Apple Drops Prices of MacBook Pro Dongles After Complaints

Today's topics include Apple's move to reduce the price of its USB-C adapters for the MacBook Pro after customer complaints, Samsung's report that 85 percent of its recalled Note7 phones have been returned, Oracle's announcement that it can acquire enough NetSuite shares to close it $9.3 billion acquisition of the cloud software company and Microsoft's addition of Access to its SMB 365 plans.

Apple is sharply reducing the prices of its USB-C adapters for its new MacBook Pro laptops after hearing loud complaints from many users about the cost and need for the dongles that will let them use their new machines with legacy peripherals that they already own.

In an emailed statement sent to eWEEK on Nov. 7, Apple said it announced the USB-C adapter price cuts that will be good through the end of 2016 to address the concerns of the company's customers.

Under the new pricing plan, all Apple-branded USB-C to USB adapters will be $9 instead of $19; while Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapters will sell for $29, instead of $49. USB-C to Lightning cables will be $19 instead of $25 for the 1-meter version, while the 2-meter version will be $29 instead of $35. In addition, the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport adapter will be $49 instead of $69.

Some 85 percent of Samsung's troubled Galaxy Note7 smartphones have been returned since a massive recall in September and October due to battery fires and explosions. But the company is still working to encourage owners to return the remaining phones as soon as possible.

To hasten Note7 returns, Samsung is releasing a software update that will cut the available charging capacity of the recalled handsets to 60 percent so they will have shorter battery lives, the company announced in a Nov. 4 statement.

"As of today, nearly 85 percent of all recalled Galaxy Note7 devices have been replaced through the U.S. Note7 Refund and Exchange Program, with the majority of the participants opting to receive another Samsung smartphone," the company said in the statement.

Oracle is finally getting its hands on NetSuite, a provider of cloud enterprise resource planning applications. The move is designed to bolster the growth of Oracle's cloud software-as-as-service business and give it greater access to the important midmarket space.

Oracle officials said in a statement early Nov. 5 that enough shares of NetSuite had been tendered to enable Oracle to move forward with the $9.3 billion acquisition, adding that the deal will close Nov. 7.

The announcement of the deal this weekend came as the Nov. 4 stock tender deadline that Oracle had set was passing.

Soon, smaller companies won't have to pay extra for its Access database management application. Microsoft said it's bundling the Access database with its Office 365 plans for small and midsize businesses.

Next month, Microsoft will be rolling out Access, which is presently included with Office 365 ProPlus, E3 and E5 plans, to Business and Business Premium subscribers as part of a client software update. The company plans to dole out automatic installations to customers over a two-month period from Dec. 1 through Jan. 30, 2017.

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