When will Apple adopt USB 3.0

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Now that the USB 3.0 format has been released and manufaturers are starting to make 3.0compatible devices when do you think Apple will start including the standard on their products?



Apple was one of the pioneers for USB on the personal computer when they started using only USB keyboards and mice on their iMacs. Do we think that they will be one of the first to offer the new standard again?



I have been waiting to purchase one of the new 27" iMacs but decided to wait until this whole fiasco with the screens has passed but, now I'm wondering if I should hold out further for built in USB 3.0 ports as well.



So AI readers, sound off. Do you think it would be worth holding off considering the benefits of the new standard or is it just hype for a new standard that will not provide any real world benefits?



Pipser

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Apple may have pioneered USB 1.0, but they were one of the LAST manufacturers to adapt USB 2.0. But now that they're giving up on FW, maybe they'll do USB 3.0 sooner rather than later.
  • Reply 2 of 19
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    They were also late adopting USB 1.0. I remember articles mourning the eventual death by neglect of a pretty, next-generation standard (USB) right about the time the iMac appeared.



    That's why the iMac's dedication to USB worked: There was already an ample installed base on the PC side. It just wasn't being used. Anyone who wanted to make a peripheral for the iMac could be assured that they could also sell into an installed base of millions of PCs.



    If Apple is the first to jump to USB 3.0, then their machines become the only machines that use it, and they won't be able to repeat the success of the iMac. If Apple wants their machines to have the greatest number of peripherals they have to move with the rest of the industry, not ahead of it.
  • Reply 3 of 19
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,878moderator
    Given that the next update cycles should soon include the Mac Pro, I think the coming updates for each model should have USB 3. It may start with the Mac Pro though and then filter down the rest of the lineup at their subsequent refreshes.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Amorph View Post


    They were also late adopting USB 1.0. I remember articles mourning the eventual death by neglect of a pretty, next-generation standard (USB) right about the time the iMac appeared.



    That's why the iMac's dedication to USB worked: There was already an ample installed base on the PC side. It just wasn't being used. Anyone who wanted to make a peripheral for the iMac could be assured that they could also sell into an installed base of millions of PCs.



    If Apple is the first to jump to USB 3.0, then their machines become the only machines that use it, and they won't be able to repeat the success of the iMac. If Apple wants their machines to have the greatest number of peripherals they have to move with the rest of the industry, not ahead of it.



    But if USB 3.0 is backward compatible would't that mean that any existing peripherals will work and if possible take advantage of the "SuperSpeed" transfer rates?
  • Reply 5 of 19
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,359member
    If Light Peak is truly ready by year's end then I could see Apple not going with USB on any 2010 computer. If Intel isn't integrating USB 3.0 into the chipsets until 2011 then it's unlikely that Apple's going to roll their own into the motherboard.



    If Light Peak is ready and has USB 3.0 protocol support then I could see them rolling out Light Peak on Mac Pro's if it's ready.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    If so, they'll be rolling out USB-to-LP and USB-to-FW adapters alongside, at least until LP is adopted widely enough to catch the attention of peripheral and accessory makers.



    Certainly, Apple has shown no hesitation in inflicting adapters on its customer base.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Amorph View Post


    ...



    That's why the iMac's dedication to USB worked: There was already an ample installed base on the PC side. It just wasn't being used. ...



    What the heck does this mean?



    Let's get a few things straight. In 1998, Apple introduced USB to the Mac with the introduction of the iMac. Many Wintel computers then on the market featured USB ports. However, that is all they were?ports. For the most part, Wintel computers of that era relied on PS/2 keyboards and mice and parallel printers. When I wanted to download photographs from my digital camera to my secretary's Gateway tower, I had to download a USB driver from Microsoft's website because it was not already installed as part of Windows 98. Despite the fact that the Gateway hardware included USB ports, USB was completely non-functional until this Mac user installed the drivers.



    It would wrong to state that Apple pioneered USB. USB was a technology championed by Intel, but one that few Windows users actually used. In addition to the spotty OS support, it was known as being somewhat flaky where it was supported.



    Apple's adoption of the technology was critical to its survival. Windows users had no good reason to abandon their PS/2 and parallel ports. The Wintel market was notorious for flirting with a new technology for six months or so before moving on to something else. Apple's adoption was important for two reasons:
    • Apple tends to hold on to adopted technologies for the long haul. With Macs featuring USB ports, peripheral manufacturers would have a market for their USB products for years to come.

    • Apple showed that USB could be a reliable technology.

  • Reply 8 of 19
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,359member
    You just made the same point Amorph was getting at though with more detail and backstory.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    pipserpipser Posts: 20member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    If Light Peak is truly ready by year's end then I could see Apple not going with USB on any 2010 computer. If Intel isn't integrating USB 3.0 into the chipsets until 2011 then it's unlikely that Apple's going to roll their own into the motherboard.



    If Light Peak is ready and has USB 3.0 protocol support then I could see them rolling out Light Peak on Mac Pro's if it's ready.



    I would have thought with Light Peak being new technology and having much fewer peripherals that they would look at USB before Light Peak. Do we even know if Light Peak will catch on? Look at what is happening to FW now, it's being phased out slowly but surely.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,359member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pipser View Post


    I would have thought with Light Peak being new technology and having much fewer peripherals that they would look at USB before Light Peak. Do we even know if Light Peak will catch on? Look at what is happening to FW now, it's being phased out slowly but surely.



    The only real thing I'm worried about with Light Peak is the efficacy of it's protocol support. Since it will be able to carry video, USB, probably Firewire and other protocols down the same wire it's the software stack that's going to be most important.



    Light Peak vs USB 3.0 is a tantamount to pitting a Heavyweight against a Lightweight. 10Gbps bi-directional with a roadmap to 10x the speed makes a "working" Light Peak specification a no brainer.



    I'm be amazed if it doesn't catch on frankly. It offers more flexibility, more speed and a better roadmap than USB or Firewire.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    Light peak excites me and I am sure that is what Apple will use in the future. Firewire and USB will continue along side light peak for a couple of iterations and then get ramped down.
  • Reply 12 of 19
    I doubt it will happen in the next few months, meaning it will miss the next Mac Pro update (but, there are PCIe cards coming very soon that, driver permitting, people might be able to stick in any Mac Pro).



    I would guess that USB 3 will be added to consumer Macs when they get updated again in Q3 or Q4 '10, and in all Macs by the first half of 2011.
  • Reply 13 of 19
    The most probable answer is that Apple will not be putting USB3 in their computers until the chipsets that they use support them, and since <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/04/nvidia-confirms-intel-chipsets-wont-support-usb-3-0-until-2011">Intel will not be putting it in their chipsets until 2011</a>, the likelyhood that Apple will support it with an additional chip is small. You can bet that a number of Windows computers will support it, but then not being on the NorthBridge chip is going to effectively cripple the speed in most instances.



    It is also possible that Apple will use more of the NVIDIA chipsets, and they might be coming out with USB 3 support sooner than that. Of course NVIDIA is going to take a while to produce new chipsets with the lawsuit and all...



    In any case, why do you care? FireWire 800 is already faster than most drives can push data, and USB 3 is going to be in about that category for actual throughput anyways (FireWire 400 generally beats USB 2).
  • Reply 14 of 19
    pipserpipser Posts: 20member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    The only real thing I'm worried about with Light Peak is the efficacy of it's protocol support. Since it will be able to carry video, USB, probably Firewire and other protocols down the same wire it's the software stack that's going to be most important.



    Light Peak vs USB 3.0 is a tantamount to pitting a Heavyweight against a Lightweight. 10Gbps bi-directional with a roadmap to 10x the speed makes a "working" Light Peak specification a no brainer.



    I'm be amazed if it doesn't catch on frankly. It offers more flexibility, more speed and a better roadmap than USB or Firewire.



    See now this is where I didn't understand the light peak technology properly. I knew of it's speed capability but didn't realize that it would be able to run multiple protocols as you said. That would make it much more flexible than USB and probably more practical. And seeing as the chipset manufacturers as another poster said will not be including USB 3 until maybe 2011 then light peak may be the next step for Apple instead.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pipser View Post


    But if USB 3.0 is backward compatible would't that mean that any existing peripherals will work and if possible take advantage of the "SuperSpeed" transfer rates?



    Taking advantage of 3.0 data rates would be forward compatible, not backwards. Backwards compatible means that USB 1/2 products will work at their speeds.



    As for when it shows up, when Jobs feels like it. Apple's an enigma when it comes to tech. Sometimes they're pioneers, others they're last to the party.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,359member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pipser View Post


    See now this is where I didn't understand the light peak technology properly. I knew of it's speed capability but didn't realize that it would be able to run multiple protocols as you said. That would make it much more flexible than USB and probably more practical. And seeing as the chipset manufacturers as another poster said will not be including USB 3 until maybe 2011 then light peak may be the next step for Apple instead.



    Yes ..if Light Peak were nothing more than a pipe with 10Gbps for a single protocol I wouldn't be in a tizzy over it but the fact that it will likely hit the ground with DisplayPort, USB, Firewire and Ethernet protocols makes me swoon. Imagine running a single cable to an edge device and knowing you have all of those protocols supported.



    Also ... Light Peak is designed around multiple ports and routers so if DisplayPort is eating up most of the bandwidth of Port #1 then you route your USB and Firewire over Light Peak port #2.



    For Apple and Intel it's a win/win. It's largely based on Intel optical tech so they don't lose out and in fact gain Light Peak and USB royalties (if any exist) and Apple simple wants to remove most ports down to just the bare necessity.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    pipserpipser Posts: 20member
    Well I think that settles it for me then. I'll just wait till I know things have settled with the screen problems on the 27" iMacs and then I'll order mine. I'm sure that by the time I'm ready to upgrade again (3 years or so from now) light peak and all the other technologies will be in full swing and hopefully the hardware and software will be able to fully utilize them.



    I'm gonna be upgrading from a 24" iMac that I bought back in December of 06. That's the ones with the original white casing and I'm really looking forward to this new sleek aluminum one not to mention the gorgeous 27" screen.



    Thanks for all the insights here.



    Pipser
  • Reply 18 of 19
    marzetta7marzetta7 Posts: 1,323member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    If Light Peak is truly ready by year's end then I could see Apple not going with USB on any 2010 computer. If Intel isn't integrating USB 3.0 into the chipsets until 2011 then it's unlikely that Apple's going to roll their own into the motherboard.



    If Light Peak is ready and has USB 3.0 protocol support then I could see them rolling out Light Peak on Mac Pro's if it's ready.



    Dang Murch! You beat me to it...I too am looking very forward to Light Peak. I can definitely see this taking the place of USB or at least having it as an extra port on Macs...
  • Reply 19 of 19
    Hey folks, I was browsing CNet this morning and came across this article



    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10...CmoreStories.0



    Looks like HP and Asus will be the first to start offering USB 3.0 as an option. Some of the comments lower down on the article echo the sentiment here that USB 3.0 may not survive given that light peak is on its way.
Sign In or Register to comment.