Originally Posted by solipsism
Perhaps you and Carniphage havent been familiar with Apples products long enough to remember that the first iPods with the 30-pin iPod Dock Connector had FireWire at the other end of the cable.
It is precisely because these devices exist that Apple wouldn't redefine the dock pins.
Only when Apple introduced the Windows version of iTunes did they start including a iPod Dock Connector with USB at the other end. This was needed because most non-Mac PCs didnt have FireWire. They also needed to use the included wall charger since USB1.0 was ruled then.
The wall charger is actually a very worthwhile piece of hardware.
They shipped two iPod Dock Connector cables with each iPod one that terminated in the FireWire 400 port interface and one that terminated in the USB-A pot interface yet each used the same 30-pin dock connector.
In fact, one could speculate with reasonable certainty that Apple planned for this when they designed the 30-pin connector that has been in use for the past years.
Of course they planned for it. They knew full well that USB 2 was coming.
Later on they depreciated the FireWire 400 cable by first not including it with new iPods, then by removing the HW for allowing syncing, and finally by removing the ability to charge via this cable (which was a very handy fast charger when you plugged it into a wall socket).
So knowing that there have been multiple cable/protocol types using the 30-pin connector and that the FireWire pins are no longer in use why are you and Carniphage so certain that Apple could not use use them to sync and charge via the Thunderbolt over the well worn iPod Dock Connector?
The number one issue is that all of the pins are already defined and it isn't good policy to redefine them. There might also be other issues which we don't know about related to electronics. Plus we don't know how far Apple would go with TB on the iPad, it could very well be more than an endpoint controllerand instead be a full host on the bus. That would be a significant jump for Apple, but if iPad has full control over TB it could answer a lot of peoples request for more I/O on iPad. Eventually TB could be iPads only wired port. If so there would because huge potential for docking stations and other uses. TB on iPad would secure iPads future for some time to come.
Surely you two must have some in-depth scientific reasoning to back up your hardened claims that it would require an entirely new port to be added (not to mention your implication that it would mean that backwards compatibility would have to be dropped despite the nature of the technologies being discussed.
There is a couple of things going on here. For one the port is not new it is Mini Display Port. Second the dock connector could be seen as legacy hardware which Apple will eventually have to phase out. As to iPad it isn't going to get extremely thin because in the end rigidity suffers so a display port connector isn't a problem.
I'm just wondering why you are so insistent that it would make sense to put TB on the dock connector? That makes about as much sense as putting USB on a DB9 RS232 port. Once an electrical interface becomes dramatically different you don't want to mix connectors.
PS: Id also like an explanation to your claim that " I don't know a single person that is interested in a new cable or plug.
I was actually surprised to hear that statement myself. This is exactly what we need to move beyond funky FireWire and other ports.
Do you you realize that people said that same thing when USB was new, when HDMI was new, and pretty much every new cable/plug tech that came before it. Just imagine if we were still connecting printers with expensive, large and slow parallel cables. Or how about BNC connectors for Token Ring. I think only IBM would be happy with that last one.
Up until yesterday I was of the opinion that iPad needed a host USB port now I'm not to sure. TB could be an excelkent upgrade beyond USB. Still iPad would need to work as a peer on that TB bus. IPad needs to be more than a slave device and could use the connectivity of a standard connector.