Why the iPhone Won’t Get Thunderbolt Anytime Soon


Apple refreshed their MacBook Pro line up yesterday, with the highlight being Intel’s super fast connection, Thunderbolt. Formerly known as Light Peak, this Intel technology allows for both electrical or optical connections.

A question many have been asking lately: Will the iPhone get Thunderbolt in the future? The answer is no. Macworld breaks it down:

…Thunderbolt relies on PCI Express, the architecture that underpins Macs and most PCs. But iOS devices don’t use a PCI Express architecture, which would presumably make it difficult to simply stick a Thunderbolt port on an iPhone. Plus the dock-connector port on iOS devices provides quite a bit of additional functionality—it’s got 30 connection pins for a reason, after all. Finally, it’s not clear what benefits Thunderbolt would provide that the dock-connector port is missing. We suspect it’s far more likely that Apple will eventually sell an optional Thunderbolt-to-dock-connector cable for charging and syncing.

So there you have it. Thunderbolt isn’t coming anytime soon. I wish I had a ‘Thunderbolt’ connection to improve my sync times within iTunes though–don’t you?

Are you buying a new MacBook Pro?



  • @chriswtburke

    I will be getting a new MacBook Pro.. I’m very much due for a new one… In rocking a 2006 MacBook.. The new MBP is going to be a nice upgrade

  • Dan_s1

    I can wait the extra couple of seconds. No biggie.

  • Marco

    What I want is WiFi sync in my iPhone, no more cables! With some kind of auto-sync (back-up) or auto-update…

  • Seconds? Syncing and backing up on a full 16GB device takes me 10+ minutes sometimes. I can only imagine people with 32-64GB devices taking twice or three times as long.
    Imagine doing it in 5 seconds. That’s an improvement I want.

  • This would be slow and drain your battery. Plugging it in for 5 seconds vs full wifi speed battery drain for 20-30 minutes. I can see why Apple wouldn’t want to offer this.

    Jailbreak and get WifiSync if you really want it. It works.

  • Frankie

    The answer to your wish is already here: USB3! All we have to do is have a USB3 port on the PC and wait for apple to make the cable. It should be easy as the interface is backward compatible.

  • Asdf

    how come everytime you guys post something it always ends as a question..

  • To encourage comments.

  • Anonymous

    As a video editor, I really wish Apple had released thunderbolt on its MacPro lineup too. Intel has already said that it won’t work by simply adding a PCIe card to a computer, you’ll need a whole new computer. Therefore I will have to be patient and wait for Apple to roll thunderbolt out on more of it’s lineup… of course thunderbolt itself is completely useless until more companies design peripherals for it.

  • Anonymous

    it takes me normally less than a minute but sometimes upto 2 to backup and sync my 64gb ipod touch. it has 7100 songs (50 gigs) and about 8-9 more gigs of apps.
    thunderbolt would be pretty pointless for just a few seconds shorter sync

  • ok, since the mini vid port is already on my 2010 mac air, got it in December. and its pci connected, why cant they just so a software patch and make the last back of macs use it as well? Or is it a chip set thing?

  • Anonymous

    Not like it matters. The flash storage in them is so freakin’ slow that it doesn’t even use USB2’s available bandwidth. Nothing quite like having to do a restore and wait nine years for 13 gigs of songs to copy to the bloody thing.