Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Portables (Apple) Desktops (Apple) OS X Operating Systems Software Apple News Hardware Technology

Apple Rumored To Remove Old-School USB Ports On Next MacBook Pro (vice.com) 316

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: First the headphone jack, now the USB port? Rumor has it that Apple may get rid of the USB 3.0 port and the Magsafe port (where the charger plugs in) on the next generation of MacBooks. Japanese tech site Macotakara, which accurately predicted that Apple would kill the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, now also claims that the USB port is on the way out. The move would be similar to Apple's latest 12-inch MacBook and its streamlined profile. There's also word that Apple may discontinue the 11-inch MacBook Air to focus instead on the 13-inch laptop. Discontinuing the 11-inch MacBook Air would also potentially boost sales on the 12-inch MacBook. If these rumors are in fact true, then the new MacBooks will have only a USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports. Both of these ports are about the size of the part of an iPhone charger that plugs into the phone. But since most laptop accessories still plug in via the USB port, Apple owners might have to use an adaptor, or upgrade their technology. Meanwhile, the new MacBooks would likely be charged through the USB-C port or Thunderbolt 3 port. Currently, Apple already sells a USB-C dock with other USB and HDMI ports for $79. The USB-C port uses USB 3.1 Standard, according to PCWorld, which will connect to a wide variety of accessories, such as external hard drives, cameras, and printers. The USB 3.1 can also transfer data between the host computer and the peripheral accessories at a speed of 10 gigabits per second, which is twice as fast as the USB 3.0. Apple is expected to reveal the new Macs at an October 27th event in Cupertino, California.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Rumored To Remove Old-School USB Ports On Next MacBook Pro

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @04:53PM (#53110065)

    I have a 2011 MacBook Pro.

    There is only one feature I require to justify an upgrade: a matte display.

    Apple didn't not provide it. Therefore, no upgrade.

  • by seoras ( 147590 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @04:57PM (#53110089)

    That would not be good. I've tripped over my power cable far too many times and been grateful for having Magsafe.
    I had hoped Apple would find a way of continuing MagSafe with USB-C even though they didn't with the MacBook.
    The only way I can envisage Apple keeping MagSafe with USB-C is to re-located it to the power brick end of the cable.
    Feels like a big step backwards if they don't do something to retain one of the best psychical features of Mac laptops.

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      Actually, it would be really easy to keep. You just make a six-inch USB-C-to-MagSafe adapter and plug your existing MagSafe or MagSafe 2 cable into that adapter. As an added bonus, the too-weak magnet used in MagSafe 2 would be adequate if it were in the middle of a cable instead of in a position to get knocked loose by your lap. And a MagSafe connection even a few inches into the cable would be just as good as a MagSafe connection on the device.

      Unfortunately, thanks to Apple's over-patenting, the only

      • I wonder what the thinking was during the transition from MagSafe to MagSafe 2? Were the original MagSafe connectors not always detaching?

        Opinion-wise, I'm of the same mind as the GP. I have tripped over Mac power cords and had the connector detach, potentially saving me from a costly repair. Worse, I've seen the same thing happen with my boss' MacBook USB-C connection... and the laptop went flying across a table (fortunately we caught it before it made it to the edge).

        It's also harder to find compelling en

      • by rgbscan ( 321794 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @05:26PM (#53110311) Homepage

        They already sell these on Amazon. Look for "breakaway usb-c cable"

    • Holy shit, magsafe is the best freaking thing in the entirety of the Apple universe. It is an oversight that it isn't on everything. iphones. ipads. Other vendors laptops. Electric toothbrushes. Vacuum sweepers. Magsafe is the pinnacle of all of Apple's output. It is genius so banal that mediocrity must slay it.

  • only 2 ports and no power jack?

    How fucking thing does this $1200+ laptop need to be and I can't get an NVIDA or ATI video card without paying at least $2000+

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @05:28PM (#53110327)

      How fucking thing does this $1200+ laptop need to be

      To meet Apple standards it needs to be at least 8.562 thing

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      If you're enough of a gamer to want to use an nVidia or AMD video card, then just buying any Apple product seems like a particularly bad move in the first place.

    • They're probably figuring that OS X alone makes the laptop so much more valuable than fully featured laptops running Windows 10, just b'cos of the OS being used.

      That said, why does the summary talk about the USB port in terms of version number? That says nothing. The proper way to describe a USB port and what sort of USB port we'll have would be the type used - Type A, Type B, Type C, Mini USB, Micro USB, et al. If Apple is thinking of dropping a Type A USB port, how does it expect anyone to connect th

    • The current rumors are for 4 USB-C ports and at least one Thunderbolt (and even possibly a Lightning port for headphones).

