Opinion: We Need To Talk About USB-C

Do you know what the picture below is?

This is a USB-C to USB Adapter for the new versions of the Macbook. I had to buy this because I needed it so I could access my external harddrive which uses the regular USB connector. The new Macbook I have doesn’t use regular USB. You know what it has? It has 4(!) USB-C outputs. There is NO regular USB output.

Therefore, if you’re ever thinking of getting a new Macbook and have old devices which have regular USB outputs, you might have to think of investing in some dongles and adapters.

New Macbook. Two USB-C outputs on one side….
Two more UBS-C outputs on the other side. No regular USB

The reason I’m writing this post is to talk about the new USB-C standard and why some of these tech companies (looking at you Apple!) may need to slow down when it comes to embracing standards like USB-C all the way.

Not The Standard (Yet)

I embrace all new forms of technology. I really do. Whether its VR/AR, wireless charging or other cool stuff. But sometimes, tech companies are a bit aggressive in trying to push certain new technology standards to users.

This is exactly the case with USB-C. Just take Ghana for example. How many devices in the market use USB-C? USB drives, headphones, external hard drives…etc. The regular USB is still the standard. Unfortunately, tech hardware companies want to push this standard down our throats when we’re not ready.

Some smartphone companies are starting to adopt USB-C to replace the headphone jack. How many consumers in Ghana are using earphones with USB-C connectors??

Every device or accessory that I have uses the regular USB connector. From my hard drive to my pen drives, it’s the norm now and to be honest, I’m quite happy with it.

I’m not saying device companies shouldn’t be forward thinking, but instead, they should look at what’s on the ground. Companies like Apple putting in USB-C connectors in their new Macbooks without leaving in one regular USB output is quite harsh. It’s basically a money grab because it forces me to buy their expensive accessories just so I can continue to do my work.

At least give me ONE normal USB output. Now they’re extending the same USB-C to their smartphones?? Look at your headphones/earphones right now. Do THEY have a USB-C adapter at the end of the cord? They’re most likely the regular 35mm cords.

You can’t just drop the headphone jack and expect EVERYBODY to follow suit. Most of the tech hardware companies are forced to provide dongles which just make everything look goofy.

This is a mess! | Image Credit: TheVerge

Slow Down and Let It Breathe

Eventually, most or all hardware devices will have USB-C as their primary outputs. But can we slow down for a minute and let everybody catch up?

At the moment, we are pretty heavily invested in the regular USB connector experience. Companies like Apple and Google trying to force the standard and making us dongles just so we can experience their devices is a pain and makes everything clunky. We can’t all be carrying adapters and dongles everywhere we go.

So to all the tech companies out, can we breathe for a second? You don’t have to go full USB-C on your end products. Believe me, we’ll catch and eventually adopt the standard.

Joseph-Albert Kuuire is the creator and editor of TechNovaGh.com, an online digital platform focusing on technology in Ghana. I'm also a UX Designer, book reader, and tech enthusiast (duh!) Email: [email protected]

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