Apple’s $159 Thunderbolt 4 cable is here, and it’s still your only extra-long option

The day has arrived: you can now spend $159 on a USB cable and actually feel somewhat justified! That’s because Apple’s three-meter Thunderbolt 4 Pro Cable isn’t just any ol’ cord — it’s still the only Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C / USB 4 cable on the market at anywhere near its length.

Want a cable that can transmit 40 gigabits per second of Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4 data, up to 8K video, and 100W of USB-C PD power to a big MacBook Pro nearly 10 feet away? It’s your only game in town. Every other company that sells a Thunderbolt 4 cable — including Belkin, CalDigit, CableMatters, CTG, OWC, and Plugable — tops out at two meters (6.6 feet). Which makes those other cables roughly just half a foot longer than Apple’s previous 1.8-meter Thunderbolt 4 cord.

It’s also a braided cable, which makes me happy, not that I’m going to buy one because $159 is enough scratch that I will gladly wait until other cable manufacturers catch up.

If you are the kind of person who’d be perfectly satisfied with a two-meter, non-braided cable without the Apple and “Pro” labels, those other manufacturers’ Thunderbolt 4 cables currently range from $57 to $130.

But if you want the Apple cable, it’s available in some Apple stores beginning today. A $9 “scheduled courier delivery” could get it to our Manhattan offices in just a couple of hours, though it looks like folks in Apple’s native SF Bay Area will have to wait until at least May 12th for delivery.

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