing on it's design. Let go of USB-A and move into the future. It REALLY is a good thing.
  8. richro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2011
    Mostly thumb drives (SanDisk Ultra Fit which barely protrude, and thus stay on 24/7) and various USB charging cables. I still think it's a hassle (and added expense) to buy and carry multiple adapters/cables/dongles.

    Oh well, I guess I'll wait to upgrade for now...
  9. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    It's not something that is going to change or get any better for you if you wait... You are going to have to let go at some point and upgrade stuff or swap out cables, if you want a new computer. USB-A is obsolete at this stage, doesn't mean you can't use it, but also means modern computers shouldn't use it.
  10. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    It isn't obsolete yet just like DVD, Blu-ray, HDMI, and 1080p TV's aren't obsolete yet. Different standards can still co-exist when a newer standard succeeds over the older one. Heck, even the iPhone 7 doesn't use USB-C yet like some Android flagships or has wireless charging when Apple is pushing for wireless headphones. Just because Apple wants to move to USB-C with their computers doesn't mean it gets obsolete in other industries.

    MicroSD is still the common standard for expandable storage on mobile devices. There are phones that use mini-sim and micro-sim. Wi-Fi "n" from 2009 is still good enough speeds for people than having Wi-Fi ac. People are still happy with a 4" inch screen iPhone SE with 326ppi or don't care for 2K or 4K displays. Changes and going forward doesn't make everything around us obsolete overnight. USB-A will be around for a very long time no different than 720p/1080p TVs with HDMI cables.
  11. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    Maybe I wasn't clear, USB-"A" is obsolete, USB-"C" is the future. Note that both are still "USB". Just as WiFi n or ac, or b g a, are still "WiFi".

    It's the connector that is obsolete, not the technology. USB will be around for many years, the difference here is that the connector should also follow. Unless you forgot about USB-"B", micro-b, mini-b, hdd connector, SS, and various other random connectors on the other end of that cable.

    Curious why you think USB-A will be around for a very long time. I mean sure there will still be cables out there, but there's no difference as physically (Yes there's a lot more under the hood) it's just a different shaped connector, it doesn't matter what that is but wouldn't it be great if both ends were the same instead of the multitude of different usb cables we have these days?

    OP: If it really concerns you, just be aware you can buy a $30 dock and have all the connectors you could possibly want.
  12. SamVilde macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2008
    New York City
    This is trickier than other transitions because "making the switch" involves other people. I'm getting a MacBook Pro; I will soon only have USB-C inputs. All the computers at work are likely to stay all USB-A for some years to come. I can buy only devices that work with my laptop at home, but then I'll need an adaptor to use them at work. Or vice versa. I think all the people who imagine the world changing in the next 12-18 months are deluding themselves. Even Apple can't ship their new phones or ear pods with a USB-C cable. My brand new Beats are USB-A. My GoPro has a USB-C input, but I can only connect it through a USB-A port. I'm ready for and open to this future that everyone says is coming, but it's frustrating to see no absolutely no evidence that it's actually coming.
  13. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    Yes I agree with this. However the solution is to just buy a cheap dock and leave it at work if this is a genuine concern, or if it's a case of accessory support then buy a USB-C/A adaptor and leave that at work. The main issue here is going to be easily sharing files via memory sticks, although all offices I've been to in the last 5 years have had servers which handle file exchanges, or if you have Macs just use airdrop.

    What do you mean your GoPro has a usb-c port but you can only connect it trough usb-a? Did it only come with a usb-c/a cable? Could you not buy a different cable?
  14. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    I have a client issued computer lying around coincidentally. It is a year old thinkpad that has usb-a, ethernet, pcmcia slot, sd card, mDP, vga, and a dvd drive. Yes, PC's will continue to hold onto these ports and they will be available for purchase for years. They will just look like this thinkpad. On the cutting edge computers from Lenovo or anyone else, ports will be harder to come by as they prioritize form, which people are willing to shell out premium for, even with the downside of losing ports. Depends on what you're willing to tolerate to hold on to ports.
  15. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    USB-A is gone on Macs. Welcome your new USB-C overlord. PCs are coming on-board too.

    I've had my 2016 MBP for over a month now. Not having a diversity of on-board IS as big of a PITA as I thought it would be, esp. no HDMI out. But it's still an improvement over my once great 2012 rMBP. The only thing that is really detestable is the keyboard which feels like it belongs on something made by Fisher-Price.

