: Lightning = USB 2 only?


okcomputer
Sep 16th, 2012, 07:58 PM
I found it really interesting that Apple mentioned Lightning in the same sentence as Thunderbolt during the keynote. As far as I can tell, they are sticking to just USB 2.0 for the cables. Wouldn't it make sense to make the cable and interface at least USB 3.0? Or have a Thunderbolt cable option?

I know people are using iCloud for syncing stuff (I do as well), but one thing that can take a while is downloading videos I have taken with my iPhone or iPad to my computer. Photostream takes care of the photos, but I'm often copying gigs of videos, and a speed bump would be nice.

Do you think the Lightning interface is capable of USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt?

John Clay
Sep 16th, 2012, 08:02 PM
The Lightning port is laying the groundwork for an eventual shift to something faster, but at the moment it's USB 2.0 only.

okcomputer
Sep 16th, 2012, 08:04 PM
That's what I was thinking. But it's not Apple's usual way. You would think that after launching Thunderbolt and wanting it to take off, they would make their products compatible to push its use...

John Clay
Sep 16th, 2012, 08:07 PM
That's what I was thinking. But it's not Apple's usual way. You would think that after launching Thunderbolt and wanting it to take off, they would make their products compatible to push its use...

Almost nothing other than Apple products has Thunderbolt. They'd be shooting themselves not in the foot, but in the chest by doing so.

Thunderbolt also has active connectors on both ends, and I'd imagine requires a fair bit larger chip than USB support.

cap10subtext
Sep 17th, 2012, 09:30 AM
This, more than anything else, was the deal breaker for me. I'm pretty sure i'm done with upgrading iPhones (or any smartphone) until i can get one with USB3 or thunderbolt support. I like loading up my phone with movie rentals when i travel but it's such a pain to transfer them over.

mjollymo
Sep 17th, 2012, 10:21 AM
I can't remember where I read it, but I'll try and dig up a link. Apparently the memory used in iPhones and pretty much all mobile phones has a max speed of 150Mbps. So usb3 would be useless on the device.

No idea if that is true, but if it is it could explain the lack of usb3 or thunderbolt.

hayesk
Sep 17th, 2012, 09:09 PM
This, more than anything else, was the deal breaker for me. I'm pretty sure i'm done with upgrading iPhones (or any smartphone) until i can get one with USB3 or thunderbolt support. I like loading up my phone with movie rentals when i travel but it's such a pain to transfer them over.

The flash memory in mobile phones, including iPhones, can not saturate a USB 2 bus let alone USB 3 or Thunderbolt. It makes no sense to support those interfaces at this time.

okcomputer
Sep 17th, 2012, 09:15 PM
Ah, that makes sense then.

PosterBoy
Sep 17th, 2012, 10:07 PM
I'm sure it'll be compatible with it all eventually, but the folks above are right: almost no other machines have thunderbolt and USB2 is plenty fast anyway.

Besides, I only really use it for charging anymore. WiFi sync + iCloud Backup + iTunes in the Cloud = I basically never connect my phone to my computer anymore.

cap10subtext
Sep 19th, 2012, 08:53 AM
While I didn't know that, knowing it now isn't a selling point either. Just another reason to stick with the 4 for now.

HowEver
Sep 19th, 2012, 10:44 AM
What are people doing with the rest of their time that a transfer process of a few minutes is that much more important than a transfer process of a few more minutes? What were you doing 10 years ago or prior to USB 2 speeds...?

cap10subtext
Sep 19th, 2012, 11:16 AM
I'm just saying that on the rare occasion that I do need to do a full restore or transfer all 10GB of music, 8 movies, 1000 photos to and from my phone, it has proven inconvenient in the past to just walk away from my phone for an hour or two, particularly around the time I'm traveling (which as I mentioned is when I'm more likely to do it).

Anyways, I think we've established it's a moot point. No point in me bemoaning lack of USB 3 when it would require overhauling the whole phone... Got it.

okcomputer
Sep 19th, 2012, 11:51 AM
What are people doing with the rest of their time that a transfer process of a few minutes is that much more important than a transfer process of a few more minutes? What were you doing 10 years ago or prior to USB 2 speeds...?

You're right. Technology is fine as it is right now. No need to improve or change anything!

10 years ago I was not attempting to transfer 15gb of 720p HD videos to my Mac after a trip...

wonderings
Sep 19th, 2012, 11:58 AM
I am surprised its not at least USB3, not sure why they wouldn't stick in the latest tech. While USB2 works well, even for HD movies, it could always be faster.

John Clay
Sep 19th, 2012, 01:43 PM
I am surprised its not at least USB3, not sure why they wouldn't stick in the latest tech. While USB2 works well, even for HD movies, it could always be faster.

As has been said already, the flash used on iPhones/iPads/etc is not fast enough to saturate USB 2, let alone USB 3. There's no point in upgrading it.