Intel’s Thunderbolt high-speed connectivity may be one of the headline changes for the updated 2011 iMac, but HP isn’t convinced by the technology’s merit. According to Xavier Lauwaert, HP’s worldwide marketing manager for desktops, Macworld reports, “We did look at [Thunderbolt]. We’re still looking into it. Haven’t found a value proposition yet.”
“On the PC side, everybody seems to be content with the expansion of USB 3.0” Lauwaert continued. “Do we need to go into more fancy solutions? Not convinced yet.” HP’s recently revealed consumer desktops offer USB 3.0 connectivity but no Thunderbolt option, leaving Apple the only company with the high-speed 10 gigabit-per-second port.
Although the comments have frustrated some would-be HP buyers, who see the company as reacting in a blinkered way to the new connector, the decision arguably makes sense for the firm. So far there are no Thunderbolt-enabled peripherals to plug into Apple’s 2011 MacBook Pro or iMac models, with the first hardware expected later this year.
That means HP would face including a port – making its PCs more expensive in the process – with little in the way of obvious benefit for consumers today. Apple’s refresh cycle is generally much slower than in the PC market: the new iMac is likely to be around for twelve months, whereas HP will most likely launch a new line of desktops in a few months time, giving it the opportunity to reconsider Thunderbolt then.