Apple ThunderBolt To USB 3.0 Adapters
ThunderBolt's rival - SuperSpeed USB3 - is seriously starting to get traction in the computer market. USB 3.0's 4.8Gbps vs ThunderBolt's 10Gbps may seem a significant difference, but frankly few if any computer peripherals NEED TO or can even begin to fill the next-generation USB3 pipe - let alone twice that with ThunderBolt's 10Gbps pipeline.
This isn't an either/or game. BOTH high-speed peripehral interfaces have their place in the technology marketplace. USB3 and ThunderBolt ports will exist side by side, and both will have thier best uses. USB 3.0's backward commpatibility with legacy USB 2 speed devices is just too compelling a benefit for the consumer, so USB ANYTHING won't face the adoption hurdle ThunderBolt needs to overcome. USB ain't going anywhere, and Thunder-Bolt ain't going to 'kill' it. As we've seen with many computer interfaces over the years, they co-exist and sometimes ubiquity wins-out over specs and technical 'superiority'.
Apple is currently shipping T-Bolt equipped iMacs and Mac mini's to follow the initial debut of ThunderBolt MacBooks These models still only have USB 2 speed ports. So there'll probably be a healthy market for USB 3.0 ThunderBolt adapters and converters to bridge existing backup drives and USB 2.0 accessories to the new USB3 standard via ThunderBolt-LightPeak ports. (If and when somebody 1. Licesnses TBolt chipsets and rights from Intel and 2. Figures out how to build one...)
Intel - and by extension - Apple have clearly indicated initial adoption and incorporation of direct USB3 into Intel's bridge chipsets won't occur until sometime in 2012. This gave the two companies plenty of time to try to get potentially millions of ThunderBolt ports out there - before they start to USB 3.0 SuperSpeed support.