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Apple's alleged 9-pin dock connector may be same size as Micro USB

post #1 of 118
Thread Starter 
New images released on Saturday compare what appear to be a Micro-A USB cable with the smaller 9-pin dock connector Apple is rumored to be deploying with the sixth-generation iPhone, showing the two components share almost identical dimensions.

The side-by-side comparison shots from French blog nowhereelse.fr were furnished by the same tipster who reportedly sent in some of the first images of Apple's alleged smaller dock connector in August.

690
Source: nowhereelse.fr


Oddly, Saturday's photos show advertising paraphernalia from Chinese electronics firm MEIZU, however the source said not to "pay attention to [that] detail," adding the alleged part in question is in fact a legitimate Apple product. While AppleInsider can't verify the validity of the source's claims, the connector looks to be identical to those pictured in previous reports.

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As seen in the images, the purported 9-pin format is nearly identical in size to the Micro USB plug, though Apple's rumored part appears to be slightly longer and thinner.

As with most USB connectors, the Micro-A type features a housing in which contact pins are aligned in a linear manner, thus requiring an opening into which the tongue of a male plug can interface. Apple's current 30-pin connector is built on the same principle, however the company's new, smaller unit eschews that design for a more robust male/female system.

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According to sources, the supposed new plug will feature a layout with eight pins exposed on either side of a metal shell which serves as a ninth contact, thus allowing for orientation-independent use. With the new design, users will no longer have to make sure that the connector is right side up when inserting it into an iDevice.

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Apple is widely expected to unveil the sixth-generation iPhone next week after the company sent out invitations for a Sept. 12 special event.
post #2 of 118
"With the new design, users will no longer have to make sure that the connector is right side up when inserting it into an iDevice."

Yeah! Finally I'll be able to conform to the laws of statistics, in that I'll have a BETTER than 50-50 chance of getting it right on the first try. With USB I'm constantly defying that law, getting it right only 1 out of 10 tries.
post #3 of 118
I'm not a fan of exposed connectors. If some kid sticks that into their mouth while it's plugged in to a Mac, their memory will be synchronized with iTunes.

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post #4 of 118
I forget how the inside of the new connector will look on devices but I don't recall an extrusion that would allow it to connect to micro-USB. They do look to be roughly the same size but micro-USB has the pin ons the inside whilst the new connector from Apple are on the outside. It looks more like Apple's new cable could plug into a micro-USB cable but that wouldn't make any sense.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I'm not a fan of exposed connectors. If some kid sticks that into their mouth while it's plugged in to a Mac, their memory will be synchronized with iTunes.
Will he know King Fu?

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post #5 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

"With the new design, users will no longer have to make sure that the connector is right side up when inserting it into an iDevice."
Yeah! Finally I'll be able to conform to the laws of statistics, in that I'll have a BETTER than 50-50 chance of getting it right on the first try. With USB I'm constantly defying that law, getting it right only 1 out of 10 tries.

lol USB makes zero sense...I swear there must be nano-USB trolls constantly rejiggering everything.

edit: Odd that a Meizu MX is in the BG.
post #6 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Will he know King Fu?

 

Yes, there's an app for that!

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post #7 of 118
Quote:

As with most USB connectors, the Micro-A type features a housing in which contact pins are aligned in a linear manner, thus requiring an opening into which the tongue of a female receptacle can interface. Apple's current 30-pin connector is built on the same principle, however the company's new, smaller unit eschews that design for a more robust male/female system.

 

Whuh?  First does that "aligned in a linear manner" add anything to the explanation?  When aren't contacts pins set up in a line?  Then we have that bit about the female receptacle having a tongue.  Um, gulp.  Is this just saying the new Apple connector is exactly what it looks like in the picture and not the "USB way" where the connectors are hidden inside a hollow metal flat rectangular frame?  Obviously his is one of those "pictures is worth a thousand words" situations, because I don't think the above section would help anyone who couldn't look at the photos.  Interestingly and unmentioned in the article (or if it was I couldn't understand it), is that the "traditional" iPhone connector did things the USB way, just with a thinner (hollow) tongue of the female receptacle.  (Of course I always assumed that the part that had something sticking out was "male" and therefore didn't need to be called a female tongue, since male parts by analogy "stick out" and go into things.)  But I'm glad Apple is going for a more "robust" (dare we say "normal"?) male/female system.

post #8 of 118
What if, assuming it is even possible, the reason it looks the same size as a micro USB is because it is. Perhaps Apples permenant solution to the whole EU thing was to redo the dock connector so that one could plug in a micro USB and charge only. Kind of like how a thunderbolt port can talk to a mini display port plug also.

