AirPlay and Thunderbolt May Be Limited to High-End Devices to Start

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Earlier today, we noted that LaCie is preparing to roll out its first Thunderbolt-enabled Little Big Disk external hard drives, although the initial models will be limited to higher-end SSD-based devices.

    iLounge now reports that slow roll-out of Thunderbolt and the lack of consumer-based options may be due to high pricing for incorporating the technology, an issue that appears to also be affecting third-party peripherals compatible with Apple's AirPlay streaming technology. According to the report, the inclusion of Thunderbolt or AirPlay compatibility can add as much as $100 to the price of these devices, limiting their ability to address mainstream consumer markets.
    For the time being, announced Thunderbolt products do seem to be coming in at price points above those typically within range of mainstream consumers, as evidenced by Promise's 8 TB Pegasus RAID R4, which briefly appeared on Apple's store priced at $1399.95 before being pulled. That price is only $100 more than for Promise's current 8 TB RAID offering, but it remains to be seen just how quickly Thunderbolt will be able to make its way into more mainstream products.


    iLounge suggests that there may at least be some hope for price drops for AirPlay devices in the relatively near future, noting that Philips earlier this week debuted AirPlay-compatible speaker systems with price tags as low as $229, a new floor in what has until now seen the feature primarily limited to higher-end receivers.

    Article Link: AirPlay and Thunderbolt May Be Limited to High-End Devices to Start
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2005
    This is part of the reason I don't understand why people were *so* excited over this. How could anyone expect anything different? I wouldn't expect this to be mainstream for a couple years.
  3. macrumors 65816

    Apr 4, 2007
    los angeles
    I wouldn't mind a $100 premium on a nice 3.5" dual bay thunderbolt enclosure.
  4. macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2003
    down on the upside
    ridiculous conclusion

    The comparison made here is silly. The Pegasus model without Thunderbolt is a mere $100 less. The fastest connection speed it supports is eSATA 3Gbps (not even 6Gbps). For an extra $100 you have access to Thunderbolt speeds, and this is going to slow adoption among this market segment? Give me a break. Probably not for consumers at the start, but to think a Thunderbolt device with this price increase for the extra performance wouldn't take off in this prosumer/enterprise environment is a silly conclusion.
  5. macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    If Apple was really serious about pushing technology forward instead of proprietary lock-in, they'd be using DLNA and just re-branding it as AirPlay.
  6. macrumors 604


    Feb 23, 2010
    It's going to be interesting to see how this goes.

    Let's face it, unless the PC market starts using Thunderbolt and it gets into mass market consumer products, it's a dead duck.

    When I say dead duck, I don't mean it's not impressive and fast and Pro's won't want it, I mean as far as the mainstream views it.

    I'm afraid people will use Thunderbolt as an excuse to price things, high, and actually there will be some who don't want to see Thunderbolt go to the lower price points. Yes, I know it's mad, but there are people who actually enjoy things being special and not owned by the mass market.

    It's going to be a great shame in Thunderbolt dies at birth as far as normal consumer "Best Buy" items go. And we see the whole world embrace USB3 as the new default standard.

    Why not have Thunderbolt as the new mass consumer standard and move on from USB3 before it takes over?
  7. macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Is this really news ? I mean, seriously ?

    You've got an interface that appears to be the extension of the bus on the motherboard - we're not talking 8bit ISA cards here, that has only just come out, and that is only available on new computers. Look at USB peripherals when they first came out !

    Secondly for airplay - it's more expensive to build a 802.1x device with appropriate protocols on board than it is to put a dock - really ? are you sure ? really sure ? I'm assuming based on this the next headline will be 'rain gets you wet' .

    The quality of mac news reporting is rapidly hitting lowest common denominator level with big scary headlines, glib, technically inaccurate statements and general lack of common sense and/or thought within articles.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2009
    OK, but what the mainstream market wants is not that important to me. The mainstream never wanted FW800; USB2 was good enough. I'm sure USB3 will be good enough for the mainstream market, too.

    As long as there is enough of a market to support a reasonable range of Thunderbolt peripherals, I'll be satisfied.

    Don't forget, too, that TB is an Intel technology. It should become available in Windows PCs in the next year or so, and that will put it at least on a par with eSATA in terms of serving the upper part of the market.
  9. macrumors member


    Oct 15, 2009
    Because USB 3 already took over and thunderbolt doesn't seem optimal for consumer devices. My local computer shops have tons of USB3 raid enclosures, sadly I am stuck with USB2 and firewire. My work MacPro runs raid through Sata.

