U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 48 mins

Apple has killed every jack but one: Meet USB-C

David Pogue
Tech Critic

Apple (AAPL) introduced a new laptop last week: the 2016 MacBook Pro.

Headline No. 1 is that instead of that function-key row above the keyboard, it has a thin, touch-sensitive screen, which displays useful buttons that change as you switch from program to program.

The MacBook Pro’s touch bar in action.

Headline No. 2 is more troublesome. Apart from a headphone jack, the laptop has no jacks you’d recognize. No USB jacks. No video-output jack (DVI, VGA, or HDMI). No SD card slot. Not even the magnetic MagSafe power jack that Apple itself invented!

The new laptop has only USB-C jacks. Two or four of them. (Apple calls them Thunderbolt-3, but for most people’s purposes, they’re USB Type C.)

The new MacBook Pro has four USB-C ports. (The base model has only two.)

In the short term, this means that you’ll need a lot of adapters. No existing flash drive, camera, monitor, inkjet printer, Apple power cord, or USB hard drive will connect without an adapter.

Incredibly, even the iPhone’s own Lightning cable won’t connect without an adapter! (Which costs $25.)

You’re going to need a lot of adapters.

Apple says: Welcome to the future.

I say: Well, if USB-C is the future, then you may as well get to know it.

A crash course in USB-C

If Apple had to use only one jack on its new laptops, at least it picked a winner. USB-C is fantastic.

Apple laptops have had the same power connector for at least two–time to change!

In the big picture, USB-C is technology that will save us time, money, and frustration. It’s a breakthrough that will even keep tons of e-waste out of the landfills.

This single, tiny connector can carry power, video, audio, and data—simultaneously. It can, in other words, replace a laptop’s power cord, USB jacks, video output jack, and headphone jack. (On the new MacBook Pros, for example, you can plug the power cord into any of the four USB-C jacks.)

Meet USB-C: The Wonder Jack.

And a USB-C cable is identical top and bottom, so you can’t insert it the wrong way. (Woohoo!)

It’s identical end for end, too, so it doesn’t matter which end you grab first.

It feels more secure than USB when you insert it; you get a physical click instead of just relying on friction to hold it.

USB-C can charge your gadget faster and transfer data faster than what’s come before, too.

It’s tiny—about the size as micro USB—so the same cable can charge your phone and tablet and laptop.

And the brand doesn’t matter. My Samsung USB-C cable can charge your MacBook Pro and his Surface tablet.

Can you imagine? You’re witnessing the dawn of the universal charging cord. We can all dump out our drawers full of ugly, mismatched, proprietary charging bricks, long since separated from their original devices, and recycle it all. Now we’ll need only one kind of cable for everything.

The specifications for USB-C were finalized late in 2014. That’s astonishing for two reasons: First, it was dreamed up by engineers and executives from every major electronics company, working side-by-side for three years—even blood rivals like Apple and Google (GOOG).

Second, you can already buy phones, tablets, and laptops that come with USB-C jacks—from Google, Microsoft (MSFT), Nokia, and others. (Apple’s strange, expensive, slow 12-inch MacBook was the first to have a USB-C jack. One.)

Already, you’ll find USB-C on all of Google’s phones, tablets, and laptops; Microsoft’s laptops; the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (kaboom); the Motorola Z series; the OnePlus 2 phone; the Asus ZenPad 8; the Nokia N1; and so on.

The MacBook Pro does have a headphone jack—but USB-C is perfectly capable of conducting audio, too.

(For my exclusive interview with the leaders of the team that created USB Type C, click here.)

What it all means

So USB-C has fantastic promise. Eventually, the payoff will be gigantic, convenient, and universal.

But clearly, the world isn’t ready to go all USB-C yet. Change is annoying. We’re in for a couple of years of transition and fumbling with adapters that accommodate all our old USB gear: flash drives, hard drives, scanners, printers, cameras, and so on.

So why did Apple switch to USB-C so suddenly, and with such total commitment? Does it just want to make us livid?

