Apple is promising the company will still support Intel’s Thunderbolt USB-C connectivity standard on new Apple silicon computers, despite dumping Intel processors in favor of Apple-designed ARM-based chips.
“Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop Thunderbolt, and today our customers enjoy the speed and flexibility it brings to every Mac. We remain committed to the future of Thunderbolt and will support it in Macs with Apple silicon,” commented an Apple spokesperson, in a statement to The Verge.
Despite that collaboration, though, Apple has yet to offer Thunderbolt support on any products outside of Intel-powered Macs — Apple’s ARM-based iPad Pro, in particular, stands out as featuring a regular USB-C port, not a Thunderbolt 3 connector. Apple’s ARM-based Developer Transition Kit also only features standard USB-C ports.
The news comes as Intel detailed its upcoming Thunderbolt 4 standard, which will be based on the USB4 spec standard and which uses the same USB-C connector [as] Thunderbolt 3.