Why are there so few USB ports on new computers?

This is a question regarding the evolution of desktop PCs.  Most of the desktop PCs that I work on and that are recently manufactured have a shortage of USB ports...many in fact have only two USB ports.  This makes it awkward to add peripherals.  Why are the manufacturers doing this?
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAsked:
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John EastonDirectorCommented:
I guess you would need to ask the manufacturers for a definitive answer, but I'm happy to share my thoughts.

Firstly, I think with the way computer use has evolved USB is used less now than it was in the past.  For example many printers are now WiFi enabled, storage devices are now often Network Attached, rather than USB only.

Also the growth in cloud storage has reduced the need for direct attached storage.

Part of this is driven (in my view) by the proliferation of tables and smart phones.  People can't use USB devices on these devices, and therefore are finding other ways of working.  For example replacing scanners with cameras on your phone or tablet.

However, USB hubs are also fairly cheep, so it doesn't cause users much extra expense to buy a USB hub if they need it, while saving a little in production for the majority who never use them.

Indeed I work mostly on my laptop and the only USB device I use is for a cooling tray to stop the laptop heating up, plus an occasional USB Flash Drive.  Everything else is accessed through the network.

Hope this helps.

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Ravi AgrawalCommented:
I totally agree with JEaston

Just to add my two cents.

They are trying to save on costs. It is the world of USB 3.0 whic are more expensive to embed than USB 2.0 and I think that the more Usb ports you add to your PC it also raises the bar of power requirement. Each Usb port is generally allocated 500mah of power and usb 3.0 require even more.

They don't want to add more ports as they believe that the user will generally use a powered Hub if he requires one thus saving on the power input to the PC.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
My ThinkPad X230 has 2 regular USB 3 ports and I Always ON  USB port. I never run out of ports. I use a Bluetooth mouse (which does not interfere with suspend) and Wi-Fi for many things. This agrees with others above that USB ports do not have the importance they once needed.

My desktop has 4 ports (two front and two back).
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
You must be referring to major OEM pc's i.e. Dell, HP, Lenovo where the margins are razor thin, especially at the lower end consumer machines.

My Asus Z68 MB has     2 x USB 3.0 and 8 USB 2.0 on the backplane and I can add  2 x USB 3.0  +  4 X  USB 2.0 via expansion slots (the connector is on the MB) (Total of 16)

My ASUS Z170 MB has     5 x USB 3.1 ports, 1 x USB 3.1 (Type C), 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 portExpress),
1 x USB 2.0 port on the backplane and I can add 4x USB 3.0 and 4x USB 2.0 ports via expansion slots (the connector is on the MB)  (Total of 16)

These motherboards run in the range of $300 alone.

You get what you pay for. I've been customizing my own computers since before there were PC's (Altair 8800 circa 1976)
So many things have gone wireless and to the cloud
Port replicators are also cheap
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone.  Much appreciated.
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