Of course, Thunderbolt is Intel technology.
But, if it was not for Apple, nobody could have heard of it yet. All components that make (for example) an Macbook Air have been available to anyone -- yet, we have not seen much interest in these things, until Intel decided to make Windows platforms more competitive.
Thunderbolt is especially GOOD for mobile computing, because it packs every connectivity you may ever need in small tiny connector. Not everything you do with a laptop is related to downloading from Internet. Some people use laptops to process data -- Thunderbolt is very useful in such situations. It is also universal (PCI Express) bus, that let's you connect any type of peripherals at "native" speeds.
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