      We're just going to have to wait and see what's announced...

  • Escalation? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @05:01PM (#53110111)

    I'm thinking of history.

    1) Apple removes optical drives. These were widely used, but on the decline.
    2) Apple removes 3.5mm jacks (how courageous). These are widely used, and holding steady.
    3) Apple removes USB. These are widely used, and moreover critical for many peripherals, especially mice, keyboards, and thumb-drives. (I'm sure it will be a courageous first step, and the early adopters will get a free $300 proprietary mouse included when they buy the computer.)

    They seem to be escalating. What next? Apple removes the monitor from the MacBook; although I guess if they did so it would easily let them create the thinnest, lightest, most portable MacBook ever.

    • No the next step is the keyboard, since it takes up a ton of space!

    • I heard they will remove screens from iPads. Does that count as courageous?
    • Apple removes SCSI. Apple removes the adb modem/printer port.

      Apple adds wifi to all their machines.

      Apple adds Gigabit ethernet to all their machines.

      Apple adds optical out to most all of their machines.

      • Re:Escalation? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Megane ( 129182 ) on Thursday October 20, 2016 @06:15AM (#53113691) Homepage

        SCSI? nobody else (in the consumer market) used that

        ADB? nobody else used that (it was for the keyboard/mouse, not printers)

        Mini-DIN 8 RS-422 serial? nobody else used that

        Firewire? hardly any non-Mac people used that, and most of the PCs that did used the stupid Sony iLink connector with no power so they could connect to cameras, and cameras don't use it anymore

        Optical out? That stupid little switch in my MBP's headphone jack gets stuck into "optical cable present" mode when I unplug headphones, but fortunately I can store a toothpick (to unjam it) in the hinge area above the keyboard and it will still close properly

        USB A? There are over 15 years worth of everybody using it, and the plugs are everywhere. I have a crate overflowing with cables and various thingies that use it. But nothing yet with USB C. Don't get me wrong, I think USB C is a good thing, but even modern TV sets that got rid of S-video inputs in favor of HDMI still have composite video inputs.

    • 1. Laptops come with built-in mice called trackpads. In Apple's case those trackpads are awesome and I guarantee you that 99% of people are using them.
      2. Your "average" user never plugs anything into their laptop other than power... ever. My wife has literally _never_ plugged a single other thing other than power into her Macbook Air... and I suspect she never will.
      3. There are already USB-C thumb-drives... many of them even have dual adapters built in (USB-C and USB-A). They aren't even expensive. T

  • by BLToday ( 1777712 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @05:05PM (#53110145)

    I can't count the number of times I've tripped over a laptop cable. I've lost multiple hard drives but only one broken screen with my Windows laptops. Thanks to MagSafe I've lost zero anything on my MacBooks.

    • by chinton ( 151403 ) <chinton001-slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @05:12PM (#53110209) Journal
      If you've lost multiple hard drives and a broken screen because you keep tripping over the cords, maybe you need to think about where you are plugging things in.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is the reason it's going away. It's too successful at saving you money (at the expense of Apple's bank account). Can't have features like that when you have to please the shareholders.

    • by kuzb ( 724081 )
      It sounds more to me like the problem is with you, not the hardware. I've never tripped over a laptop cable, because I don't create situations where that's possible to do.
      • Single guy? Just last week my wife who likes to work in bed decided to plug in her Macbook on my side of the bed, turned off the lights to take a nap and left the Macbook charging on the bed. Of course, I didn't want to wake her up and tried to navigate my way to my side of the bed and tripped on the charging cable. Some years ago, my niece (3 at the time) decided that it would be fun to go yanking wires at while visiting. My Dell flew off the kitchen island and cracked the screen.

  • by HBI ( 604924 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @05:11PM (#53110203) Journal

    One gets the impression that they don't. I mean, I wasn't their market anyway. I absolutely despise the no-buttons touch panel on recent Macbooks. But not having any useful ports completely rules out the device even for my wife.

  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @05:13PM (#53110215)

    Come on, why stop here? Now that OSX has Siri, let's also remove screen, trackpad and keyboard. Looking forward to iEcho.

  • Quite possible, these days. As a Linux/Android fan who doesn't use MS-Win products where anybody I know can see me let me be the first to say:


  • Apple is removing a standard port.

    The floppy drive made sense. Legacy/serial ports etc. too.
    The optical drive made sense.
    The headphone jack almost makes sense (under the right circumstances, but not for me so I won't be upgrading from my 6S+)
    Removing the physical home button is simply retarded.
    And the USB port?

