Apple USB 3.1 Computer Accessories

The next decade of computer peripheral connectivity is upon us. With the introduction of the latest MacBook featuring USB 3.1 Type-C Revision 1 interface, a new era of unified connectivity and device charging is poised to significantly alter the course of Apple devices for the next decade.

Apple Computers With USB 3.1 Type-C Interface

Apple USB Type-C 12" Retina MacBook

Single USB-C Data/Charging Port


Other MacBook and Macintosh desktop systems with USB 3.1 Type-C ports will be added here as Apple revises and releases them. In late 2016, Apple announced 3 new 13" & 15" MacBook Pro models with 2 to 4 combination USB 3.1 / ThunderBolt 3 USB-C ports.

USB-C Drive Enclosures

USB SSD-HDD Type-C Drive Case

Akitio USB 3.1 SATA Disk Enclosure
: This new USB 3.1 Type-C interface 2.5" laptop drive case is ideal for a DIY USB-C Mac backup drive especially when paired with an ultra-fast Apple compatible solid-state drive.

Apple USB 3.1 Type-C Adapters

Along with the new 12", 13" and 15" USBC MacBooks - Apple also ships several different USB-C accessories: A basic USBC-To-USB3 adapter which is available now, and two multiport AV adapters, one featuring a VGA video port and another supporting HDMI video. The 2016 MacBook Pros also can use a new USB-C To ThunderBolt3 adapter. Reliable 3rd-party multiport USB-C MacBook adapters that charge properly are now widely available and both listed at Amazon and the Apple Store online:

Apple USB-C to USB Adapter

Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

Apple USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter

USB 3.1 Type-C Backup Drives

Type-C Portable SSD Drive
Samsung T3 USB-C Solid-State Drive


Type-C Portable HDD Drive
LaCie USB-C Mobile Hard Drive


With the proper USB-C to USB 3.0 mini adapter cable, current external USB 3.0 backup drives can be directly connected. It remains to be seen how rapidly companies like LaCie, Seagate, Western-Digital and others offer USB-C specific drive models. LaCie had announced, but has yet to ship it's USB-C interface Porsche Design portable drive.

USB 3.1 Type-C Flash Drives

The SanDisk Dual USB-C 32GB Flash Drive is the first of likely many solid-state thumb drives to take advantage of the reversible USBC connector.

3rd-Party USB 3.1 Type-C Adapters

With even Apple struggling to deliver it's iniitial multi-port adapters, 3rd-party manufacturers are also scrambling to design and ship comparable devices. There's an example of a 3rd-party multi-purpose USBC adapter: USB-C 3-Port Hub with RJ45 Ethernet. Expect hubs that also feature video interfaces or card reader slots to eventually appear on the market as well.

USB 3.1 Type-C Hubs

One of the first of many: Several 4-port MacBook Type-C USB 3.1 Hub devices are now available for those with many legacy USB devices. Some of the better hubs will have an USB 3.1 pass-through power / data port as well as USB 3.0 5Gbps Type A sockets for legacy devices.

USB 3.1 Type-C Flash Card Readers

Much like other combo USB Hub devices like ethernet adapters, combining a USB 3.1 USB-C card reader and 3 port hub can kill two birds with one stone and keep your cable clutter to a minimum. Idead for those with digital cameras, viceo camcorders and MP3 devices which use flash memory cards.

USB 3.1 Type-C Cables

Soon it will become impossible - and pointless - to track the zillions of USB-C cabling that will soon be available for Apple systems. There's alot of iterations, sizes, shapes and speeds of USB cables that will likely need to be accomodated for both new and older devices. The key thing to note is that not all cables offered will be full 5Gbps/10Gbps SuperSpeed+ capable. Lesser cables may use fewer wires/pins and only support USB 2.0 speeds on some devices which don't - or can't - take advantage of USB 3.X's faster data transfer rates.

The SuperSpeed+ USB 3.1 Future

In 2016, expect USB-C to finally get some real traction in the computer and peripheral space. It's just going to take time for millions upon millions of Mac's to get USB 3.1 updates. The rest of the Intel PC world has a huge transition to make as well, so the USB 3.1 transition is going to take a few years to truly reach critical mass and become the defacto connectivity standard it's destined to be.