Common knowledge was that Apple was taking a backseat participation in the development of the Thunderbolt interconnect — used on the latest Macintosh models technology and on the Apple Thunderbolt Display — called a technology "collaboration" with Intel. However, according to a recent Apple patent application, the company appears to be taking a greater hand in Thunderbolt development. The result may be faster sync and faster power charging.
The Patently Apple site this week discussed a patent application for the use of Thunderbolt on mobile devices. It would require a new cable and physical connector, which will be reliable and handle heat.
Before going into the details of this main patent in their series of three, it should be noted that Apple states in their secondary patent application that "the present invention, connection may also be a new type of connection."
For example, "a connection may be provided between a portable media player and a display, a computer and a portable media player, or between other types of devices." Of course if this is to apply to future iOS devices, as suggested in the quote above, Apple will have to reengineer the connector to be flat enough to fit a USB-type of device slot. The good news is that transferring data to and from an iOS device will be lighting fast as will recharging.