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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Apple cuts prices on USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 adapters, peripherals

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

Friday afternoon: the place where news goes to die.

Apple dropped a statement to a number of outlets that it’s discounting USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 adapters and peripherals in its stores—both those of its own manufacture as well as those made by partners through the end of the year.

USB-C to USB adapters go to $9 from $19, USB-C to Lightning charging cables drop $6, to $19 for the 1 meter or $29 for the 2 meter, and the multiport adapters drop to $49. Other peripherals’ price tags are also getting cut back, like a SanDisk USB-C SD card reader which went from $49 to $29.

Apple also cut the prices of the two Thunderbolt-enabled Retina displays that it announced at the October event, manufactured in partnership with LG; the 5K version has dropped to $974 from $1299.95 and the 4K model from $699.95 to $524—both pretty substantial discounts. As with the adapter price cuts, these last until the end of the year.

So, it’s easy to read this as purely being a response to complaints over the new MacBook Pro’s reliance on USB-C/Thunderbolt 3…and, yeah, that’s pretty much what’s happening here. Dropping the news on a late Friday afternoon suggests that Apple doesn’t want to garner a lot of attention about the fact it needs to make this move.

It’s a welcome change, to be sure—who doesn’t like to spend less money?—but it also feels a bit like putting a band-aid on a stab wound, at least as far as the complaints from many pros go. The Verge reports that the company “still has no plans to ship adapters in the box with the new MacBook Pro.” And it’s not like Apple can raise that 16GB RAM limit, so this move is basically the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.

Update: Added information on Thunderbolt display discounts.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]

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