Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Apple An Accessories Company

When Apple launched the 12-inch MacBook last year with just a single USB-C (USB Type-C) port, they had to sell a bunch of accessories to work with that new port. This year’s “pro” notebook made these USB-C accessories even more important. It’s not something unfamiliar to Apple. The Lightning connector introduced in 2012 also created a need for new accessories.

As some people have said, Apple has sort of become an accessories company. They still make their money from iPhones, iPads and perhaps to a lesser extent Mac hardware nowadays, but do you know how many accessories Apple sells?

If you just visit the Apple Online Store, which I know also sells non-Apple hardware, but just count only those Made by Apple ones, do you know many you’ll find?

On the Apple Online Store here, I’ve counted. It’s not just a dozen or two. It’s not even just a few dozens. Apple sells… 120 accessories. One Hundred and Twenty accessories.

Sure, that number includes lots of watch bands. But you know, they already have so many types of power bricks. The MagSafe 2 (the older MagSafe is still available through resellers), USB-C, and USB bricks. There are all sorts of cables, including power brick extension cable. It’s getting quite amazing scrolling through all those Made by Apple items.

So as if to compete more aggressively, they’ve recently lowered the price of USB-C accessories. (Actually it was to appease the pro users who had complained of the lack of legacy ports in the new MacBook Pro.)

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Their competitors have even been caught by surprise. Or perhaps the competitors didn’t really care. The above USB-C to VGA, USB 3.0 Type-A, and USB Type-C with Power Delivery, well, Apple sells this an adapter with the exact same functionality for just S$68. This item from J5create sells for S$105.

A similar adapter from iLuv, below, which provides HDMI in lieu of VGA, sells for S$88. Apple’s own accessory with the same functionality sells for S$68.

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Just so you know, that USB-C to LAN Adapter from Valore you see above, unless you’re a ValueClub member, will cost more than the Belkin USB-C to LAN Adapter that Apple is selling in their own store.

The Apple accessory looks so much prettier. I don’t see why anyone would want to buy from 3rd party manufacturers. Except, of course, when Apple’s temporary sale on USB-C accessories end.

Note: Just for clarity, the USB-C Gigabit Ethernet dongle shown in the topmost photo feature is Belkin branded, and sold in the Apple Online Store. Apple does brand two other Gigabit Ethernet dongles under their own name.

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