Apple Patents Point to Thunderbolt on iOS Devices

It's been a little less than a year since Intel's Thunderbolt interface hit the market in Apple's MacBook Pro line and it seems Cupertino may be ready to spread the love around a little. Recently filed patents from Apple hint that the company could be considering bringing Thunderbolt to iOS devices in the future.

The patents, which were first spotted by Patently Apple, highlight the increasing amounts of information transferred between and among electronic devices. As such, Apple feels new cables are needed to keep up. The company goes on to discuss the possibility of a new type of cable that could provide faster charging time as well as faster data transfers using active electronic components (such as integrated circuits), boosted strength, improved heat dissipation, and the use of different voltages for charging versus data signals. What's more, Patently Apple writes that one of the patents mentions media players specifically:

"Before going into the details of this main patent in their series of three, it should be noted that Apple states in their secondary patent application that "the present invention, connection may also be a new type of connection." For example, "a connection may be provided between a portable media player and a display, a computer and a portable media player, or between other types of devices."

Considering the part Apple played in the development with Thunderbolt, it's not surprising the company apparently wants to implement the super-fast interface across its entire line. Add that to the fact that Apple last year filed several Thunderbolt-related trademarks, and an iPad or iPod equipped with the technology doesn't seem at all unlikely. Of course, it will probably be a while before we see this implemented, but we're going to file this one under the 'not just for the heck of it' patents, along with Microsoft's DVR Xbox.

Read all about Apple's recently-filed Thunderbolt-related patents here.

  • jimmysmitty
    Last I checked, Thunderbolt was deeloped by Intel and all Apple did was pu it on their MacBook. Nothing more. I doubt Intel will allow Apple to patent it in a way to keep Apple from making it theirs only as it is meant for all PCs.
  • Check out my patent from the 90s:

    "A personal computer (PC) that utilizes a Universal Serial Bus(USB) version 1 or later connection, to allow external storage or multimedia devices to communicate with the PC. The current invention also should include any other similar uses that I haven't yet thought of."

    That's right folks, use a flash drive, get sued... If you'd like to settle out of court, please PM me.
  • KelvinTy
    Might as well patent "Having a Colored screen, speakers and input devices on everything portable."
  • lahawzel
    So... what kind of application on the iOS actually requires the full bandwidth of thunderbolt?
  • Well maybe application dont need the power of thunderbolt... But syncing by means of it will definitely make my day...
  • Target3
    idc, i have USB 3.0
  • davewolfgang
    OH sheeeze, this better be denied. So they want to "patent" something "in the future", that they haven't even created yet?

    They also want to patent "something" that connects one device to another??? That could be any freakin' wire around.

    Sad part is it will probably get approved.
  • g4114rd0
    Local legend tells of the White Dragon patent,
     +1 Cut out the dragon's head. 
  • zachusaman
    blazing speeds that you wont be able to utilize at all because your device cannot even support 1/10th of the speeds available!!! its like sata 6gb/s on a HDD!!
  • tofu2go
    lahawzelSo... what kind of application on the iOS actually requires the full bandwidth of thunderbolt?
    Connecting the iOS device to a thunderbolt display. What if you could carry slide presentations on your iPhone, and hook it up to a large screen thunderbolt display to give presentations. You could then use your iPhone as a clicker, swiping the display to advance slides.