updated 09:00 pm EDT, Fri October 29, 2010
Apple CEO says USB 3 not ready to go
Apple chief Steve Jobs told inquisitive fan Tom Kruk that USB 3.0 wasn't ready for Macs at the present time. When asked why it wasn't a feature, Jobs answered that "we don't see USB 3 taking off at this time." He went on to tell the 9to5Mac reader that technical support had a large part to play as Intel wasn't putting its weight behind the technology. There's "no support from Intel," he said.
The technology has had relatively timid adoption so far. A substantial number of major PC manufacturers do support USB 3.0, but usually only on high-end models and in many cases only with one or two ports using the faster speeds. Despite having pioneered USB, Intel hasn't produced a chipset of its own capable of supporting USB 3.0 and has left most using third-party controller chips from NEC and others that won't necessarily work in all configurations.
USB 3.0 has also had relatively limited usefulness, as it so far works best for external SSDs, RAID-striped hard drives and other storage that would oversaturate USB 2. Apple is also unique in the industry for having wide support of FireWire 800, which while slower than USB 3.0 is much faster than USB 2.0.
Intel is commonly thought to be adding USB 3.0 chipsets in 2011 and may be saving the support for Sandy Bridge, its new desktop and mobile processor architecture due to show in January.