Apple Including Free MagSafe 2 Converter with Thunderbolt Display

As we noted on Monday, Apple's new MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro use a new MagSafe 2 charging standard that is thinner and wider than the previous MagSafe. In order to assist people using the new machines with older equipment like chargers and displays, Apple released a small MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter for $9.99 to ensure continued compatibility.

Apple has not updated its Apple Thunderbolt Display with the new MagSafe 2 standard, but as mentioned on its online store page, the company is now including a free MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter with newly-purchased displays.


It certainly is not a tremendous cost for Apple to include a $9.99 adapter (which actually costs Apple significantly less) with a $999 purchase, but it is a convenient inclusion for new purchasers who otherwise might not realize that they need a converter. Those who are aware of the new MagSafe 2 standard should also be aware that they do not need to purchase a separate converter if they wish to purchase an Apple Thunderbolt Display.

(Thanks, Jordy!)

Related roundup: Thunderbolt Display

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33 months ago

The converter should have been included in the box with all RMBPs.


Apple looks to the future, not the past. The Retina MacBook Pro works as intended out of the box without the converter, and it would be unnecessary for a significant number of people who wouldn't be using it with a display or an older power adapter. So to Apple it would mainly serve to clutter up the clean presentation inside the box. :)

Bundling it with the Thunderbolt Display will likely see a greater proportion of people needing to use it, and even many of those who don't need it yet will likely need it in the future when they buy new machines.
Rating: 6 Votes
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33 months ago

They should include all necessary adapters with the products.


For the new MBP, "necessary adapters" could mean all, some or fewer of:

* Thunderbolt/MiniDisplayPort to VGA
* Thunderbolt/MiniDisplayPort to DVI
* Thunderbolt/MiniDisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI
* Thunderbolt/MiniDisplayPort to full DisplayPort
* Thunderbolt/MiniDisplayPort to HDMI (maybe you want 2 HDMI monitors?)
* TOSLink to 3.5mm optical (digital audio)
* HDMI to DVI (maybe you want both TB ports for discs)
* Thunderbolt to Ethernet
* Thunderbolt to FireWire

...all of which will be essential to someone and completely useless to others.

The last two are pretty non-trivial bits of electronics, and $30 for the TB-to-Ethernet is actually cheaper than a TB-to-TB cable. I'm pretty sure some of the MiniDisplayPort-to-X adapters are active (i.e. they've got electronics in them) rather than just plug adapters.

I just don't understand why they didn't make the Thunderbolt spec capable of carrying enough power for a laptop in the first place


Generally, the computer is the power source for the Thunderbolt bus. What happens if someone daisy-chains a disc drive between computer and monitor?

Also, more power means thicker cables, bigger pins on the connector.

The fact that Thunderbolt was initially planned as an optical interface may also have had an effect - and remember, Thunderbolt isn't just Apple's toy - its a standard. Maybe having the computer powered by the monitor wasn't on other stakeholders' agendas?

More interestingly, I wonder why they didn't develop this idea - adding data lines to the magsafe connector:
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/02/17/apple-tech-watch-oled-displays-magsafe-power-data-connector-live-device-configuration/
...possibly worried about introducing non-standard connectors to Thunderbolt, or being compelled to license MagSafe to other Thunderbolt customers?
Rating: 2 Votes
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33 months ago
It's good to see that they are doing that. Would be better if they offered it with the macbook pro.
Rating: 2 Votes
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33 months ago
the factory seal on both of the tb display boxes i received this afternoon was cut and retaped over with a duplicate seal, presumably to drop in the card insert with the adapter.
Rating: 2 Votes
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33 months ago
A little misleading "free"? its not free "its included" nothing is free!
Rating: 2 Votes
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33 months ago

This is why we all love Apple. Other companies would charge you a lot for these converter units. But Apple includes them for free. Great job!


I don't know, I think they did it just to meet customer expectations of "it just works."

Some unknowing individual walks into an Apple store and buys a $999 Thunderbolt display and a $2199 laptop, brings them home and finds out that their brand new products don't work together (for charging, at least)...

Kind of a bad situation for a customer who just spent $3000 to have to drive back to the store and buy a $9.99 adapter.
Rating: 1 Votes
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33 months ago
Nice addition. I really want one of those, but I guess they will update them to support USB 3 as soon as the current stock sells out.. So I'm holding out for a little bit longer still.
Rating: 1 Votes
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33 months ago

This is why we all love Apple. Other companies would charge you a lot for these converter units. But Apple includes them for free. Great job!


:D

It's a nice gesture, but these adapters and the like that Apple sell are simply extortionate. Even simple things like iPhone cables, £15?!

Even a tenner for one of these MS->MS2 is overpriced, no doubt they cost less that a quid to make. I'm not saying that Apple don't make great stuff, but saying they include them as freebies whereas other companies don't is a bit naïve.
Rating: 1 Votes
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33 months ago
Calling this "generous" is ridiculous. It's essential; or how would you explain to a customer who bought the high-end display and the high-end laptop that they can't use them together without an additional adapter?

I think the TB display is really due for an update. The internals seem kludgy and unnecessarily complex and expensive (there's more stuff than in a MBP).
Rating: 1 Votes
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33 months ago
I just don't understand why they didn't make the Thunderbolt spec capable of carrying enough power for a laptop in the first place, would have made all this a lot easier. You wouldn't have to use the power component if you didn't need it, but it would be there. Apple putting the Thunderbolt port on the opposite side from the MagSafe port on the MacBook Air was also goofy (fortunately they did it right with the new MacBook Pro Retina).
Rating: 1 Votes
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