Thunderbolt set to race across entire Mac lineup by the end of 2011

“Intel’s Light Peak technology (also known as Thunderbolt) was first introduced on Apple’s MacBook Pro line-up last month,” Mark Reschke writes for Three Guys an a Podcast. “Thunderbolt is set to race across the Mac platform, spreading across Apple’s entire lineup by the end of 2011.”

“The next Mac product to include Thunderbolt is the Mac mini — via a product update due this month,” Reschke writes. “Following the Mac mini will updates to the iMac and Mac Pro towers. That said, both systems update timelines have varied greatly in the past few years. What is not known is how many Thunderbolt ports each system will receive.”

Reschke writes, “The MacBook Air appears slated to be the last Mac in Apple’s lineup to receive the Thunderbolt technology, sometime during the late-fall of 2011.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. One can argue that the MacBooks don’t need TB … shades of Firewire.

      However, the bigger concern I have here is with the Mac Pro. In conjunction with suggestions that one won’t ever be able to buy a PCIe card to upgrade an existing Mac Pro (true or false) effectively means that the retail sales of the current Mac Pro should have fallen off a cliff last week.

      As such, an update to the Mac Pro simply cannot come soon enough. An April announcement wouldn’t be too bad .. so long as it includes an “Available Immediately” and not Fall 2011. But the problem with this is that the Sandy Bridge based Xeon CPUs aren’t officially due yet from Intel. IIRC, 4Q11.

      Mac Pro Schedule Clash.

      Hopefully, Apple/Intel has some early Sandy Bridge Xeons for early delivery. Otherwise, the current high end customers may very well wait until the next Mac Pro bump so as to not pay for Interface in 2011 and CPUs again in 2012.

      Otherwise, risk of “Epic Fail” again on the Mac Pro line.


  1. Thunderbolt on the entire range will be nice… but the real sweet spot will be having real world availability of devices that will live on Thunderbolt.

  2. Two makes sense, and it should be obvious that when various Mac products get their usual update that they get a Thunderbolt port or two. I mean, it’s the same formfactor as the mini-DP port on there now, so the exterior case doesn’t even have to change. It’s the mobo that needs a tiny change.

  3. This is just dandy! My new $4k MacPro is not compatible with Thunderbolt because it can’t be added to my machine with a PCI card. It would seem that the main purpose of Thunderbolt is to render existing hardware obsolete.

    1. Actually, your new Mac Pro was made obsolete by the latest revisions to the Macbook Pros. They are real speed demons, and portable, too!

      Your new Mac was a fine machine when you purchased it, and remains a fine machine despite not having the Thunderbolt interface. It will take a while for Thunderbolt peripherals to hit the market. Once there is a critical mass of those peripherals, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Thunderbolt PCIe adapter cards for recent model desktops.

      1. Did you expect Apple’s technology to stand still so that your MacPro would never become outdated? Poor baby! You may have to limp along on Firewire 800 and eSATA until it’s time for another upgrade!

  4. by the end? Common what is the purpose of that article? Stating the obvious? Anyway, if it takes them until the end of the year to get Thunderbolt on board then… sorry that is wayyy to slow.

  5. @stucktrader

    You’re saying that Apple must revamp it’s entire product line in 9 months because of a single I/O advancement? How could any company continue to push the envelope in many new technologies if each time it meant a complete overhaul of it’s product line?
    I certainly wouldn’t want to wait for Thunderbolt on my MacBook Pro until new towers were ready, and I wouldn’t expect a product cycle to be unreasonably short.
    I’d say perfect each piece of your puzzle, and ship it when it’s ready.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.