MG Siegler, over at Techcrunch, talking about future Thunderbolt enabled iPhones.
When I wrote about Thunderbolt the other day, it struck me that the most obvious way for Apple to push Thunderbolt adoption was through it’s stable of highly successful iOS devices. It’s inevitable, but I don’t think the rollout will be as fast as Siegler thinks it will be.
Assuming that Apple has figured out the engineering issues such as whether the iPhone hardware can support a Thunderbolt bus(and what costs might be associated with that), there just aren’t enough Thunderbolt enabled computers to take advantage of the technology. Nor is the adoption rate of new Macs likely to be anywhere close to that of iOS devices. To wit, Apple reported sales of iPhones and iPads to the tune of 18.6 and 4.6 million units, respectively, versus just 3.7 million Macs.
Sure, going Thunderbolt only on the next generation of iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches might force some early adopters to upgrade but more likely, it would leave millions, if not billions, of potential sales on the table.
Instead, I expect Apple to rollout future iOS devices with 30-pin dock connectors capable of both USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt (No USB 3.0) In the box, you’d get the standard USB 30-pin cable you get today. If you’d want to use a faster Thunderbolt connection instead, Apple would be more than happy to oblige with a “sold separately” Thunderbolt cable.
How many people would be willing to upgrade their computers just to take advantage of a Thunderbolt enabled iPhone?