    Positively asinine. All the other ports were either obsolete or being replaced by other technologies. The USB port is a standard connector used by literally millions of devices. Hopefully, this is whe

    • USB-A is a legacy port.

      USB-C is not.

  • How can any company in the PC market sell something without at least one USB 3.0 port??? It is the most ubiquitous data transfer connection available and has virtually universal compatibility with peripherals. Or did their marketing idiots think they can make another $39 for an adapter peripheral that's clunky and easy to lose? It can't be for space reasons and they can't pull the "we're trying to waterproof it" bullshit this time.

    Topping this off is no Magsafe, which is infinitely better than the rou
    • You can go on amazon and get an assload of USB-C to USB 3 adapters, for next to nothing.

      • exactly, and they cost about what a USB to PS/2 adapter cost (the keyboard adapter), and i've seen those included with TONS of aftermarket USB keyboards (to the point that I have half a dozen or so in my 'parts' bin). Honestly, most vendors will just start including an adapter in the box, pass the (mild) cost on to the customer, and build USB-C items.
  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @05:26PM (#53110313) Journal

    I've been a long time Apple supporter, even going so far as to pay all the $$$'s for one of the late 2013 "trash can" Mac Pro workstations, shortly after it was released. (I did that only because I owned both a 2006 and 2008 Mac Pro tower before it, and both were excellent computers that I got years of daily use out of -- paying for themselves several times over with the work and entertainment value I got out of them. I figured I'd invest in the new direction Apple was taking things, with faith they'd make sense of what seemed at first to be kind of a step backwards in design and functionality.)

    Well, unfortunately, what I'm seeing is a trend away from Apple catering at all to "power users" or "computer enthusiasts". Under Steve Jobs, at least their push towards minimalist styling/design was still well-balanced with giving the user what they really needed to get things done. (EG. When Apple declared the 3.5" floppy was dead and removed it? The rest of the Windows PC world thought that was crazy. Yet the advent of IOMega Zip disks, Syquest cartridges, dirt cheap CDR media, flash drives, SD and CF cards and more proved Apple was right. They were just pushing people a little further towards that "cutting edge" of tech, instead of sitting complacent in the middle of the "tried and true, but fading in usability" zone of technology. And when Apple decided to quit including optical drives in any of their systems? Again, some people threw fits but it's ultimately proved to be the sensible solution. External CD/DVD/Blu-Ray players and recorders are cheap and easy to plug in if/when needed, and they don't bulk up or weigh down a computer when you DON'T intend to use one. It also means when they break down, which they do fairly often with all their mechanical parts inside, they're easier to replace.)

    With Thunderbolt? I feel like Apple tried, once again, to "skate to where they thought the puck was going to be" instead of to where it was. But that time, perhaps they took a chance and weren't quite right. Nonetheless, it wasn't really a big problem for users because it was only there in addition to plenty of other ports. The ability for Apple's Thunderbolt port to double as a "Mini DisplayPort" connector ensured people would use it with a dongle to attach extra monitors even if they never used it for anything else. And on higher end systems like my Mac Pro? It's actually quite useful since you pretty much need some kind of external drive enclosure to have a decent amount of storage space directly attached to the machine. There are a number of good options for multi-drive cabinets with Thunderbolt connections, and it provides great throughput without bottlenecking a USB bus.

    But now, I feel like options are getting deleted just because Apple would prefer to have fewer configuration options to stock in their lineup, or because they're pushing change just for the sake of being different. (That whole elimination of matte vs. glossy displays is a great example, even if it still happened under Steve Job's watch. There was clearly a LOT of demand for anti-glare screen displays, yet Apple simply ignored it and told people "Tough luck. We think you'll love our product enough to buy it anyway, so we don't care.")

    This move to USB-C? I think the new standard is just fine for netbooks or "Ultraportables" where people are primarily concerned about how light and thin it is, and probably don't WANT to connect very much up to it. But it definitely has no business in a Macbook PRO laptop being sold any time this year ... Not unless it's just there in additional to a couple of regular USB 3.0 ports. Otherwise, you're ignoring a universal standard that has no signs of dying yet. Go shop for a new inkjet printer and tell me how many have USB-C connections on them vs. traditional USB right now. Same for any digital cameras with connection cables.)

    Secondarily, I agree that this change means eliminating a connector (mag-safe) that really does offer a great feature that competing laptops never had. IMO,

    • Go shop for a new inkjet printer and tell me how many have USB-C connections on them vs. traditional USB right now.

      I think you chose a poor example. Most printers that I'm aware of feature a USB Type-B connector on them, and don't come with any sort of cable.

      USB Type-C is just a new USB connector. It's still signal compatible with existing USB devices. As virtually all inkjet printers don't come with a cable, you just ensure you buy a USB Type C to USB Type B cable to go with your printer, the same way you'd need to buy a USB Type C to USB Type A cable.