    I want since I use raid drives for video editing. But I also want USB3. The two can co-exist the way SUB2 and Firefire did. There is really no reason for Thunderbolt Mice and keyboards. USB serves that segment well.
  10. macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2010

    I just can't help but think that thunderbolt is either going to become a dead standard or is going to be really slow at being adopted. It just seems usb 3.0 will take over in that time.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 21, 2010
    did you have an alternate expectation at this stage of the game?
  12. 0815, Jun 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011

    macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2010
    here and there
    only $100 more for using a much faster interface? Fine by me. I need fast disk access more than any other machine upgrade - given that, the 'premium' isn't too bad, you get a good value for that. This one is not SSD, but I am looking forward to a selection of SSD Thunderbold drives, that will show the true advantage of Thunderbold.
  13. macrumors member

    May 5, 2011
  14. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    It's merely an example of the $1000+ hardware Thunderbolt is going into at first. It's not showing up in the $200-$300 consumer externals.
  15. macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2007
    Though I love that Apple has put into use this technology somewhat exclusively, it's going to take a release of Thunderbolt into PC territory before costs can be lowered. We need a larger market.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2005
    On an island in Maine
    Didn't Apple learn from the Firewire debacle? There's a reason USB won over Firewire and it isn't because it's a better technology. Apple has to stop with these expensive licensing issues if they want their technologies to stick. And they talk about Blu-Ray being a "big bag of hurt..." :rolleyes:
  17. macrumors 604


    Feb 23, 2010
    If we put the snob issue to one side, and the idiots who like expensive things just because they are expensive and they can feel special as they have things which they feel other can't afford.

    Sad little people!

    Is there a REAL reason why we can't just adopt Thunderbolt as a new "connect everything" standard?

    Thunderbolt mice, Keyboards, Printers, Graphics tablets, Scanners, as well as the more obvious things like external hard drives and monitors.

    Would it not just make everyone's life easier to just ramp up the scale and down the cost of thunderbolt and stick a load of thunderbolt ports on the back of Macs and PC's and just have everything using the same connection.

    I'd happily spend the few extra dollars that a fully mass market thunderbolt system SHOULD cost.

    Unfortunately, I'm afraid there are some people who will deliberately want to keep it priced high and seen to be something special to justify the high price.
  18. macrumors 68000

    Dec 24, 2001
    Carson City, NV
    Pro's will pick TB for audio and video capture as TB has very low latency and has capabilities of syncing data streams. Think of TB as a superset of USB 3.0 capabilites, just as Intel does.

    The two standards are complementary, but everyone wants to make a horse race out of it. Apple will support USB 3.0 when Intel supports in on the chipsets for Ivy Bridge late this year.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Mike Oxard

    Oct 22, 2009
    A $100 premium is a lot to pay for AirPlay, especially as in my experience it is far from being perfect at the moment.
  20. macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2009
    SF Bay Area, California
    You daisy chain Thunderbolt devices, you don't connect them to a central hub. Would you really like to connect a mouse to a keyboard to a hard drive to a printer to a tablet to a monitor? So if you want to take the printer out then you need to rewire your entire room?
  21. macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2003
    Firewire isn't a debacle. They weren't trying to kill USB and firewire, and licensing was not expensive. Not only that, you are mistaken if you think the "big bag of hurt" was about price.
  22. macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2003
    Of course Airplay is going to be more expensive. You need a specialized chip running a server and a WiFi interface. Until someone invents an Airplay/WiFi system-on-a-chip, it's going to be expensive.
  23. macrumors 604


    Feb 23, 2010
    Do you have to daisy chain or is this just an option?

    Can't they make something like a 8 port Thunderbolt Hub to replace USB then?
  24. macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    This isn't news at all. It's a new standard meaning it will be more expensive at launch, and the benefits it provides are going to first appeal to pros doing high end work. Those pros are going to be HAPPY to pay a little bit extra to get that extra speed.

    If this works as well as that tech demo posted earlier, pros are going to go crazy for it. And pros working on PC are going to want the technology as well.
  25. macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    So Apple the Pros a (pretty substantial) bone and they're complaining?

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