Sony Is Already Trying To Undermine Apple And Fragment Thunderbolt

Sony Is Already Trying To Undermine Apple And Fragment Thunderbolt

Although Apple was the first company to debut Thunderbolt with the 2011 MacBook Pro refresh, Intel and Apple’s next-gen, one-port-to-rule-them-all is open to all takers. Already, though, one of Apple’s biggest competitors is rocking the Thunderboat, and threatening to fragment the Thunderbolt standard before it even has a chance to clear port.

See that laptop up there? That’s Sony’s latest Vaio, the self-proclaimed “Ultimate Mobile PC”, and see that port with the arrow pointing at it? That’s not a USB port. That’s a Thunderbolt port.

Yup. Instead of using the Mini DisplayPort standard that Apple has settled upon for its own implementation of Thunderbolt, Sony’s decided to go with a USB head, despite the fact that in the past, the USB Implementers Forum stated in no uncertain terms that “USB connectors are not general purpose connectors and are not designed to be used in support of other technology applications or standards or as combo connectors.”

Irritating. While Sony is free to ultimately choose whichever connector it pleases for Thunderbolt, it’s discouraging to see Thunderbolt fragment into talk of USB-to-Mini-DisplayPort adapters before the first Thunderbolt peripheral has even shipped. Boo, Sony. Boo.

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  • Alejandro Iglesias

     it’s sony, what do you spect? always doing what they want to do.. blu ray, minidisk, vhs, etc…

  • @rtigs

    Good luck Sony with trying to create your own standard.  I truly hope this works out as well as your infamous betamax product (VHS won), your MMCD standard (DVD won), and your Memory Stick format (SD cards won).

    Maybe you should focus on making your existing products more robust (e.g. PSN network security), rather than pretending that you are a pioneer in the industry (that ship sailed on you about 15 years ago).

  • mcwetboy

     Sony is still being Sony, in other words. (Remember i.LINK?)

  • Andrew

    Don’t forget UMD!
    Although you can’t blame them, they have had much success from creating their own formats (see CD and Blu-ray).
    Besides, only apple really uses mini display port.

  • prof_peabody

    Sony’s proprietary standards are not even compatible with their own stuff half the time.  I gave up on them with the Memory stick debacle.  Not only were they incompatible with everything else on the market, they shipped in 14 different versions each incompatible with each other for the most part.  

    At least Apple devises a *single* standard, opens it up for everyone else, and sticks with it for a few years seeing if it catches on before ditching it.    

  • synthmeister

     And don’t forget ATRACS. Sony forced users to convert ripped CDs to ATRACS before their digital Walkmans would play the trax.

  • synthmeister

     And don’t forget ATRACS. Sony forced users to convert ripped CDs to ATRACS before their digital Walkmans would play the trax.

  • synthmeister

     So you would have a video cable with USB on one end and HDMI (or something) on the other end?

    What the cr@p?

  • JMP

     One more reason to avoid introducing a Sony product in our household.

  • Amazed

    MMCD, Betamax, ATRACS, Memory Stick, HD-DVD, UMD, i.LINK, and now, “Thunderbolt”.
    Fail.
    Fail indeed.

  • Yellowcows

    Sony ?…. ah yeah sony….
    They’re still not learning anything from their repeatedly fail attempt to bring their own standard…
    They should hire a monkey as CEO… he’ll be more successful!

  • Michiel Mac

    I have a Sony TV. Allways had. But not anymore. This is the last one. We as consumers have a responsibility in helping to steer the ship. If we all lean to one side, the boat ultimately will change coarse !

  • Dilbert A

    Sony backed Blu-ray, not HD-DVD.

  • Steve Simula

    You can add MiniDiscs to that list. I invested quite a bit in that “standard” and now, after my Sony MD player/Recorder died, I’m left with tons of MiniDiscs that I can’t play unless i go find a used MD player someplace or something.

  • mihai barbulescu

    no sh** ,,, wtf Apple openness ? I have a macbook air with mac osx 10.5 and I cannot install the lasted version of java(1.5) for my own projects due the fact apple use a closed format of java and they distribute only java 1.4 version  on osx 10.5.
        If i want to upgrade to the lasted java version I have to upgrade also to snow leopard which seems to be crap to buy  which has  no additional feature and even creates issues with the power battery management . yeah .. apple openness … I suppose that if buy the snow leopard and java upgrades again I have to buy the Lion OS to take advantage of that . so I say let’s not buy any mac and buy only SONY and install any OS we want .
       BTW I also bought an Apple TV which seems to be the worst and useless product I ever had . I cannot even run a movie from memory stick because its designed to work only with iTUNES so yeah another Apple open and ‘standard’ shit….  don’t forget about the Apple “OPEN” ipod music which runs only on itunes.
      Now the new OS Lion will also come with a kind of iStore that will allow you to install and upgrade apps through . I have a bad felling that soon you will be able to install software only through that crap so that apple can charge for each sh** you install .

    One more thing about “Apple designed by Apple California , made in China” . I think  you got the point .

  • Ryan Villanueva

     Sony refuses to learn from their own history of failed “standards”

  • Tibor

    Um, no. I don’t think even you got your point.

  • lapommefreak

    wait… WHAT?

    sounds like you just need to do some RESEARCH prior to purchasing a new product (e.g. OS X 10.6 and Apple TV).

    BTW you sound like a typical Apple drone who decided to join the band wagon because it was “COOL.”

    Educate yourself rather than going off of what the media is telling you.

  • Jrbingo1

    You my friend, are a colossal idiot!!! If you went out and bought the Apple tv without doing any research thinking it would play your memory stick then your are an even bigger idiot than you’ve made yourself out to be in your post. Have fun with your memory stick.

  • Nutz320

     Good comment, but wasn’t BetaMax a superior format? Similar to how FireWire is superior to USB, but consumers only really use USB, because peripherals with FireWire are more expensive.

  • Nutz320

     Don’t feed the troll!

  • Stuart Otterson

     The memory stick was horrible I agree, especially when they started getting smaller and I needed to find adaptors to get them to fit in my older camera. Last time I ever buy a Sony digital camera.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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