Dear Apple – Let Me Tell You Where To Stick Your MagSafe 2 Plug

Macbook Air Power Supply

Macbook Air Power Supply

There is absolutely nothing on earth more delightful, more anticipatory, more scintillating than unwrapping a new product from Apple.  It’s like Christmas, New Year’s Eve and the 4th of July all rolled into one.  The rising action as you remove the plastic, the exclamation off awe as you see the device nestled in its VacuFormed tray, the sensual exhilaration as you remove it from the box – such was my moment this afternoon as I unboxed my new MacBook Air 13″ 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz), 8GB, 512 Flash.  This puppy is so hardcore, Apple just lists is specs on the bottom of the MacBook Air page without giving you a way to purchase it.  This is the MacBook Air that dreams are made of … it’s beyond Mac Fanboy love … it is an unmarked badge of honor for “geeks in the know.”

After admiring my new cybertronic external brain-extender for a few seconds, it was time to plug it in.  I reverently removed my six month old MacBook Air (half the power, half the storage, half the speed, half the RAM) from its hallowed place next to my Apple 27″ Thunderbolt monitor and went to plug in the new one: WTF?  The power adapter is “new” too?  Really … do you know how many MacBook Pro and MacBook Air power supplies I have scattered around?  The new MacBook Air is incompatible with every Apple Power Supply ever made?  No, No, No!!!!!

Mag Safe Plug & Mag Safe 2 Plug

Mag Safe Plug & Mag Safe 2 Plug

Yes, yes, yes.  What you see in the picture is a MagSafe plug on the left and the new MagSafe 2 plug on the right.  I don’t think I can accurately communicate how many colorful metaphors I espoused before calling my account manager at Tekserve (My favorite place to purchase Apple products).  As it turns out, there is a very ugly, non-Apple-like solution available from Apple.  For $9.99 you can purchase a MagSafe to MagSafe 2 converter and stick it into your new, beautiful, extraordinary MacBook Air. Really?  For $2,500 bucks?

First, the sad news that you need an adaptor to use your computer with any existing MacBook power supply. Then, to add insult to injury, you have to purchase it for $9.99. Yes, this is the best 13″ computer I have ever touched.  Yes, I just did a ProTools session with 10 other windows open, Adobe CS 5 running and didn’t need to use an external hard drive. Yes, this is so smoking fast, and the display is so remarkably crisp, I can’t believe that it only costs $2,500 bucks (with Apple care).  But, I’m so pissed about this little $10-dollar dongle – mostly because I am sure I’m going to lose it at the most inconvenient time.  Ugh!

OK. I feel better now.  Thanks for letting me rant like a spoiled little kid.  Hey Apple, guess where I’d like you to stick this little plug?



Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is Managing Director, Digital Media Group at Landmark Ventures/ShellyPalmer a technology focused Investment Banking & Advisory practice specializing in M&A, Financings, Strategic Partnerships and Innovation Access. He is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert and well known for his work on Fox Television's Shelly Palmer Digital Living as well as his daily radio report on United Stations Radio Networks. For more information, visit


  1. Peter J. Levy says:

    It’s OK. Rant away. I waited until this summer to buy the next generation iMac or 17″ Mac Book Pro. But now it turns out they aren’t coming out until next year!

  2. Did it not come with a power supply, and if so, why can’t you use it? This will be a non-issue for most people who buy one, assuming they get rid of their old computers.
    I do remember the minor frustration when they switched from the old to the MagSafe and my wife and I couldn’t use the same power supply, but we upgraded the other computer. Problem solved!

  3. jamesdbailey says:

    The adapter connects to the plug not the laptop. Connect it and forget it. What a ridiculous rant.

  4. Marcos Duran says:

    And you just learned this now? You just paid a grand for a computer, 9.99 won’t bankrupt you.

  5. Yacko says:

    I would highly recommend that you stop using Apple Macintosh computers. You need a computer that matches your dark mood.

  6. Roy Kamen says:

    I just got the new Macbook Pro Retina. The thing is a beast BUT – all my drives are Firewire SO… Apple – where the heck is the damn Firewire 800 Thunderbolt adapter????? You promised it in July. I am still waiting. Are you trying to get me to plunk down hundreds of dollars for a thunderbolt drive? I think I’ll just wait you out.

  7. Nostradamus says:

    Non-issue, non-article, non-starter.

    Boo-hoo, Shelley, boo-hoo. Maybe your Mommy can fix it….

  8. Extra dongles suck. They have always sucked. That’s why its best if technology companies change this kind of stuff rarely and only when really needed.

  9. My new Retina MacBook Pro came with the adapter in the package with the machine. I must be special.

  10. At first I thought it a pointless change, but upon further inspection, it looks like the new magsafe connector is thinner to accomodate the thinner laptop. $9.99 sucks, but given what Apple charges for must accessaries, that’s very cheap. And yes the adapter, being magnetic, will stay on the cable, only to be removed if you need the same cable for an older macbook.

