At the general consumer level, the writing has been on the wall for Thunderbolt. Let’s be honest — it’s awesome for high-end, fast storage and for docking a laptop to a desktop hub. But aside from those benefits, Thunderbolt’s cost is prohibitive to the main group of consumers driving the growth of the Mac.
The new 12” MacBook — at least at the inexpensive end of the market — represents Apple looking itself in the mirror and saying “We chose wrong. Scrap it.” This is why they stay ahead of the curve. And this is why they will stay on top for the foreseeable future.