Update – In a statement made to AppleInsider, Apple says, “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.”


We suppose there are some users out there who might be forward thinking enough to want to adopt the Thunderbolt 3 standard for use with their Mac computers. However it seems that with the launch of the new MacBook Pro laptops, Apple seems to have caused some problems in the process by making these new laptops incompatible with early Thunderbolt 3 devices.

The folks over at Plugable have been running tests for USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 products, and one thing they came to realize that some of their Thunderbolt 3 devices weren’t working with the new MacBook Pros. Apparently the ones that are affected are those that are using Texas Instruments’ controller chips.

The website writes, “Apple has chosen to prevent Thunderbolt 3 devices using currently available controller chips from Texas Instruments from enumerating and functioning on the 2016 MacBook Pros. All current Thunderbolt 3 peripherals which use this controller chip are incompatible with the new 2016 Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks.”

It is unclear why Apple has chosen not to make the devices with the TI controller incompatible, but whatever it is, it has proven to be highly inconvenient. This essentially means that customers with existing devices will not be able to use them. It is possible that Apple could push out a firmware update to ensure compatibility, but for now don’t hold your breath. For customers looking to purchase Thunderbolt 3 devices, you might want to double check with the manufacturer if they use TI’s controllers or Intel’s as the latter will work.

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