Sony already attempting to undermine Apple and fragment Thunderbolt

Sony is “threatening to fragment the Thunderbolt standard before it even has a chance to clear port,” John Brownlee reports for Cult of Mac. “On their latest Vaio, “instead of using the Mini DisplayPort standard that Apple has settled upon for its own implementation of Thunderbolt, Sony’s decided to go with a USB head, despite the fact that in the past, the USB Implementers Forum stated in no uncertain terms that ‘USB connectors are not general purpose connectors and are not designed to be used in support of other technology applications or standards or as combo connectors.'”

Brownlee writes, “Irritating. While Sony is free to ultimately choose whichever connector it pleases for Thunderbolt, it’s discouraging to see Thunderbolt fragment into talk of USB-to-Mini-DisplayPort adapters before the first Thunderbolt peripheral has even shipped. Boo, Sony. Boo.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Typical. Whether led by homegrown talent or one unchivalrous knight, from rootkit CDs to fake iPods to screwing up standards, Sony remains firmly committed to proprietary douchebaggery. It’s crap 4-circuit FireWire, er, “i.LINK,” all over again. Good thing that nobody with money and sense buys a Sony laptop over Apple MacBook Pro/Air. Thanks to their own endless bumbling, Sony can’t much threaten anybody or anything with their love of the proprietary. Sony’s ability to undermine and fragment tech standards has been greatly diminished.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]


          1. You are entitled to your opinion, no matter how wrong it is.
            Sony has lost its way. I used to love their products too, but not any more and not for years now.

      1. Sony was only good at making standalone products. Walkman, TVs, Etc..

        They never made anything that worked together, and never made an OS. That’s where they went wrong.

    1. There is actually a reason for the proprietary connectors on iMac HDs, as maddening as upgrading will be.

      There is no discernible reason for this abomination. So you’ll have a cable with USB on one end and HDMI on the other? Or something?

        1. Internal drive heat sensors vs. the current industry standard. You can listed to the latest Hypercritical podcast with John Siracusa (of Ars Technica fame) for more details.

        2. It’s different, because the 2 unused pins in the INTERNAL SATA connector are ‘not specified’ by the governing committee for SATA.

          The USB port IS DEFINED by the USB governing committee.

          And, one is internal, while the other is external. If you want to dink around inside a Mac, get a MacPro, like I did. SSD drives, 3rd party memory, different Display Adapter. The iMac is NOT meant to be “user-servicable” (with the exception of memory, which Apple makes easy for end-users).

          1. “The iMac is NOT meant to be “user-servicable”…

            Many will disagree. The current iMac form factor (with some tweaks) basically goes back to G5 days and that interior was very easy to access… especially when compared to the previous (and current) model iMacs.

            Since then, it appears Apple has been taking their “user service” cues from the 125k Macs.

            FWIW, Apple hasn’t actually come out and said that current iMacs aren’t “user-servicable” except for memory. IMO, that notion is a simple generality based on the fact that iMac “user-service” is difficult to do, rather than an official Apple policy.

            In fact, Apple does have an official stance (of a sort) that is related to this issue. Sorry… I don’t have the link, but it links to Apple and been posted many times, many places, including MDN. The gist if it is this… performing “user service” (such as replacing a HD) will not void your warranty… unless you damage something while doing so.

            1. As an apple service provider I dont encourage people to open iMacs, its really easy to mess them up without the proper tools and preparation.

              Bit hey, the more messed up tey come the fatter my paycheck gets so, go ahead, make my day!

    1. Agreed – it’s doubtful that Sony has the power to be as influential as Apple in this area anymore, so they could very easily paint themselves into a corner.

      And one would hope that the USB Implementers Forum slaps Sony down hard on this one – after all, they *did* put the kibosh on Palm’s earlier USB-related iTunes shenanigans.

    1. Don’t knock Betamax. It was a superior technology that *could* have set the standard had Sony been willing to license it. I had the Super Betamax (SL-HF400) and got years of good use out of it. (It and many tapes are now stored away.)

      1. Actually, Sony’s Betamax was taken to court by Hollywood, who didn’t want consumers to record anything. That legal wrangling did more to kill the consumer version of the product than any licensing deals.

        Failing to gain traction in the consumer space BM went pro and was adopted by every broadcast station in the nation. In the meantime, Hollywood lost on appeal at the SCOTUS, and by then other manufacturers decided 1/2 inch tape produced a cheaper machine and they were right.

        In 1982, I only paid seven-hundred-dollars for a top-loading VHS player.

  1. If they want to surrender the market for pro post-production to Apple, fsck ’em.

    If they want to deny their consumer base – such as it is – a crack at rationalising connector madness and optimising data throughput, fsck ’em some more.

    In 2001, pre-iPod, SNE had a market cap of around $70 billion. Now, it’s below $30 billion. So you could easily argue that Sony’s potential customer base has witnessed Sony’s strict adherence to the “not invented here” philosophy (a stick which was used for many years to beat Apple) and decided that it isn’t interested.

    ATRAC, strange little discs that fit in PSPs and nothing else, crippled FireWire connectors, etc. ad nauseum: you’d think they’d learn – but they obviously haven’t.

  2. Sony is King of “i wanna set a standard againts any logic”
    Remember when everyone was using compact disc and sony came out with the mini disc? And everyone is using SD cards while Sony came out with thir proprietary memory and socket?

  3. The MemoryStick continues to plague Sony digital devices to this day. While optically, many of their cameras (and camcorders) perform exceptionally well, ordinary consumers often steer clear of Sony because the stupid MemorySticks cost twice as much as CompactFlash or SD cards.

    They surely will never learn.

  4. Nokia lost 2/3rds of their market share in smartphones in 2 years.

    How much market share can Sony lose in 2 years?

    I see Sony is working hard to match Nokia.

  5. I have an old Sony Firewire cable around here for a sony camera… you couldnt tell by looking at it, uses a proprietary connection.
    Sony does this crap all the time.

  6. this is dumb. the shape of the USB head is a bad design because you cannot tell if it is up or down, esp. in low light. the display port is much easier to plug in. SONY is losing usability just to be dicks, and high end drives are not going to side with sony… mac is their market.

  7. Sony has always done this crap. I remember back in the 80’s where sony stereo systems took a ‘special’ detachable power cord. All the other stereos used a pretty standard connector on their detachable power cords that could be purchased at Radio Shack. You could only buy Sony’s power cord from Sony.

    Well it seems both Sony and HP are trying to ding Apple by confusing things so much that peripheral manufacturers will slow their adoption rate of Thunderbolt. To that I say, ‘simply add Thunderbolt to the iPad’ and the game is over. Apple’s Thunderbolt implementation wins, just as USB did when Apple stuck it on the first iMacs.

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