I suspect if this is true we may find that more that just the old FireWire pins are missing. Like say the video out to connect to a TV, at least all but HDMI. It could push AirPlay and the Apple TV as the video connection. I can't imagine Apple would think an Apple TV in every home, classroom and conference room isa bad thing. This talk of ad hoc wifi connections a la air drop could be tied into it

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post #9 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

What if, assuming it is even possible, the reason it looks the same size as a micro USB is because it is. Perhaps Apples permenant solution to the whole EU thing was to redo the dock connector so that one could plug in a micro USB and charge only. Kind of like how a thunderbolt port can talk to a mini display port plug also.
I suspect if this is true we may find that more that just the old FireWire pins are missing. Like say the video out to connect to a TV, at least all but HDMI. It could push AirPlay and the Apple TV as the video connection. I can't imagine Apple would think an Apple TV in every home, classroom and conference room isa bad thing. This talk of ad hoc wifi connections a la air drop could be tied into it

But how would that work? Look at the difference in the way the connectors look. One has the pins on the outside and the other on the inside of the male end.

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post #10 of 118
You know what would be AMAZING?

If Apple released the "new dock connector" to fool us.

What if the new iPhone actually does the right thing and eliminates the dock connector entirely? Apple is, after all, part of the European consortium that designated the micro USB connector as the standard for all cell phones.

Apple could abandon proprietary connectors and just use USB!
post #11 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post

You know what would be AMAZING?
If Apple released the "new dock connector" to fool us.
What if the new iPhone actually does the right thing and eliminates the dock connector entirely?

Unless you think the leaks are fake there will be smaller dock connector on the device.
Quote:
Apple is, after all, part of the European consortium that designated the micro USB connector as the standard for all cell phones.

How many times will people keeping stating this as fact before they realize it's not true? Is it just ignorance or a willful attempt to make false statements?

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post #12 of 118

So if USB has those tiny clips to hold a solid connection between cable and port, how is Apple's solution going to keep their connection from being too jiggly?

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post #13 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Unless you think the leaks are fake there will be smaller dock connector on the device.
How many times will people keeping stating this as fact before they realize it's not true? Is it just ignorance or a willful attempt to make false statements?


Well, people keep stating it as a fact BECAUSE IT IS A FACT.

 

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/rtte/files/chargers/chargers_annex_i__list_of_signatories_en.pdf

 

Apple is an original signatory on the standard.

post #14 of 118
Quote:
So if USB has those tiny clips to hold a solid connection between cable and port, how is Apple's solution going to keep their connection from being too jiggly?

 

Very tight tolerances with solid aluminium connector and frame.  It's not going to be cheap plastic.

 

I'm actually stoked to see this new connector -- yeah, it'll cost a little to buy new cables/adapters, but it looks like a nicer experience for the next ten years -- kind of wish it would be a mag safe, but I guess the physical connection has saved my phone from dropping a couple of times.


Edited by Srice - 9/8/12 at 9:19am
post #15 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post


Well, people keep stating it as a fact BECAUSE IT IS A FACT.

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/rtte/files/chargers/chargers_annex_i__list_of_signatories_en.pdf

Apple is an original signatory on the standard.

And in what way does that mean Apple can't use a proprietary connector on their devices? Again, are you just ignorant of the ruling or purposely making false claims?

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post #16 of 118
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post
What if the new iPhone actually does the right thing and eliminates the dock connector entirely? 

 

Terrible idea. Can't meaningfully charge that way. 


Apple could abandon proprietary connectors and just use USB!

 

Even worse idea, which is a feat.


Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post
Well, people keep stating it as a fact BECAUSE IT IS A FACT.

 

No. Apple does not have to supply USB ports directly on their devices. They must provide some sort of adapter for it.

 

And for the record, when the EU creates three products that revolutionize the three separate industries in which they reside directly and hundreds of other industries by their very presence indirectly, then they can tell me or anyone else what ports we put on our devices, thank you very much. Why a government thinks it has the right, much less the proper knowledge to tell us what port we should put on our devices is beyond me.

 

I don't want anything further in this regard to turn into POLITICS, politics, so if we could keep it on connectors, that'd be super. lol.gif

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #17 of 118
What was the point of the change if the world moves to the wireless everything including charging? Another disappointment in the design besides longer case and fat bezels.
post #18 of 118
A Thunderbolt connector would be amazing.
post #19 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

"With the new design, users will no longer have to make sure that the connector is right side up when inserting it into an iDevice."
Yeah! Finally I'll be able to conform to the laws of statistics, in that I'll have a BETTER than 50-50 chance of getting it right on the first try. With USB I'm constantly defying that law, getting it right only 1 out of 10 tries.

 That's the big feature in the Iphone5

post #20 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

What was the point of the change if the world moves to the wireless everything including charging? Another disappointment in the design besides longer case and fat bezels.

You can keep your slow wireless syncing and charging I'll stick with fast syncing and charging that works everywhere. Do you have a wireless charging station in your car? I certainly don't.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #21 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post


Well, people keep stating it as a fact BECAUSE IT IS A FACT.

 

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/rtte/files/chargers/chargers_annex_i__list_of_signatories_en.pdf

 

Apple is an original signatory on the standard.

 

Perhaps you should read your precious EU standard more closely. Section 4.2.1 states that 'adaptors' (i.e., cables) that connect the common power supply to non-USB connectors on phones are in compliance with the standard. Apple wouldn't sign away their right to be unique.

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post #22 of 118
Those exposed connectors could prove a major problem. If it falls on anything metallic, something could short, including the 5 volt USB power.

Like the exposed antenna in the iPhone 4, this supports my sense that the artists have a bit too much sway around Apple and the engineers too little. The result are products that are more pretty than practical.

The same can be said of Apple products that favor thinness over a decent battery life. I've not upgraded to a MacBook Air, in part, because the battery life in the 11" model is way too short--barely better than what I get with the original battery in my six-year-old MacBook.

All that thinness makes no sense, since users will be carrying their MBA about in a padded case that's at least two inches think. Another half-inch thickness could probably give users twice the battery life.

Pity the parent whose one-year-old sticks that live connector is his mouth. A 1.5 volt battery creates an unpleasant metallic taste. I'm not sure what 5 volts does.
post #23 of 118

Or they could just, you know, use Micro USB, like every other small portable device on Earth.


Wouldn't save consumers money, or add convenience, or anything like that. Nah. Let's make a new proprietary connection and FORCE CONSUMERS TO BUY THE CABLES AND ADAPTERS FROM US.

 

Yeah, that's awesome.

post #24 of 118
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post
Pity the parent whose one-year-old sticks that live connector is his mouth. A 1.5 volt battery creates an unpleasant metallic taste. I'm not sure what 5 volts does.

 

I'm sorry, do you people REALLY think that this will be able to happen? Even I, whose reservations about the potential future of New Apple are well known, and who allegedly will forgo Apple at the "drop of a hat" don't think that anyone could be that mind-numbingly stupid as to create a product that would be capable of doing this. 

 

But I suppose I've never stuck a USB port or Dock Connector in my mouth, so I can't say I have experience in this regard. Have licked a 9-volt, though. It caused my taste buds to misfire and I tasted strawberries. It was actually pretty neat.


Originally Posted by Shidell View Post
Or they could just, you know, use Micro USB, like every other small portable device on Earth.


Wouldn't save consumers money, or add convenience, or anything like that. Nah. Let's make a new proprietary connection and FORCE CONSUMERS TO BUY THE CABLES AND ADAPTERS FROM US.

 

Yeah, that's awesome.