      • Yeah, good point.... I admit I used a bad example with the printers. To be honest though, it's been quite a while since I bought one. I still own and use several older ones here, and in at least one of those cases, it actually did include a USB cable with it. But sure, the cost of a cable is relatively minimal and if they're going to make you buy it separately anyway -- no big deal to go with a USB-C type.

        But flash drives are going to be a problem, as are plenty of specialty cables. (EG. I have a USB to

  • by j2.718ff ( 2441884 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @05:28PM (#53110329)

    Apple may get rid of the USB 3.0 port

    I've only heard about plans to replace USB-A with USB-C, not to eliminate USB ports. USB-C is an actual standard that already exists. USB-A to USB-C adapters are easy to come by, and as time goes on, more and more devices will be using USB-C. I have no problem with this. In fact, my cell phone already has a USB-C port.

    • USB-A is going to be around for a LONG time, particularly given all the peripherals that still use A. It's is beyond premature to remove it from a laptop, hell it will probably still be premature in 5 years. USB-A is the only USB connector that's valid all the way from USB 1.1 to USB 3.1. It's not like they are space constrained on a laptop. This idea that there should be only one port on a laptop is just fucking stupid. It literally costs pennies to add 3 or 4 ports to a laptop as the support is already bu

  • And this is what you get. It should come as no surprise we see bullshit like the Watch Edition and a castrated Macbook and iPhone.
  • My first question is, how will I get a cheap compact $20 USB hub to plug into my Mac so I don't get affected by this nonsense?
  • by chipschap ( 1444407 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2016 @05:40PM (#53110455)

    What will Apple remove next? The keyboard and the screen?

    Maybe they can just remove everything. Now that would be a MacBook "Air".

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      A nice white VR headset with prescription lens support. Send it back to Apple when the lens needs changing.
  • HP Spectre (ultra thin) has only Type C now. I haven't found it to be a problem. Indeed, a lot of the newer USB drives have both ports so they make good transfer devices. Push the slider one way for an older USB, or the other way and out pops a Type C.

  • Wait, no more USB ports!? Oh wait, no, there it is. It has USB-C. This isn't the "removal" of USB like almost all of the text is trying to portray, this is merely the change from one style of USB port to another. This is absolutely a non-issue. It has been known all along that USB-C was designed from the get-go to be a more universal port, offering charging for laptops too. AND, there is absolutely nothing stopping anyone from using a USB-C to USB-A/B/Mini/Micro/Male/Female cable to plug in literally every

  • I'm glad to see this. No, I'm not going to buy one of their laptops, but it will help push adoption of USB-C the way the original iMac helped make USB commonplace.

  • It was time for a refresh, and hearing the rumors of the batshittery they were likely to do with the keyboard, and the inane OLED strip of softkeys, and I made the decision to just jump into a well configured 13" MBPr. Now that is looking like a prescient decision. I like the two thunderbolt ports, the two USB3 ports, and the SD card port. It is plenty thin enough, and I get a good 9 hours of normal usage out of it.

    I get the lifecycle, and the staleness of the current MBP line, and their stretching refresh

    • I did what you did, and for the exact same reasons, with regards to the current MacBook Pro... except I talked my boss into buying it for me.

      I know all the fanbois over at MacRumors have been whining about Skylake not being in the thing, but I don't think I've had a computer where processor speed was a limiting factor for at least a decade.

  • "Hello again" can only mean one thing -- they're bringing back the SCSI port!!!!!11 Or maybe the floppy drive. Either way -- STOKED. :D :D :D

  • Old-School USB Ports

    USB 3.0 came out in 2009. Not really old-school, even if the port design is older.

    Funny enough while looking that up I found this:
    "Using USB 3 devices on Mac computers" https://support.apple.com/en-c... [apple.com]

    I assume they'll delete this page soon. Not like Apple cares about previous generations anyway.

  • As a professional software engineer, I have never looked at the side of my MacBook Pro and wished it had fewer ways for me to connect something. Never have I complained about a few millimeters lost to an rarely used SD card slot or Firewire port. I know that eventually a customer is going to hand me an SD card or old external hard drive and I'll be thankful I can just plug in and have it work. "Professional" machines have to be able to do anything when needed. If Apple removes _THE_MOST_USED_ port for co

  • Just look at the reviews on Apple's site, people hate it. Honestly, this is ridiculous. I have an 11-inch Air that has 2 usb, mag-safe, and mini-display port. If they can fit those ports on this machine, how hard can it be on 12-15 inch models? What's the benefit?

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford