Apple is apparently looking into USB 3.0 as an addition to costly Thunderbolt technology. According to VR Zone, Apple could go USB 3.0 even before Intel integrates USB 3.0 support in its chipsets.
Many observers were dumbfounded by Apple’s decision to hold off on USB 3.0 support, which was apparently passed over in favor of Thunderbolt, a much more advanced, but also a lot pricier standard. Apple is now apparently looking into third party USB 3.0 host controllers, which are said to cost about $2 to $3 in large quantities. Thunderbolt on the other hand costs $10 to $15 and it is a pretty costly solution, so it is unlikely to gain much traction in cheap peripherals and low end storage products.
Another perk would be backward compatibility. While Thunderbolt is a state-of-the-art standard, USB 2.0 is like the AK-47 of the tech world. It’s cheap, in widespread use and it just gets the job done. Apple is also looking into some more affordable approaches to Thunderbolt storage, which could result in reasonable priced storage solutions for individual consumers. Did we say reasonable? Strike that, this is Apple we are talking about.