 

Please stop this nonsense. If you had any conceivable legitimate reason that MicroUSB was better than Dock Connector, much less Dock Connector 2, you'd have said it already instead of the continued generic nonsense that we see in all anti-Apple postings. 

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

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post #25 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Please stop this nonsense. If you had any conceivable legitimate reason that MicroUSB was better than Dock Connector, much less Dock Connector 2, you'd have said it already instead of the continued generic nonsense that we see in all anti-Apple postings. 

 

Well go ahead and provide us with the reasons, because mine are so valid it should be sickening to you.

post #26 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

Or they could just, you know, use Micro USB, like every other small portable device on Earth.


Wouldn't save consumers money, or add convenience, or anything like that. Nah. Let's make a new proprietary connection and FORCE CONSUMERS TO BUY THE CABLES AND ADAPTERS FROM US.

Yeah, that's awesome.

Or this never would have been a mandate if, you know, every other company on Earth had followed the lead Apple started 8 years ago by making the EPS and cable detachable with an USB-A port so that there is no EPS waste.

It's funny how you like to ignore Apple has not only been compliant for nearly a decade but is the only company that wasn't making the EPS proprietary.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #27 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Even worse idea, which is a feat.

How is Apple using a standard USB connector a bad idea? You could literally plug pretty much anything into the phone and have it work if the drivers are available using far cheaper adapters or Micro USB cables. The current connector supports Storage devices, USB Keyboards, MIDI Input and Output and Audio Devices (full speed 16-bit PCM audio at 48KHz input and output - including USB headsets that work with Skype without configuration - even professional Music Equipment). Making it a standards compliant USB connection with all the standard USB drivers (rather than a select few) from OSX would make it a far better solution.

 

Not to mention it would be cheaper for third parties to use standard Micro USB ports for their peripherals as they wouldn't have to get a license from Apple to use a proprietary connector and they wouldn't have to get the connectors specially made; they'd just use off the shelf parts.

 

I honestly cannot think of a good reason to use a proprietary connector over the Micro USB. If the proprietary connection was smaller than USB, I'd sort of understand, but it isn't.

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post #28 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

Or they could just, you know, use Micro USB, like every other small portable device on Earth.

 

 

Proven wrong: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones-accessories/APCBS10UBEBSTD

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

Wouldn't save consumers money, or add convenience, or anything like that. Nah. Let's make a new proprietary connection and FORCE CONSUMERS TO BUY THE CABLES AND ADAPTERS FROM US.

 

 

 

Proven wrong: Consumers can buy Non-Apple cables and power adapters.

 

You know what's awesome? You make it so easy...lol.gif

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #29 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

"With the new design, users will no longer have to make sure that the connector is right side up when inserting it into an iDevice."
Yeah! Finally I'll be able to conform to the laws of statistics, in that I'll have a BETTER than 50-50 chance of getting it right on the first try. With USB I'm constantly defying that law, getting it right only 1 out of 10 tries.

 

I've been commenting on this design flaw with USB for years. It's a bad design. If this (above) is true it will be a dream I've had for several years.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #30 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by benanderson89 View Post

How is Apple using a standard USB connector a bad idea? You could literally plug pretty much anything into the phone and have it work if the drivers are available using far cheaper adapters or Micro USB cables. The current connector supports Storage devices, USB Keyboards, MIDI Input and Output and Audio Devices (full speed 16-bit PCM audio at 48KHz input and output - including USB headsets that work with Skype without configuration - even professional Music Equipment). Making it a standards compliant USB connection with all the standard USB drivers (rather than a select few) from OSX would make it a far better solution.

Not to mention it would be cheaper for third parties to use standard Micro USB ports for their peripherals as they wouldn't have to get a license from Apple to use a proprietary connector and they wouldn't have to get the connectors specially made; they'd just use off the shelf parts.

I honestly cannot think of a good reason to use a proprietary connector over the Micro USB. If the proprietary connection was smaller than USB, I'd sort of understand, but it isn't.

