The legacy connectors supporting Thunderbolt 3 USB, Type C ports have been completely removed in the new MacBook Pro of 2016.
The MacBook Pro is a device that is future proof, because the general trend of the industry is towards Type C USB. The ones that are used by the high-end laptops of Apple offer a general support for different kinds of connectivity. Being future proof, the current, new MacBook Pro devices will have the capability of connecting to Thunderbolt devices of the future. However, the new devices might not be able to connect with many of the devices that are already present in the market today, according to 9to5Mac reports.
The issue seems to have arisen due to the Thunderbolt 3 type of controller chips that have been used in the new 2016 MacBook Pro devices, which are incompatible with some of the devices in the market today. Plugable, a peripheral manufacturer of dock lines for the Mac, including the Thunderbolt 3 coming early next year, made a statement regarding such an incompatibility issue.
According to Plugable, Apple has opted for preventing the Thunderbolt 3 devices that use the presently used controller chips of Texas Instruments, from functioning on the new 2016 MacBook Pros. Hence, all the presently available Thunderbolt 3 peripherals using this specific controller chip will not be compatible with the new MacBooks (2016 Thunderbolt 3). This statement means that the Thunderbolt 3 devices that are presently around, such as TBT3 DP2X and also TBT3 HDMI2X graphic adapters will not be compatible.
Impact of the Decision
Due to this new information coming to light, Plugable seems to have delayed the TBT3 UD1, Docking Station, to check out the impact of the company decision. Plugable is probably looking out for options for making the upcoming docking station offer compatibility to the new 2016 MacBook Pro devices. Plugable also has a higher end Thunderbolt 3 dock, TBT UDB, which makes use of the next gen TI chip, which will offer compatibility with the new Apple laptops.
Issues for Manufacturers
This might prove to be an issue for some products and some manufacturers as well, namely the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock, which was announced today. In case of users owning today’s Thunderbolt 3 devices and wanting to use it along with the new MacBook Pros, they may have to check out with Apple or the Thunderbolt 3 device manufacturer in order to find out if it has support.
Kind of Incompatibility
There is no news regarding the kind of incompatibility that would occur, but it is clear that the device will not work with the new MacBook Pros of 2016. However, if the Thunderbolt 3 device and the MacBook pro device are connected, we do not know what could be the effect, though there is no likelihood or indication of any of the two devices being damaged in such an eventuality.
The statement coming from Plugable is quite recent, as it came only on the 1st of November. It is possible that more information on the matter might be forthcoming from Apple.