Next-Generation Macs May Offer USB 3.0, FireWire 3200

Apple users often have to wait longer than us PC folk for top-end upgrades or features to become available, but this time the Macolytes might steal a march on the rest of us. According to rumors on the other side of the pond, the next-generation of iMac and Macbook Pro systems will feature both USB 3.0 and the heretofore dark horse candidate—FireWire 3200 (S3200). This new FireWire interface uses the same cable as the older FireWire 800 but offers four times the bandwidth.

FireWire isn't discussed much these days, although the original IEEE1394a (FireWire 400) standard is fairly common, even on consumer PC's. Apple has generally ignored FireWire for the last few years, including the interface on high-end systems would be a significant step. Even if the FireWire rumors don't pan out, we're hoping for USB 3 ports on the next generation of Macintosh systems. Granted, it'll still be awhile before the iPod and iPhone are updated to take advantage of the new standard, but the speed advantages of USB 3 are enormously useful if you do any sort of external data transfer.