Update — It sounds like the iPhone 5’s “Lightning” port may not be a true “Thunderbolt” interface. So far the info on Lightning has been extremely vague. Thunderbolt is a 20 pin interface, Lightning appears to be a 10 pin interface.  No one really knows right now.  Apple claims it is an adaptive interface.  Perhaps it can support USB 2.0 signals and a subset of the Thunderbolt interface.  The USB “adapter” may simply align the power and data lines to the Lightning interface.  USB has 2 power lines and 2 data lines.  Lightning has 8 data lines.  Perhaps it can operate with a variable number (2-8) of data lines.  I wonder if they can support I2C through Thunderbolt.  If they can, that would make the design of accessories a lot more interesting and fun.  Think about it — an interface that could support USB, I2C, and a subset of Thunderbolt.  The world is going fixate on the fact the connector is different and won’t work with the zillion’s of USB chargers people have bought.  Those chargers only use the 2 power lines.  I strongly suspect two of those Lightning pins will accept the same 5V as USB carries.  

I’ve been told the new faster-bigger-but-lighter-and-thinner iPhone 5 has a Thunderbolt interface. The press has correctly picked up on the fact the cables and connectors are different.   They haven’t however figured out Thunderbolt is not USB.  I guess we can expect the next round of iPads to use Thunderbolt too.

If it is Thunderbolt (I haven’t been able to confirm) you have to wonder why? In one sense this may just be Apple wagging the market because it can, but what if they really need a 10 gigabit-per-second interface for something? And what could that something be?

I’m a little confused by the ho-hum response in some quarters to this new phone, which appears to me to equal or exceed the specs of any phone currently on the market. That’s not good enough?

Yes, Android licenses are piling up at a rate of 1.3 million per day according to a friend of mine who sits on the Google board. And yes, Jelly Bean is a big improvement if you can find a phone that has it.

But it’s hard to compete with free.

iPhone 4 — free with plan
iPhone 4s — $99.
iPhone 5 — $199.
I suspect the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 pricing will blow a hole in the Android market.  Samsung has serious competition for its top end phone, the Galaxy S3.

It is always interesting to hear the what college kids think.  What I am hearing is they are tired of the quirkiness and hassles with Android.

Is an older model of iPhone better than a modern Android phone?  Does the bigger display on the S3 offset the new engineering and known quality of Apple’s products?

And where does this leave Microsoft?  That last question may not matter.