Apple and the Tale of Its Special Cables

Apple has given us incredible machines. From the first ever ‘Hello world’ to their latest beast of a machine, the Mac Pro, the technology has been magnificent. With the evolution in computers, there has been a tremendous change in the connectors that come with it.

The cables for Mac have often been ones that only Apple uses because of their need to control the ecosystem.

Back in 1984, the first ever Macintosh computer came with DB-9 ports for modem and mouse with a coiled phone cord for the keyboard.

Two years later, when the then latest Mac Plus arrived, it brought with it the mini Din-8 serial port for connecting the modem and printer. The caveat here, as with most Apple products, was that it didn’t work with printers not made by Apple. (Yes, Apple made printers too, at the time, it was the ImageWriter.) This connector was on the beige PowerMac G3.

These are just a couple of examples of how Apple has always seen it fit to use the connectors it deems fit and locking users into their ecosystem. After these connectors, we have seen plenty of connectors from Apple, like ADB, which was for keyboard and mice and designed by Steve Wozniak. There was the Apple Attachment Unit Interface, which was an Ethernet cable, etc. Some of the more recent cables for Mac have been their MagSafe power cable for Mac laptops. It is one of the best power cables to have ever existed. Now that it is gone, the market has adapters.

And thank god for third party manufacturers, like us, for making adapters and cables that you can connect with your Apple devices, new and old.

The latest connector that you will find on MacBooks, iMacs and even the iPad is the USB C port! In Apple’s hunt for ‘one port to rule them all’, they have finally found the perfect connector.

All the way from old Macs to the new ones, the cables and connectors they use, from the mini Din-8 or the USB Type C cables, the connection standards have been changing, all to culminate in this one port.

USB Type C cables are everywhere right now. And slowly Apple has embraced those. But even with them embracing USB C, there are its own problems. Not everything that you would want to connect to your laptop has switched to USB C. So you will need to connect an adapter if you want to connect an external device to it.

For instance, if you want to plug in an Ethernet cable into a new MacBook, then you’d have to use a USB C adapter or a hub that has an Ethernet port. This does make it slightly more cumbersome, because you will always need to make sure that you have the hub with you.

Apple’s USB C port is Thunderbolt 3, which combines the functionality of DisplayPort, as well as USB, and carries power. So if you have a monitor that has a thunderbolt port as well, you can use it as an external monitor with your MacBook and the computer will even power it! And if you want to connect it to your TV, just use a USB C to HDMI cable.

Proprietary, and unique, Apple has always had its own take on connectivity. Own take and complete control. There are of course drawbacks of this complete control, but if you are a part of the ecosystem, then these issues are much less troublesome for you.

SF Cable values all the products you have, whether they are the latest Macbooks or the old PowerMac G3. We have cables to help you use all of these devices. Apart from that, we also have the answer to all of your ‘just one USB C’ port problems. You can choose from a few nifty adapters and hubs, and we have a guide to help make that decision.

If your devices are very old, sometimes it can be difficult to find the cable or adapter. But if it is functional, there is no harm in getting extra cables if you think they might become unavailable in the near future.

Whatever your cable issues are, we have a number of solutions. Browse the store for your Mac cables, or USB cables. You may even stumble upon speaker cables for that complete home theatre setup. We have you covered. And if you don’t know which cable you need, contact us for a consultation.