Originally Posted by mobility
The lack of knowledge about USB in this forum is staggering.
Let's put aside for a minute that memory cards and USB connectivity is pretty much a thing of the past for mobile devices.
Let's purely analyze USB.
1> There are two types of units : hosts and devices. The 30 pin connector + USB A cable makes the iDevice just that, a device. Since the cable + 30 pin serves more functions (I mean a LOT MORE) than just USB connectivity, it makes total sense NOT to put a mini, micro or regular device-side USB connectors on there. Many other devices do this, it is nothing new and given that the same 30 pin connector is leveraged across 3 product lines, I'd say that's a lot of friggin hard work on the design side for all 3. So there, 30 pin it is, like it or not. (I like it, due to the increased functionality)
The whole point of wanting a standard USB connector is that you gain functionality over the 30 pin connector. There is simply a whole house full of devices that use the standard connector.
2> What people seem to require here is a host port (like the kinds on your laptop) that you want to plug USB devices into. Like I hinted at before, memory cards and generic USB ports are not the greatest ideas right now, probably ever (read what follows later to see why). With the network and on board storage, Apple has a nice seamless, integrated solution (as always) that gets the job done with minimum hassle to the user.
You seem to want to limit the potential focus of the conversation to memory devices. Surely you realize that USB supports a far wider array of devices? Devices that all use a standard connector.
Even so USB memory devices are very handy to have.
The biggest problem with USB is power. Someone only got half the story alluding to power earlier. USB hosts need to provide 5V and a minimum of 100mA of power (up to 500mA). Ignoring the MASSIVE size and pure ugliness of including a USB host on board (go look at the teardown of an iPad to see internal board size), this sort of power is just not available on a truly mobile device without giving up something else. It doesn't make any sense.
You start off talking about knowing USB but you don't know your electronics. USB has to supply at a minimum 100ma but the devices connected do not have to use that much current. In fact they can draw far less.
However what is the difference here between a USB external camera and an internal one? Your argument makes no sense what so ever because USB device by their very nature are not always connected. Thus a USB device only draws power when it is plugged in.
Some of the more astute readers may point out that the 30-pin acts as both a device AND as a host (media connection kit). This is true, but by limiting the use case, they control what drivers need to be installed/HW needs to be supported and they also reduce the opportunity for prolonged power suckage, while still offering consumers what they would really need such a port for.
That is all well and good but it also limits the device drastically with respect to POTENTIAL usage outside of what Apple approves.
I'll say it again, with the ample on board storage, and the rising ubiquity of networks, memory cards are relegated to a corner case users. The kind that still walk around with 5lb laptops. Sure, they'll beat their chests sore saying they're the power users, but they are corner case still, not the focus.
You are way to focused on on board usage, which isn't enough anyways.
PS : USB 3.0 uses even more power for 10x the speed, very few devices and hosts out in the field and this will be even less widely adopted than USB 2.0 on mobile devices. Just in case someone piped up.
So? We aren't even talking about future devices here, though I think Apple will go USB3 soon. The desire is to simply use a wider range of USB devices of the type currently available.