Biggest Apple FLOP of 2011 - Intel ThunderBolt Rollout
Filed in: ThunderBolt
When first introduced on Apple MacBooks in February of 2011, that tiny ThunderBolt interface port sat poised to change the future of computer peripherals and expansion. Integrating both mind-blowingly fast direct access to the PCI-Express bus and rolling in DisplayPort monitor functionality, there's no doubt it's going to change the landscape of personal computers for the next decade and beyond. But what good are Apple-Intel ThunderBolt ports if there's not much of anything to actually plug into it?
With only PARTNERS and PROMISES - and ZERO SHIPPING PRODUCTS on the day of ThunderBolt's release, this has got to be one of the biggest Marketing and Product Rollout FLOPS Steve Jobs had to take to his grave. For months, the only Apple Inc product to cling to was a $49 ThunderBolt cable - limp and begging for something, anything to plug into it. Where was a ThunderBolt backup drive to go along with that new Mac?
Fast forward to the end of 2011. Promise Technologies was the only Pro level high-end game in town delivering ThunderBolt drives for many months. LaCie only recently moved from announced to shipping products as it utterly struggles to ramp up production and distribution of it's LittleBig Disk ThunderBolt SSD and platter drives. Seagate GoFlex ThunderBolt drive adapters have yet to ship. Sonnet Technologies line of drives and TBolt adapters are still temporarily stuck in 'Real Soon Now' mode. And the biggest player of all in storage - Western-Digital - is still only in the cheerleading section and not out on the playing field. Yet.
Yeah we got the ThunderBolt Cinema Display now: Ho-Hum. And perhaps most bizarre of all - The truly professional-grade Macintosh Pro tower workstations have YET to see an upgrade that includes ThunderBolt ports?!? That's got to be the biggest WTF I've ever seen foisted on Apple's high-end customer base.
In 2012, things can only - and WILL get better. ThunderBolt technology and it's benefits are an iceberg just breaking the surface. But what a disappointment it's been so far. Apple should be ashamed. We were sold a carriage with no horse, but I see some coming down the road towards us… "Better Late Than Never" isn't the way a world-class, leading-edge technology company like Apple ought to be addressing its customer's needs.