Apple Could Be Bringing Thunderbolt To iOS Devices [Patent]

Apple Could Be Bringing Thunderbolt To iOS Devices [Patent]

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.

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  • davisremmel

    “…lightning-fast recharging…” Uhh…connection speed has nothing to do with how fast a battery charges.

  • Georgesab

    I’m fine as long as it’s optional, if they ever only have thunderbolt cables in the box.. then I’m unimpressed. That’ll be pretty much cutting compatibility out of the box (Yes you can buy a cable) for most computers. I mean currently only Macs have Thunderbolt. In a few years still only few will have it. They’re better off with USB 3.0. 

  • Shane Bryson

    Incorrect, there are a number of intel based PCs on the market that have Thunderbolt.

  • Shane Bryson

    But using fiberoptic through the connection to a computer or through a wall charger via thunderbolt would GREATLY increase charging speeds. 

  • VotersRights

    CoM has sunk to a new low, turning comments off when posting SPAM Android articles in the Apple section.

  • rjove696

    Wasn’t CoM one of the launch partners for Google Currents? Now suddenly all this Google/Android news? Coincidence? Incentive?

  • Mitch McKee

    Dear god let’s hope so. The change in speed I saw when I got a FireWire cable for my portable hard drive was enough to convince me that faster cables work. I was a little worried when Apple introduced Thunderbolt, with almost nothing to connect to it. But if their mobile devices required it, other companies would be pushed to become compatible, or lose customers. Would some ditch iPhones? Sure. But I think a greater majority would find a different computer.

  • Wes

    What about those of us who DON’T have a Mac with Thunderbolt? >_>

  • Karl

    Back in my day… iPods were FireWire only and syncing songs was fast. But then Apple decided to use USB and syncing slowed. Now all the kids today and their new fangled cloud syncing. What would be the point for forcing Thunderbolt?

  • Wayne_Luke

    Electrify travels at near the speed of light over copper. Have they even been able to due ion transfer over Fiber Optics?

  • Nathan Glass

    PCs are getting them this year.

  • Nathan Glass

    from the article – “The obvious benefits of such technology would be lightning-fast recharging and syncing for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.”

    Not everyone will be “cloud syncing”….

  • Wes

    No no…that I know. But I have a Mac…without Thunderbolt. What about me? >_> I guess this is where wireless syncing comes into play. We’ll see I guess

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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