An interesting Apple patent filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office details how Thunderbolt could be headed to iOS devices. Apple has actually been filing many Thunderbolt-related trademarks as of late, despite the fact that Thunderbolt is also an Intel property.
In this recent patent, Apple details how the need for high-speed data connections between devices requires new cables. The traditional 30-pin connector isn’t cutting it anymore, and Thunderbolt is the future.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of a different connection architecture making its way to Apple’s mobile lineup, but it looks like the company’s plans are starting to take shape. Patently Apple reports that “a connection may be provided between a portable media player and a display, a computer and a portable media player.” Apple would first need to redesign the Thunderbolt connector to be “ flat enough to fit a USB-type of device slot.” According to Patently Apple, fiber-optic lines could be a viable replacement for the current Thunderbolt nylon core.
The obvious benefits of such technology would be lightning-fast recharging and syncing for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. There’s no telling how long it will take this patent to see the light of day, but we can only hope that it will be sooner rather than later.