  11. Chris says:

    Chill, dude. As somebody else said, just connect and leave the adapter hooked up your Thunderbolt Display at home and use the power cord that came with the MBA when travelling.

  12. Woops says:

    Your article is priceless. I’m so sorry you have to listen to all of these people who have not experienced this problem firsthand. They are all clueless.

    I just set up my new Air tonight, and noticed every time I moved the plug would detach. It was frustrating. Then I started moving data between my MacBook Pro and the new Air and the cord disconnected four more times. The Pro’s cord never came off once.

    While they were both sitting on another table, the new one fell off again. The new magnet is crap. Now, with the adapter, it will get worse. Someone said leave it on the Mag1 power cord. That’s great if you don’t use any other devices. But I do, so if I grab the cord and run with my older Pro, I will have to pull he adapter off when I’m out and tuck it somewhere, inviting super easy loss. Something that small invites loss.

    The connector is a neat idea, but I use my air on my lap, nd the ord won’t stay connected. Back to the store this Air will go. Bad design, Apple.

    • jamil730 says:

      yes!!! i hate this magnet.It never stays on!! ahhhhhh!!!!!The worst part is when it falls out and I dont even know it!!!

  13. JustDan says:

    This Mag Safe 2 plug is terrible! It falls out ALL the time. A stiff breeze? Falls out. I sneeze, falls out. I have to be so careful as to not move my MBA one iota, that I feel like I am handling a crate of unstable nitro glycerin! Apple, why did you make such a great laptop so annoying with this Mag Safe 2? Did you not test this?

    • Paulinkabul says:

      absolutely, I can’t even work on my Air when the adapter is plugged in, I charge it up when I am asleep and use without the adapter, its a shocker, worst piece of engineering I have seen from Apple

  14. Sonny Moon says:

    Apple Magsafe adapters–from the earliest design to the latest–are pieces of cr@p. And overpriced, too. I love my Macbook, but I wish Apple could come up with a sturdier adapter.

  15. Haakon Dahl says:

    I hear you. I have one of the early, small, sucky MBAs, and aside from my frustration at not being able to use my 2009 MBP power at home and leave the new one in the bag so it’s always ready to travel, there’s a strategic mismatch building up here. Apple customers pay through the nose for insanely great products. Not 85% of what you need, and not the latest half-baked nifty shiny junk that will be unsupported roadkill in a year. For that we have Sony.
    The execrable Lightning cable for the iPhone 5 is a similar issue to this, and it is just as unwelcome a change. I can see why they want to go to it, and two of the three reasons are fairly anti-customer. But that’s where it is, and they know they have us by the apps, and we’ll suffer along with what may be a necessary “feature”. But the MagSafe2 switcheroo has none of the obvious justifications, and all of the drawbacks.
    I can travel with any laptop I want connected to a little battery plate, which is pricy and heavy, but 8 more hours of juice on the go for, say, trans-Pacific flights, which I do a couple of times per year. Any laptop except one. Oh, I’m sorry, two. The MBP also doesn’t play with “foreign” power bricks. But the MBP has a removable battery! Once the MBA is conked, that’s it; you’re done.
    We don’t pay for this sort of abandonment. We are paying to have problems solved, and the style is a pleasant badge to connote our focus on quality. Now we drown in style while the functionality of the products goes downward. Those who feel that anger at stupidity is misplaced may be correct in a zen sense, but as paying customers, we expect to use our tools to do great things. Those who think that the correct answer is to pay ten dollars for a piece of junk that’s either going to get lost or epoxied to the original cable probably shouldn’t be reading this anyway. They’ll never understand the quality issue. There is no place for any “Oops, I lost the adaptor and now I’m screwed” assumption in a business relationship such as Apple has with us.
    There are two types of snob: one type which revels in their snobbery, and the other revels in denouncing the first type as snobs. The first type pays for quality.

  16. Simon Mills says:

    Steve would never have let this happen. I bought the new macbook pro. Same deal. I mean what sort of idiot goes from the perfect solution to this. Totally un Apple and totally unacceptable.

  17. bekwel says:

    When you buy a new car, do you put your old batteries, and tires on the new one. Come on. New equipment should come with new cables.

  18. Lauremideus says:

    I have been trying to tell Apple for the past 2-3 years that their adapters are extremely poorly designed and on top of that, very expensive. Every time I buy a macbook, I go through 2-3 adapters in 2-3 years. The thin wire from the adapter to the magsafe port is the biggest problem. They should redesign the adapter with a removable wire with a magsafe pin and make the wire reinforced with a protective mesh like the gecko gear stereo to stereo wire.

    Apparently Apple has stopped listening to loyal customers.

  19. main says:

    Simon you must not know apple very well, this is the MO. Make something, make every thing that connects to it proprietary and susceptible to break, make adapters for everything and sell them for $30 a pop, change everything in 4 years so you have to buy everything again. They’ve been doing it forever.

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