When Thunderbolt made its big debut back in February, we weren’t too surprised to find it take the shape of a DisplayPort connector. As Apple has been a big partner with Intel on the new interface and has always been a big promoter of DisplayPort, it made sense. But it was no guarantee that the rest of the industry would follow suit. And it seems Sony might be the first to change things up.
The picture above is of Sony’s Ultimate Mobile PC, which was teased last month. But the PC has a dock that connects to a Thunderbolt port, and Gula Digital points out that there’s no DisplayPort style plug-in there. So it has to be a combo USB 3.0/Thunderbolt port, unless this design isn’t final and they switch things up.
When Thunderbolt was Light Peak, it actually used a USB-style connector, so this isn’t unprecedented at all. But is it good for consumers? This combo port may be more practical, since it can be used with far more devices, but as Engadget notes, the USB connector isn’t something you can just copy and paste. Sony may have worked something out with them, or the story could be even more complicated than that.
We’ll have to wait for Sony to clear things up on this one. It’s all speculation for now, unless of course a few other companies show off some USB-style Thunderbolt ports, in which case it’s all confirmed and Apple is in the minority. Ah well, you didn’t really think this was the end of adapters and multiple port standards, did you?