The obvious answer is size and weight. Inside a laptop, there’s a block of metal that has to receive every kind of connector, and some of them prevented the MacBook from getting thinner. It’s the age-old Apple story: Toss the old, embrace the new, and drag the world along with it.

USB-C is a fantastic, genius, intelligently designed universal jack. For the sake of Apple fans, let’s just hope the world makes the switch as soon as possible.

 

David Pogue, tech columnist for Yahoo Finance, welcomes non-toxic comments in the Comments below. On the Web, he’s davidpogue.com. On Twitter, he’s @pogue. On email, he’s poguester@yahoo.com. Here’s how to get his columns by email.

 

  • Finance
    CNBC

    Morgan Stanley: The stock sell-off is going to get worse

    The stock market is in the middle of a rolling bear market, says Morgan Stanley's Mike Wilson. "It's being caused by a drain in liquidity and peaking growth," Wilson says. The stock market sell-off is only going to get worse, predicts Morgan Stanley's chief U.S. equity strategist, Mike Wilson.

  • Why New Age Beverage Corp. Stock Popped Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why New Age Beverage Corp. Stock Popped Today

    Shares of New Age Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: NBEV) were climbing again today, riding a surge on marijuana stocks as growers like Tilray, Cronos Group, and Canopy Growth all jumped by double digits. Along with the bullish sentiment in the industry, a number of other factors seemed to be driving New Age shares higher, including the recent hiring of a new CFO, the upcoming legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada on Wednesday, and the market's reaction to its launch last week of a new line of beverages infused with cannabidiol (CBD). On Friday, New Age named Gregory Gould as its new CFO, a notable move as Gould brings experience from the pharmaceutical industry, which should help the beverage company as it moves into CBD products.

  • Sears bankruptcy could make these 5 big companies multi-million-dollar losers
    Finance
    Yahoo Finance

    Sears bankruptcy could make these 5 big companies multi-million-dollar losers

    Being an unsecured creditor of Sears (SHLD) right now is not a good place to be. The 125-year old former retail icon filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early on Monday, crippled from years of losses and mounting debt. Sears plans to close about

  • Brits Are All Making the Same Joke About the New Royal Baby
    World
    Time

    Brits Are All Making the Same Joke About the New Royal Baby

    Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is expecting her first child with Prince Harry. The news, announced Monday morning by Kensington Palace, has already been greeted by hundreds of messages of congratulations for the royal couple on social media. The U.K. is set to leave the European Union on March 29, exactly two years after Prime Minister Theresa May started the formal process for doing so by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

  • When Should You Buy Intel Stock?
    Finance
    InvestorPlace

    When Should You Buy Intel Stock?

    Through the first three quarters of 2018, Intel stock was up just 2.5%. What do we make of that relative strength and should investors consider Intel stock a buy as a result? Intel has always attracted many investors due to its low valuation and its dividend.

  • These are the bad things about early retirement that no one talks about
    News
    MarketWatch

    These are the bad things about early retirement that no one talks about

    For all the glamour of living an early retirement lifestyle, there are plenty of negatives I’ve come to discover since I permanently left my job in 2012. As a result, you’re repeatedly forced to will yourself into action.

  • Elizabeth Warren Calls on Trump to Pay $1 Million After Releasing DNA Test
    Politics
    Fortune

    Elizabeth Warren Calls on Trump to Pay $1 Million After Releasing DNA Test

    Elizabeth Warren is ready for her pay day. The senator from Massachusetts took to Twitter Monday morning, calling on President Donald Trump to cough up the $1 million he promised if she proved she had Native American heritage.

  • Why Marijuana Stocks Cronos Group, Canopy Growth, and Tilray Jumped Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why Marijuana Stocks Cronos Group, Canopy Growth, and Tilray Jumped Today

    The stock market pulled back on Monday, with major benchmarks failing to build on the positive momentum from last Friday. Cronos Group (NASDAQ: CRON), Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC), and Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY) were among the best performers. All three of these stocks have something in common: They all stand to benefit from Wednesday's effective date for legal sales of recreational cannabis product in Canada.

