It is true that many users ask us why Apple calls the USB-C of the new MacBook Pro Thunderbolt 3? if everything is really the same, and the answer is quite simple to explain. In this case what we have to do is clarify two important points in this question, the first is that the USB Type C is a specification of the connector that we can say is universal or similar to the old USB 3.0 ports and earlier. In this case the USB-C port adds the main characteristic that is reversible and does not require a specific position for cable connection. Apple adds to this type of Thunderbolt 3 connection in this new Macbook Pro, which means that its operating system is USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt.
This is what they advertise on the Apple website about these ports: Four ports Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) compatible with:
- Thunderbolt (up to 40 Gb / s)
- USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb / s)
The new MacBook Pro advertises 2 and 4 Thunderbolt 3 connectors respectively on its 13-inch or 15-inch drives, adding in parentheses that the connector type is USB-C. So the difference or why the two types of connection are separated is simply the universality of the connection port.
Logically all this is not something new for USB-C since Intel has the same connection system (no, it is not something exclusive to Apple) but with the arrival of this type of connector to Mac, we hope that they will begin to be implemented en masse on the rest of the equipment, whether or not they are from Apple. Now with this we can use the different external devices that use USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt as long as the type of connector is USB-C. And yes, we do not understand the reason why we put fewer ports for users who do not want the Touch Bar in new MacBook Pros, but that for another day ...