Apple shipped its first Thunderbolt-equipped machines (MacBook Pros) in February. The next batch of machines (iMacs) hit in May. And in July, we got treated to minis and MacBook Airs with this port as well.
People were/are excited: Thunderbolt promises fast data speeds, daisy-chaining of displays and devices, and reduced desktop clutter overall.
However, as of this writing, there’s only one Thunderbolt storage device that seems to be available. The only “Thunderbolt” displays you can currently use are the 2011 iMacs in display mode (though you can still connect to mini DisplayPort displays just fine) and Apple’s own offerings. Heck, the first actual Thunderbolt cables themselves were only made available in late June.
So what’s the hold up?
This isn’t just a matter of slapping another port on an enclosure via an Oxford chipset and calling it a day. There are a lot of factors that play into designing a Thunderbolt device.
The main one is Thunderbolt itself. This is a new interface paradigm, the technical details of which only recently became available. So while we knew it was coming, there really wasn’t a whole lot that we could do in the development process until that point.
So where does that leave us now? Sure, we could rush a product out the door based on new technology that’s not widely adopted/deployed. But there’s a big difference between “getting it out” and “getting it right” when it comes to product development. “Good enough” isn’t the way we like to do things here at OWC.
We’d rather take our time and build a solution from the ground up, using the best proven technology. Sure, we may not have the first product out the gate, but if/when we release a Thunderbolt-enabled storage solution, you can be sure it’s going to be the same kind of high-quality product you’ve come to expect from OWC.
And when we do, you can be sure you’ll hear about it first right here on the OWC Blog.