Could Apple be readying a Thunderbolt Dock Connector?

Could Apple be readying a Thunderbolt Dock Connector?

Apple has been recently granted a patent for a dock connector with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, reports AppleInsider.

Titled “Reduced Size Multi-Pin Male Plug Connector” and published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, the patent describes a smaller, 30-pin dock connector with updated connection standards which could carry power, data and A/V signals.

The Thunderbolt technology, which Apple introduced with the latest generation of MacBook Pros, is capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 10Gbps, both ways. Intel had originally previewed this technology back in 2009, then codenamed “Light Peak” and utilizes Intel’s PCI Express channel.

The patent, however, does not clarify whether the new connector would be backward compatible with Apple’s current dock connector. Apple is known to push newer technologies onto consumers, but it’d be a while before we see the new dock connectors making their way into their portable devices. Currently, Apple’s new MacBook Pro lineup is the only set of devices that come with a Thunderbolt port (as the DisplayPort).

But if Apple pulls this off, it’d mean wonders for the consumers. Transferring data like music and photos onto or off your iPhone, iPad or iPod could become blazing quick — almost instantaneous. Today, connecting my iPhone to my Mac and waiting for Image Capture to show the photo library takes up just over 5 minutes, so I can’t wait to see how Apple puts the Thunderbolt technology to use.

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