Are Lightning & Thunderbolt Already Destined For The Bin?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rscott4563, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. rscott4563 macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2007
    Based upon the fact that Apple has now adopted the new open USB-C standard port on it's latest consumer product and the fact that USB-C pretty much covers and in some ways exceeds the capabilities of the current proprietary Apple interfaces (obviously with the exception of bandwidth and throughput of Thunderbolt 2) are we about to see Apple drop these previously much celebrated and advertised ports?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That's very possible, if not likely. I can see "a whole lotta shakin' goin' on" in the connectivity arena before things settle into a very few industry standards that everyone can adopt, and it may be many years before we see that.
  3. threezero macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2008
    as someone that relie on thunderbolt daily and have already invested in various thunderbolt dongles i'm very afraid with apple's new move
  4. Joelburman macrumors regular


    Oct 31, 2014
    I'd say lightning is pretty much doomed but I sure hope TB sticks around for a while on the rMBP models since they are the base function to transfer video files during professional film and tv shoots.
  5. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007

    USB C on the MacBook current maxes out at 5Gbps.

    The Thunderbolt 2 port on Macbook Pros, etc. maxes out at 20 Gbps and acts as hubs other interfaces that people still need.

    Thunderbolt is not going away anytime soon, but it's just not going to be available on the minimalistic, basic (i.e. MacBook) product lines.
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    USB-C on the new MacBooks are based on the USB 3.1 standard, with 10 Gbps.

    That said, TB is still superior because it's basically PCIe, and PCIe devices will be recognized in their native PCIe form.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008

  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
  9. actuallyinaus macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2013
    thunderbolt has a different design (interface to pcie), it's targeted towards the profesionals, so you shouldn't expect it on a macbook, only the pro version, 5GB/s vs bidirectional-20GBs is still a big difference so it's still relevant
  10. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I think you should add the venerable 3.5mm audio port to your list, mot probably starting with iPhone 7.
  11. Devie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I hope lighting goes or atleast gets a usb3 update. Damn joke that it's usb 2.
    Or Apple will ditch the port all together and rely on induction charging.
  12. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Guys the USB Type-C port can actually carry Thunderbolt. Chances are in the future they will just drop the Mini Display Port that currently is used for Thunderbolt and use Type-C for all of it.
    It can be used for Displayport, Thunderbolt, USB 3.1-2.0, HDMI, VGA. All on that one port. Thunderbolt won't die but it will probably get that new port eventually. Some time in the future a Mac will probably just have a bunch of Type-c ports with one or two of them carrying Tunderbolt and Display ports.

    Lightning was a stupid thing from the get go. It is so nice to be able to use micro usb for all devices, only Apple needs something else. They will probably hang on to it for a while longer. Not Apple's style to admit to a mistake.
  13. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I think that the Thunderbolt with stay. There will be two connections: Thunderbolt for professional usage (faster, but also more expensive) and USB-C for normal usage. I think this is reasonable.

    As to Lightning, the faster it disappears, the better it is for everyone.
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    ITs hard to see how Thunderbolt will succeed, no other computer maker (AFAIK) as embraced the technology and USB-C while still in its infancy certainly does look like it may be better
  15. alex0002 macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2013
    New Zealand
    USB C is a physical interface, but does not mandate interface speeds.

    The USB 3.1 spec provides 10 Gb/s speeds, but apple have decided to not implement that in the new Macbook.

    USB will go much faster than 10 Gb/s.

  16. librarian macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2011
    thunderbolt won't disappear, at least for a while. It's pretty much included on all high-end/professional laptop solutions in the market, not just apple line up.
  17. metsjetsfan macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2011
    wouldnt it be lightning stays but the other end of it is USB-C
  18. Raunien macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2011
    I'm not entirely sure lightning will go anytime soon. Because apple is obsessed with how thin their devices are, I think lightning on mobile devices is better than USB-C.
  19. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    I think both Lightning and Thunderbolt will be around for a long time. Apple works with long time horizons. They wouldn't have developed Lightning knowing it would only last three years. As for Thunderbolt, I think the new MacBook is only a temporary bump in the road. Intel's Skylake chips, due this fall, include Thunderbolt 3 support, which is twice as fast as Thunderbolt 2 and has a new smaller connector that would very well fit into the next gen MacBook. Further evidence of Apple's support for Thunderbolt is the updated MacBook Air and Pro. Do you think they would have upgraded those to Thunderbolt 2 if Thunderbolt were on the way out? No, the new MacBook is the entry level machine. It compromises on both features and power for the sake of portability. For those who are willing to accept those compromises, it's a fantastic looking machine.
  20. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    Not sure why Apple has limited it to 5 Gbps but it is an Artificial limitation imposed by Apple not part of the standard.


    I think we need to wait and see what happens with the Next Iphone to understnad where Apple is going with the Lightning connector.
  21. TechZeke, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015

    TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Someone that is using a core M Macbook probably isn't using thunderbolt, lets be honest here.

    I was under the impression that USB-C was created because it is so thin, not to kill off thunderbolt. Not sure why anyone would think lightning is going anywhere, USB-C is too big for iOS devices.
  22. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    It might be a limitation of the processor.
  23. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Most manufacturers make their money on sub $700 laptops, which is definitely NOT the target demographic to spend $50 on a thunderbolt cable, or $200-$300 on a thunderbolt drive. IIRC, most modern business class workstation PCs have thunderbolt.
  24. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Thunderbolt will stick around on the Pro models for a while, but I sense that eventually, it's going to "go the way of firewire" -- that is, to be superseded (not totally) by future iterations of ultra-high-speed USB.

    I realize that USB may not have the potential to provide all the advantages of thunderbolt's pci-e connection, BUT, Apple may just decide that not enough users actually -use- such capabilities to justify keeping it in future models -- particularly when they seem obsessed with "making it thinner".

    Then again, future re-designs of USB may surprise us with its capabilities -- just as the inclusion of "UASP" into USB3 totally revamped how USB transfers are conducted "on the bus" (USB attached SCSI protocol relieves the CPU of most of the burdens it previously carried under USB2).

    Thunderbolt will probably be retained on the Mac Pro line for the longest. Perhaps even on the Mini, as well.

    But I predict it will disappear sooner-than-expected on the Macbooks.

    No infallible crystal ball here.
    I could be wrong...
  25. chipchen macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2002

    1. USB-C is too thick.
    2. Lightning, bring proprietary, has benefits which allow Apple to keep a somewhat closed eco system with the MFi program, etc.

    I hope they simplify it and just release a USB-C to Lightning cable instead of having to use the adapter.

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29 March 10, 2015