Originally Posted by mapinguari
2001: FireWire: 400 Mbps
2005: USB 2.0: ~25 Mbps
2012: 802.11n: ~20 Mbps (if physical syncing is dropped...)
You mixed up the ratings. FW is 400/800Mbps, USB 2 is 480Mbps, 802.11n is 150-300Mbps.
We don't use Mbps for filesystem data but MBps or MB/s, which is 1/8th of the Mbps ratings as there are 8 bits in one byte.
FW400/800 is therefore 50/100MB/s, USB 2 is 60MB/s, 802.11n is 18-38MB/s.
In real-world scenarios, FW400 gets 30-40MB/s, FW800 gets 60-70MB/s, USB 2 gets 20-30MB/s (it is faster on Windows) and 802.11n gets about 10-15MB/s.
I think 802.11n is fine for wireless transfers. It's mainly just syncing so the transfers are small. I like the idea of having magsafe but it will still be connected to USB for Windows compatibility.
USB 3 will help out - 4.8Gbps or 600MB/s maximum but the sync will only ever reach the maximum rates of your drives so the write speed of the NAND inside the iOS device and the read speed of the drive inside the Mac. I expect the NAND write will be the slowest but if they double the NAND and use RAID 0 in future iOS devices, it can go up a lot. There is a test here of the storage speed:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2EP1MRmEMs
It doesn't look like a very sustained test but 50MB/s seems reasonable. In RAID 0, they could hit 100MB/s and max it with USB 3.
That could use a micro-USB connector or it could use magsafe. The 30-pin connector was quite good in that it could support a phone device's weight but it is bulky and it needs to go. I would like to see microUSB with USB host support so that you can buy an inexpensive adaptor for plugging in a camera or USB pen:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAd8RHGSqks
Imagine two people with iPads exchanging files, just take the pen, plug it in, copy and you're done. They don't need to show the filesystem directly, it can just load up discovered files inside the individual app view.