    So if you are in need of a new machine, take the jump. USB A isn't coming back. Expect more of the same and less in the future.
  16. happyslayer macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    Sorry no. Apple never puts things it gets rid of back. In a few years, pretty much all laptops will missing them. Apple is known for killing things a little early and the rest of the manufactures spend time catching up.
  17. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003

    Buy a 2015 while you still can.
  18. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    You won't see USB-A on a MacBook or MB Pro just like you never saw an ADB port on an iMac.

    We've been through this before.
  19. bartvk macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2016
    The Netherlands
  20. alex0002 macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2013
    New Zealand
    In my mind, the really obsolete interfaces are:

    USB mini B - non reversible, poor insertion lifetime and deprecated in favour of micro B
    USB micro B - non reversible and difficult to align in poor light
    Lightning - expensive solution for reversible connector and unlike USB-C will never be universal.

    The (non apple) phone industry is moving from micro B to USB-C and I'm avoiding these obsolete connectors for peripherals if at all possible. I expect that business will support USB-A for a long time, just like the business world still uses VGA for most video.

    The answers are as given earlier - 2015 model from the refurb store, or dongles/docks/adaptors and/or new cables.
  21. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Apple continues to sell the 2015 MacBook Pro, so it's not ditching USB-A . The 2015 will continue to be popular for business needs, as its fast and the igpu is better
  22. Fishrrman, Jan 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017

    Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "I'd like to upgrade our 2012 13" MacBook Air, but I'm not interested in having to use the silly USB-C dongles for accessories."

    I don't see the USB-a ports coming back. I could be proven wrong.

    If you're looking to "upgrade", consider the 2015 MacBook Pro 13" instead.
    The 2015 models remain in the product lineup (you have to click the "buy" button in the Apple online store to see them). They can still be custom-ordered, as well.
    They can also be bought as "Apple refurbished" for a good price savings.

    They have a full complement of "legacy ports", and a better keyboard than the 2016's (in my opinion). Also, no problems with the battery.

    I bought one myself…

    Editorial comment:
    You'll see folks here saying "USB-a is gone, USB-c is the new standard".
    Whoa. Not quite yet.
    I don't foresee USB-c becoming the standard for years yet. By "standard", I mean that the majority of products sold will be using it.
    I predict that USB-a will continue to rule the market for at least 5 more years, perhaps longer. And that we'll still be seeing USB-a on new PC's fully 10 years from today.
    Apple has done this before -- tried to "force" newer tech onto the customer base.
    Look at firewire.
    Look at thunderbolt.
    Neither became "standards" in the market, though both were useful.
    Where is firewire today?
    How many are really -using- thunderbolt (in the combined world of Macs AND PC's) today?
  23. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    USB-A is going to be seen less and less. USB-C has many advantages technically (higher bandwidth, high power transmission, TB-3 support, etc.) , and probably more importantly physically. You cannot insert it backwards. This is a probably more important to most users than any technical changes.

    Android phones use it more and more, with Samsung making the switch this summer with the flaming hot (pun intended) Note 7. The Galaxy S8, and all future upper end Samsung phones will have USB-C. HTC, Google, and others also use USB-C.

    Apple really should have adopted USB-C with the iPhone 7. Maybe they will with the 7s.
  24. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    It's worth mentioning here that these were never meant to become 'standards'. USB is a standard, as it's literally universal. Firewire/TB were aimed at faster data transfer and not as a universal standard like USB is. USB-C is just the next evolution of USB, the connector has been redesigned to make it smaller so that it can be applied to more areas, such as smartphones, where USB-A is too big. It's also been made reversible, which is something of a modern bonus.

    Where USB shines is its ability to be adaptable and used by a variety of different products. And USB-C adds to this by adding much faster transfer rates, much higher power transfer, as well as higher grade audio and video. This means that USB-C can be just about anything and truly universal. This is why we have a device with only USB-C as it is finally possible to merge all other ports into a simple and single interface.

    Oh and FW/TB were never meant for the consumer, a lot of pro grade equipment, particularly within video editing, use these for the faster transfer speeds.
  25. Dydegu macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2015
    Get a couple of these. I have two and they work great in a small footprint.

    The ports should not be a deal breaker. We are in a time of transition.

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