With much heated debate on Apple’s decision to go all-out on USB-C ports on the new MacBook Pro, removing everything else bar the headphone socket, we thought it was time to get some hard data on whether there was a consensus view on the issue.
Our poll, attracting more than 25,000 votes, showed that there isn’t. There was close to an even split, though those who consider it a positive development did narrowly outweigh those who think it a bad move …
Overall, 55% of you feel it to be a positive move, using all available slots for the new port, and helping to push manufacturers toward adoption of a superior standard. This contrasted with the 45% who felt that we’d still be using USB-A ports years from now and Apple was forcing customers into the expense and inconvenience of buying new cables or adapters.
In terms of strength of feeling, those in favor of the move surprisingly felt slightly more strongly about it than those opposed. Taking only ‘very’ and ‘extremely’ votes, the split was 31% positive versus 25% negative – or 16% positive and 14% negative if we count only those who opted for the ‘extremely’ option.
It would, of course, have been fascinating to compare these numbers with identical polls when Apple dropped first the floppy drive and later the optical drive. Both moves attracted a great deal of negative commentary at the time.
The news on ports continued this week when one manufacturer announced that its Thunderbolt 3 devices built on a Texas Instruments controller would not be compatible with the new MacBook Pro. It’s not clear at this point whether this is due to the TI chip not being fully compliant with Thunderbolt 3 standards, or some issue specific to the MacBook Pro.
AI also spotted that the optical audio out interface appears to have been removed from the headphone socket, seemingly contradicting Phil Schiller’s statement that the socket had been left in place to meet the needs of AV professionals.
The debate will doubtless continue as people start to get their hands on the first machines to be shipped in the next few weeks. I’ve already bought the three cables and adapters I think I’ll need – USB-A, Thunderbolt and Lightning – and will of course be sharing my experiences in my MacBook Pro diary series once mine arrives.