  • As Cannabis D-Day Approaches, Winners and Losers Set to Emerge
    Business
    Bloomberg

    As Cannabis D-Day Approaches, Winners and Losers Set to Emerge

    After Canada legalizes recreational marijuana on Oct. 17, it will only take a quarter or two for clear winners and losers to emerge, according to investors and analysts who follow the sector. “These have all been concept stocks and they’re going to actually have to be real companies in another few months, which I think a lot of guys are terrified about,” said Greg Taylor, who manages the Purpose Marijuana Opportunities Fund. Taylor prefers CannTrust Holdings Inc., Hexo Corp. and Organigram Holdings Inc., which he says trade at a “more realistic valuation” than some of their bigger peers.

  • Jamal Khashoggi was accidentally killed during interrogation: report
    World
    Fox Business Videos

    Jamal Khashoggi was accidentally killed during interrogation: report

    Fox Business foreign policy analyst Walid Phares on the report that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was accidentally killed.

  • 2 Hot Marijuana Stocks Listing Soon on U.S. Exchanges -- Are They Buys?
    Business
    Motley Fool

    2 Hot Marijuana Stocks Listing Soon on U.S. Exchanges -- Are They Buys?

    Two marijuana stocks that are currently listed on Canadian stock exchanges soon plan also to list on U.S. stock exchanges. Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQOTH: ACBFF) (TSX: ACB) expects to trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by the end of October and Aleafia Health (NASDAQOTH: ALEAF) should soon trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Are these hot marijuana stocks that are coming soon to U.S. stock exchanges smart picks to buy now?

  • After years of wasting time in meetings, 3 former Googlers decided to do things differently at their new startup
    Business
    Business Insider

    After years of wasting time in meetings, 3 former Googlers decided to do things differently at their new startup

    The executives of the startup Beeswax, all former Google execs, say they've learned how to keep meetings streamlined and efficient. The three founders of the ad-tech startup Beeswax seem to get that. "We're all thoughtful about not having a proliferation of meetings, because one thing we all felt in our previous careers is that there can be lots of redundant meetings," Shamim Samadi, Beeswax's chief product officer, told Business Insider.

  • Finance
    TheStreet.com

    Monday Madness: Is Nvidia a Hit or Miss?

    TheStreet's Julie Iannuzzi covered Jim Cramer's investing boot camp. Nvidia (NVDA - Get Report) has long been a favorite of TheStreet's founder and Action Alerts Plus Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer, but he told a packed audience Saturday at his Boot Camp for Investors in New York why his charitable trust recently sold out of the stock.

  • Marijuana stocks to watch: Canopy Growth is the cannabis business’s $4 billion gorilla
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Marijuana stocks to watch: Canopy Growth is the cannabis business’s $4 billion gorilla

    The following article is part of a package of stories that MarketWatch is publishing to mark the start of full legalization of cannabis for adult use in Canada on Wednesday. Smith Falls, Ontario–based Canopy Growth Corp. made headlines and drove cannabis stocks to new heights over the summer when it announced that Corona brewer Constellation Brands Inc. was going to invest an additional $4 billion in the company. Billed by both companies as a strategic partnership, the additional $4 billion investment adds to the 9.9% stake that Constellation bought in October of last year and sets the company up to either be bought outright by Constellation — via warrants that could increase its stake to more than 50% — or continue to work with the beverage company to create a range of consumer-focused cannabis products that may one day appear in markets in dozens of countries.

  • Business
    TheStreet.com

    Canopy Growth Is Poised to Explode to the Upside

    Shares of Canopy have soared 68% over the past three months. In this daily bar chart of CGC, below, we can see that prices are up five-fold over the past 12 months. CGC was trading at $10 back last October and now is trading around $50 with spikes above $55 last month.

  • Business
    InvestorPlace

    Should You Buy Micron Stock on the Dip?

    Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), which provides semiconductor systems, has had a difficult time since June. While high volatility in the broader technology market is likely to continue for several more weeks, there are two mildly bearish plays in MU stock that I want to share with you, as each play could lead to impressive profits.

