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Seagate kills Apple's Thunderbolt champion

It's been confirmed that Seagate decided to abandon mainstream support for the Thunderbolt connection standard in favour of USB 3.0.

It will, however, continue maintaining a product line under its subsidiary, LaCie.

A company spokesperson confirmed (opens in new tab)the move to 9to5Mac, saying that the product life cycles for the company’s USM technology, which allowed integration of interfaces like Thunderbolt through adapters, is “coming to a conclusion.”

Instead of the Thunderbolt connectivity, which has basically been a standard for Mac machines, Seagate is opting for USB 3.0, the upcoming USB 3.1 and wireless connectivity, and its products will continue supporting Mac users via those technologies.

The brand won’t be releasing any new Thunderbolt product as it phases out the product line and focuses on LaCie Thunderbolt products.

As 9to5Mac reports, the move to kill Thunderbolt is not that surprising, mostly because those accessories are a niche product alluring mostly to pros, and because LaCie is a Mac-focused brand with Apple’s looks and a wide customer base interested in Thunderbolt products.

LaCie was acquired by Seagate in 2012, and its products are designed to blend in with the aluminium aesthetic of Apple’s devices. Ever since the acquisition, LaCie and has continued to massively build the Thunderbolt portfolio.

Currently, LaCie offers quite a few Thunderbolt products, including Rugged, Little Big Disc and 2Big.

AS Bit-Tech.net reports (opens in new tab), Thunderbolt’s uptake in the general Wintel market has been slow, and these news are a new blow in the fight between Thunderbolt and USB 3.0.

With wireless connectivity, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 knocking at the door, it seems as Thunderbolt’s appeal outside the Mac market has been short-lived, writes Bit-Tech.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.