Since Apple announced the updated lineup of MacBook Pro models, several problems have surfaced regarding the computers. Among the previously reported issues are the missing SD card slot and the need for several new cables and dongles to connect other Apple devices.
Testing by accessory manufacturer Plugable has revealed another possible problem with the new MacBook Pro, and that is the fact that the computers are seemingly not compatible with Thunderbolt 3 devices that are currently available.
According to Plugable, after running tests of their USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 products on the new MacBook Pro, it found that its Thunderbolt 3 Dual Displayport Adapter for Windows and Thunderbolt 3 Dual HDMI Adapter for Windows are not compatible with the computers.
The problem has been traced to the Texas Instruments controller chips in the Thunderbolt 3 devices that are currently found in the market. According to Plugable, Apple made the decision to prevent these older Thunderbolt 3 devices from working with the 2016 MacBook Pro models.
The issue that Plugable found has forced the company to delay the release of the Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station that it was working on, as it needs extra tie to ensure that the accessory will be compatible with the new MacBook Pro.
Plugable provided more information to MacRumors regarding the Thunderbolt 3 accessories that are supported by the new MacBook Pro, claiming that the computers are only compatible with devices that come with the second-generation Texas Instruments chipset. The upcoming Power Delivery/Charging Dock of Plugable has already been planned to utilize the new chipset, which means that it will be rolling out as scheduled due to its compatibility with the new MacBook Pro models.
The reasoning behind Apple's decision to make current Thunderbolt 3 devices incompatible with the 2016 MacBook Pro computers is unclear. However, whatever the reason may be, it will prove to be very inconvenient for users who will suddenly find themselves alienated from the technology despite being among its early adopters, if they push through with the purchase of a new MacBook Pro.
"While we have no comment on Plugable's specific complaint, products using the newest Thunderbolt chipsets, with up-to-date drivers, will have no difficulty connecting to any 2016 MacBook Pro," Apple said in a statement to AppleInsider, avoiding the issue and not providing light on why it decided to drop support for older Thunderbolt 3 devices.
Customers who have already purchased or are thinking of acquiring a 2016 MacBook Pro should check with accessory manufacturers to ensure that Thunderbolt 3 devices that they will purchase for the computer will be compatible. There is a chance that Apple will roll out an update to add support for older Thunderbolt 3 accessories, but there has so far been no word that the company will make such a move.