  • Goldman Sachs and Raymond James cut Netflix price target ahead of earnings
    Business
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Goldman Sachs and Raymond James cut Netflix price target ahead of earnings

    Netflix getting its price target slashed by both Goldman Sachs and Raymond James ahead of its highly expected earnings report tomorrow. Both firms are concerned that rising interest rates could pinch the company’s valuation.

  • Better Marijuana Stock: Aurora Cannabis vs. Auxly Cannabis Group
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Better Marijuana Stock: Aurora Cannabis vs. Auxly Cannabis Group

    One is market cap: Aurora's market cap is nearly 18 times bigger than Auxly's. Then there's stock performance. Here's how Aurora Cannabis and Auxly Cannabis Group stack up against each other in the areas that do matter.

  • Warren Buffett predicted the fall of Eddie Lampert and Sears over 10 years ago (SHLD, BRK.A, BRK.B)
    Finance
    Business Insider

    Warren Buffett predicted the fall of Eddie Lampert and Sears over 10 years ago (SHLD, BRK.A, BRK.B)

    Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy early Monday, the culmination of a downward spiral. CEO Eddie Lampert, once called the "next Warren Buffett," will also step down. Incidentally, Buffett predicted the retailer's and Lampert's downfall in 2005.

  • Many U.S. mall owners say good riddance to Sears
    Finance
    Reuters

    Many U.S. mall owners say good riddance to Sears

    The real estate investment trusts that own the malls and shopping centers where many Sears stores are anchor tenants have waited years for the retailer's demise to renovate the sites and boost rent, although redevelopment costs may strain some plans. Most large U.S. malls are controlled by REITs. In recent years, the REITs have cut their exposure to Sears Holdings Corp, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday.

  • This Is the Average American's Salary. How Does Yours Compare?
    Business
    Motley Fool

    This Is the Average American's Salary. How Does Yours Compare?

    In an age of oversharing, many of us are remarkably tight-lipped when it comes to talking salary. But in reality, knowing where you stand can help you determine whether you're in a good place or whether you should be taking steps to boost your earnings

  • Finance
    TheStreet.com

    General Electric Slips as Cowen Suggests Culp Needs to Take Action

    fell Monday after Cowen and Co. cut its price target on the stock as analysts expect the new Chief Executive Larry Culp to take actions to improve the beleaguered industrial's financial standing. Cowen analysts, including Gautam Khanna, said they expect Culp to impose a dividend cut, possibly raise more equity, and reset earnings per share/free cash flow, to shore up the balance sheet.

  • Why Marijuana Stocks Canopy Growth, Cronos Group, and Tilray Crushed It Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why Marijuana Stocks Canopy Growth, Cronos Group, and Tilray Crushed It Today

    The three Canadian marijuana stocks that currently trade on major U.S. stock exchanges enjoyed big gains on Monday. Shares of Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) were up 14% as of 3:48 p.m. EDT, while Cronos Group (NASDAQ: CRON) and Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY) jumped 18.9% and 12.1%, respectively. Two of the three marijuana growers reported new developments earlier in the day.

  • The Worst Mistake Tilray Investors Can Make Right Now
    Business
    Motley Fool

    The Worst Mistake Tilray Investors Can Make Right Now

    Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY) investors have certainly seen plenty of opportunities to mess up lately, especially with the stock experiencing huge swings both up and down on a frequent basis. When Tilray conducted its initial public offering (IPO) back in July 2018, the company immediately became the third-largest Canadian marijuana stock in terms of market cap. Although Canopy briefly regained its mantle as the marijuana stock with the greatest market cap, Tilray is again on top.

  • Here’s How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Baby Will Change the Line Of Succession
    News
    Time

    Here’s How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Baby Will Change the Line Of Succession

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting a baby in spring 2019, Kensington Palace announced Monday morning. Harry and Meghan married in May, becoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Now, the question is where the new arrival will fit into the line of succession of the British royal family.