Originally Posted by addabox
And outside of that, what does the format bring to iOS devices?
HD video out, 10W of power (faster charge times), faster syncs (ensuring that the flash memory is the bottleneck).
Edit: Also one cable keyboard, monitor, mouse nettop/netbook potential. I think as iOS becomes more advanced Apples going to start implementing a desktop UI option (similar to but better than what the motorola Atrix does) for the iPhone and iPad.
So if this does come to iOS, I would expect next year at the earliest, when there's some actual ecosystem to take advantage of.
When you have a head start, it's best to make use of it. It's fine to add the port as long as you still have legacy support. It's quite interesting that the MBP refresh and the iPad 2 event were spaced less than a week apart, especially considering the previous case leaks with what looked like a mini-displayport opening up top.
And I wouldn't rule out Apple selling a dock connector to Thunderbolt dongle even then, because they just seem to roll that way.
The dock connector doesn't have enough free pins for TB, nor do they need separate pins for USB and Firewire with TB. If they added this to the dock connector, it would be a brand new and likely incompatible one.
The royalty income from the dock connector may be hard to let go of, but I think they might ultimately end up doing that because TB can act as a total replacement for the dock connector once they get around whatever technical issues there may be (which would be beyond my level of understanding).
The dock connector serves a purpose as it combines multiple I/O formats into one port, but TB already does that so there's little reason to change the shape of the plug (the only reason would be to add pins to support analog audio and video but I think we're moving away from that).
I guess we'll see what happens Wednesday. I suspect we'll see the dock connector and one TB port (and hopefully a splitter or a dock for TB), but perhaps you're right and it isn't coming yet.