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$129 Apple Thunderbolt 3 Cable – Monster Takeover Of Apple?

When I saw the articles about the Apple Thunderbolt 3 cable first circulating I was ready to leap on the “Apple Tax” bandwagon and lambaste them overcharging for a simple cable, Monster style. 

Apple Thunderbolt 3 cable

Hey, at least it LOOKS good, but $129 good?

Apple Thunderbolt 3 Cable Actually Fairly Priced

As much as I wanted to argue against it, I’m forced to say that it’s actually not bad, but, like the Mac Pro, it’s not for you. Yes, YOU. You being the average user.. because you can get away with the $79 Belkin alternative. 

But, there are some technical points to the Thunderbolt spec that some of you may not be aware of. For instance, did you know that most Thunderbolt cables are passive? Only powered via one end? Did you know most cables only provide 18 wats, perhaps 40 watts if you are lucky, of power? Did you know not all cables support DisplayPort or USB 3.1? Did you realize this $129 ($159 CAD) is for 6 feet of braided goodness?

Pro Level Technology

Do you need to daisy chain 6 Thunderbolt 3 devices? No? Then this isn’t for you. 

Compared to what appears to be its competitors, the cable from Apple has the DisplayPort function and support for full transmission USB 3.1. Most Thunderbolt cables won’t support the full wattage either, especially at this length. So yea, this cable has a very specific use, and folks that require it, aren’t going to bat an eye at the additional $50. Don’t forget you can get the 0.8m version for just $39… if you don’t need the length or fancy braiding. 

Apple Tax

The Apple Tax isn’t as real as folks think. We end up paying a premium for quality hardware and getting that back in quality service, support and even R&D on new products. People loved to poke at the ridiculous cost of the Apple ProRes Display stand at $999 without looking into the engineering behind it. Even the Mac Pro itself is actually quite fairly priced!

So, after even I was ready to give Apple the screws over the price, I discovered the truth… it’s pretty advanced stuff for the price. Contact us if you have a comment or question!


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Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
Ryszard Gold
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