Apple is looking at USB 3.0 as a potential feature to add on future products even before Intel integrates USB 3.0 support into its chipsets, according to “VR-Zone” (, quoting an unnamed source.

“Apple has been looking into USB 3.0 host controllers, especially as the price has finally reached an affordable level,” the article says. “A USB 3.0 host controller is priced at somewhere between US$2-3 in large quantities today which should be compared to US$10-15 for Intel’s Thunderbolt chip. It’s also important to remember that Thunderbolt not only requires a host chip, but also a device chip and additional chips on the device end depending on the type of device. This makes Thunderbolt a very expensive solution for simple storage device etc.”

My take: this makes sense on one level. However, I have the feeling that Apple is betting on Thunderbolt as the long-term replacement for both USB and FireWire.

— Dennis Sellers