Rumor: Apple ready to retire iDevice dock connector

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
An unsubstantiated rumor claims that Apple is looking to replace the venerable 30-pin iPhone, iPad and iPod dock connector with a smaller, space-saving successor that will possibly make a debut in the company's next generation iPhone.

Apple blog iMore has "heard" from unnamed sources that the iPhone maker is getting ready to switch out the dock connector currently found on all iDevice products with a smaller comparable component in order to make space in the company's ever-shrinking devices.

The site claims that the main reason behind the supposed change is to save space in a next generation iPhone for components that are more important than a dock connector, however this is only a guess as no timeline was given as to when the change will occur.

By moving to a smaller form factor, Apple can use advanced electronics like 4G LTE radio chipsets without making a bulky product. For example, the original iPad used a micro SIM card instead of the more prevalent mini SIM when it was first introduced in 2010, and the technology found its way to the iPhone 4 to make space for a larger battery. The frugality went further as the internal antenna was displaced to the handset's edge, a design that caused the so-called "antenna-gate" fiasco.

Another factor is the connector's role in data transfer. With the advent of iCloud, AirPlay and the energy-sipping Bluetooth 4.0, a future iPhone may only need a cable for charging purposes.

It is unclear what would become of the huge ecosystem of existing "Made for iDevice" products, which is a lucrative business for both Apple and third-party companies, as it would be made obsolete by a redesigned connector.

Dock connector
Illustration of space taken by current dock connector in an iPhone. | Source: iMore


No further information was given, and it is important to reiterate that the aforementioned specifics were based on guesswork.
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Comments

  • ajbdtc826ajbdtc826 Posts: 190member
    1) third parties can make an adapter

    2) there will always be an option for a hard wired sync

    3) magsafe is awesome technology

    4) i thought all cell phones had to be micro usb pretty soon?
  • a grain of salta grain of salt Posts: 68member
    But, but, but... Samsung has only just copied the original. They're going to have to start the copiers all over again
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    People are going to through a fit about how Apple changed it to get us to upgrade all our stuff but the truth is they've used the same connector since April 2003 with the 3rd iPod release. That's 9 years for the same 30-pin Dock Connector. If a new, smaller connector will usher in another decade of portable devices then I'm all for it.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post


    4) i thought all cell phones had to be micro usb pretty soon?



    Not the connector on the phone, but the cable has to be able to plug into the same port for charging.
  • lkrupplkrupp Posts: 3,644member
    What about all those expensive Bose iPod and iPhone docks? And the cheap iHome docks?
  • timmydaxtimmydax Posts: 283member
    So, what's next, a whatever to 30-pin adapter for $XX? No thanks.
  • hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 11,865member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    What about all those expensive Bose iPod and iPhone docks? And the cheap iHome docks?



    Landfill
  • danbirchalldanbirchall Posts: 27member
    The EU is requiring micro USB as a standard, yeah. There's been talk of Apple just supplying an adapter to go between that and the 30-pin connector. But honestly, micro USB is smaller than 30-pin, and not just by a little bit - by a lot. It would be really nice to be able to carry just one cable and use it interchangeably between my phone, my external hard drive, and my DSLR.
  • lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    perhaps some sort of WiFi or NFC or Bluetooth converted to plug into each device designed with a built in 30 pin connector.
  • chabigchabig Posts: 583member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple blog iMore has "heard" from unnamed sources that the iPhone maker is in 2010, and the technology found its way to the iPhone 4 to make space for a larger battery.



    There must some words missing in this sentence. It makes no sense.
  • hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 11,865member, moderator






    Frankly just give me solid power and 802.11ac Wifi and I've got my syncing and power needs covered though I know that for widest coverage USB is still going to be needed.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by danbirchall View Post


    The EU is requiring micro USB as a standard, yeah. There's been talk of Apple just supplying an adapter to go between that and the 30-pin connector. But honestly, micro USB is smaller than 30-pin, and not just by a little bit - by a lot. It would be really nice to be able to carry just one cable and use it interchangeably between my phone, my external hard drive, and my DSLR.



    £8.00
  • chabigchabig Posts: 583member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by danbirchall View Post


    The EU is requiring micro USB as a standard, yeah. There's been talk of Apple just supplying an adapter to go between that and the 30-pin connector. But honestly, micro USB is smaller than 30-pin, and not just by a little bit - by a lot. It would be really nice to be able to carry just one cable and use it interchangeably between my phone, my external hard drive, and my DSLR.



    Micro USB doesn't carry the signal pins that Apple uses. It's just USB. Apple's dock connector carries audio, video, control information, etc.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    image: http://www.patentlyapple.com/.a/6a01...240d970c-800wi





    Frankly just give me solid power and 802.11ac Wifi and I've got my syncing and power needs covered though I know that for widest coverage USB is still going to be needed.



    802.11ac won't happen for awhile. We don't even have 802.11n @ 5GHz or multiple spatial streams at this point.
  • cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    What about all those expensive Bose iPod and iPhone docks? And the cheap iHome docks?



    They will continue to work.
  • jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,265member
    The design of Apple's next generation phone would be complete at this point so I really doubt they are searching for a connector for the 2012 iphone at this late stage. Perhaps for the 2013 phone.
  • hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 11,865member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    802.11ac won't happen for awhile. We don't even have 802.11n @ 5GHz or multiple spatial streams at this point.



    It may be an option for the phone this fall.



    Qualcomm/Atheros is now announcing product along with Broadcom.



    Single stream 11ac chips at 433Mpbs coming this year.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    It may be an option for the phone this fall.



    Qualcomm/Atheros is now announcing product along with Broadcom.



    Single stream 11ac chips at 433Mpbs coming this year.



    That report doesn't even mention smartphones in the list of possible devices for the single stream option. That tells me it's still a year out before we'll see 802.11ac in an iPhone sized smartphone. Note: I hope I'm wrong.
  • peter236peter236 Posts: 252member
    Will there be an adapter that allows you to charge the new iPhone with micro usb on the 30pin iPhone docks.
  • x38x38 Posts: 95member
    I don't care if it's smaller or not, just please add Thunderbolt to it.



    And everyone please stop with all the whining for adoption of micro USB for the on-board connector. USB, micro or otherwise, is pathetically limited compared to all the stuff the 30 pin connector can do, or what TB could do. If you just have to have a micro USB plug, go buy an adapter, but don't ruin the future for the rest of us.
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