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Compatibility Hardware for Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C Macs (USB, Thunderbolt, Camera Card Readers, etc)

See my Mac wish list at B&H Photo and see all 2016 MacBook pro models at B&H Photo.
See all 15" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models or see all 13" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models. MPG gets credit if you buy through those links.

Adapters needed (minimum) for Lloyd

Update: see 2016 MacBook Pro: Arrived, Testing to Begin Soon, Solving the Adapter Mess.

Update May 2017: the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock directly solves most of these adapter hassles in one fell swoop.


The new (“late 2016”) Apple MacBook Pro touchbar models have four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports (2 ports for the 13" non-touchbar model).

OWC USB-C to USB adapter

These ports are incompatible with USB and Thunderbolt 2 without adapters, rendering any and all prior peripherals unusable without the necessary adapters (USB hard drives, Thunderbolt 2 devices, displays, card readers, etc).

Unlike past MacBook Pro models, no adapters are shipped with the $2300 - $4400 MacBook Pro. It’s disappointing given the premium pricing and the absolute need for these adapters (well, at least the USB-C to USB one).

Update: less than a week after this was written, Apple has dropped prices substantially on USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 adapters.

Shown my minimum cost ($160) just to adapt what I have to the late 2016 Apple MacBook Pro(and no card reader is included, that is still needed). The table that follows shows more options. The cost does not include a card reader, or any redundancy (in case of failure when traveling), or the need for more than one TB3 to TB2 adapter at times, so the real cost is closer to $300.

OWC has high quality USB-C to USB cables as well as regular USB and USB-C cables. This is the easy route to compatibility for USB devices.

The table below summarizes various options for using existing displays, card readers, Thunderbolt 2 devices, USB devices, etcetera on the late 2016 MacBook Pro.

However, the best overall solution for desktop users of the 2016 MacBook Pro (with AC power), is the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock.

Challenge: Solution(s):
BEST all-in-one USB and Thunderbolt and SD card reader for desktop use with AC power availability OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock offers 13 ports of various kinds

OWC confirms that the OWC USB-C Dock and OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock work with new Macbook Pro (TB2 Dock requires Apple TB3-to-TB2 adapter).
Read SD and SDXC camera cards SanDisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II Card USB-C Reader TESTED DOES NOT WORK WITH MY LEXAR SDXC 256GB CARDS
Read Compact Flash camera cards: Adapt USB card reader via USB-C to USB adapter?
USB ports and SD cards Tripp Lite 4-Port USB-C to USB-A Portable Hub @AMAZON
Satechi Type-C USB 3.0 3 in 1 Combo Hub @AMAZON
Sanho HyperDrive USB Type-C 5-in-1 Hub with Pass Through Charging
Single USB3 port OWC USB Type-A to USB Type-C Adapter
Apple USB-C to USB Adapter
The USB-C to USB Adapter lets you connect standard USB accessories — flash drives and cameras, for example — and iOS devices to any Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port on your MacBook Pro.
Gigabit ethernet adapter Belkin Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter
Thunderbolt 2 adapter Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter
Note: the Apple adapter is impressive in that it appears to be bi-directional, that is, TB2 or TB3 host to TB2 or TB3 peripheral.
The Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter lets you connect Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 devices — a Thunderbolt display, for example — to any Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port on your MacBook Pro.
Mini Display Port adapter
(presumably same as TB2 adapter)
Should work with the adapter above but unclear from description.
Firewire 800 Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter. But this doesn’t make a lot of sense since to use that, you have to also use an adapter to Thunderbolt (two adapters together). You’re much better off getting an OWC Thunderbolt Dock.

OWC confirms that the OWC USB-C Dock works with the 2016 MacBook Pro:

OWC USB-C Dock ports

OWC confirms that the OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock works with the 2016 MacBook Pro; connect it using the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter.

OWC Thunderbolty 2 Dock, rear ports

Not much in the box, which is what creates all these issues:

Stripped-down — no adapters supplied
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