So much crap but I'll stick with only a couple points for now. Apple has been using the USB protocol for nearly a decade. This means that if they wanted to add support for USB HDDs, keyboards, mice, prints, etc. they could. There is no magical requirement for a USB device that the connecter has to be one of the dozen types designed by the USB-IF. It's not there because it's stupid to include that support.

If you go with what only micro-USB is capable of you lose all the advantages of what the 30-pin dock connector offers. How would I hook up the component cable to play video to a hotel TV? I've found that quite useful on several occasions. Have you looked at what the Dock Connector has offered users over the years? Do you understand why there is a market for devices that connect to iOS-based devices but not Android-based devices?

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post #31 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'm sorry, do you people REALLY think that this will be able to happen? Even I, whose reservations about the potential future of New Apple are well known, and who allegedly will forgo Apple at the "drop of a hat" don't think that anyone could be that mind-numbingly stupid as to create a product that would be capable of doing this.  
I haven't stuck a mag-safe connector into my mouth, but doesn't that have some kind of smart-switch to activate the flow of electrons? I mean, if there's any connector out there that's inherently dangerous, I would guess its that one. So I would assume, this new alleged connector would have a similar feature. It has to sense a connection before it lets anything potentially dangerous flow ...
post #32 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Srice View Post

 

Very tight tolerances with solid aluminium connector and frame.  It's not going to be cheap plastic.

 

I'm actually stoked to see this new connector -- yeah, it'll cost a little to buy new cables/adapters, but it looks like a nicer experience for the next ten years -- kind of wish it would be a mag safe, but I guess the physical connection has saved my phone from dropping a couple of times.

 

I too wish it was MaGSafe. Desperately. It's not, though - makes me sad.

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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #33 of 118
Hoping that it's also MagSafe, but that seems unlikely. The small indentations on the edges of the metal 'tab' look like detents for a mechanical attachment mechanism.

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post #34 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Those exposed connectors could prove a major problem. If it falls on anything metallic, something could short, including the 5 volt USB power.
Like the exposed antenna in the iPhone 4, this supports my sense that the artists have a bit too much sway around Apple and the engineers too little. The result are products that are more pretty than practical.
The same can be said of Apple products that favor thinness over a decent battery life. I've not upgraded to a MacBook Air, in part, because the battery life in the 11" model is way too short--barely better than what I get with the original battery in my six-year-old MacBook.
All that thinness makes no sense, since users will be carrying their MBA about in a padded case that's at least two inches think. Another half-inch thickness could probably give users twice the battery life.
Pity the parent whose one-year-old sticks that live connector is his mouth. A 1.5 volt battery creates an unpleasant metallic taste. I'm not sure what 5 volts does.

5v tingles a bit - 9 v tingles better - its often how i check a 9V pp3 i just found in the draw - before i discard it

post #35 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Terrible idea. Can't meaningfully charge that way. 

 

Even worse idea, which is a feat.

 

No. Apple does not have to supply USB ports directly on their devices. They must provide some sort of adapter for it.

 

And for the record, when the EU creates three products that revolutionize the three separate industries in which they reside directly and hundreds of other industries by their very presence indirectly, then they can tell me or anyone else what ports we put on our devices, thank you very much. Why a government thinks it has the right, much less the proper knowledge to tell us what port we should put on our devices is beyond me.

 

I don't want anything further in this regard to turn into POLITICS, politics, so if we could keep it on connectors, that'd be super. lol.gif


You don't appear to understand politics or government very much so I would indeed not suggest to take this further.

 

However, at no point did the EU tell anyone which ports to use on devices. The EU has asked the mobile industry to come up with a solution to the different charging mechanisms because it is not in the interest of the consumer or the environment that every single brand needed a new charger. The EU asked the mobile industry to come up with a solution, the mobile industry got together and decided to harmonise on micro-usb.

 

That is how things work in the market. Something can be in the interest of all players in the market while it is not in the individual interest of those same players to be the first. At that point a sensible government can provide a platform or incentive to overcome that barrier. That is also why governments can sometimes play a role in creating a level playing field in a market, either to create a market that didn't exist, or increase competition in an existing market.

 

Which is exactly what happened here and I haven't heard a single of the more than a dozen signatories to this Memorandum of Understanding complain about how this was achieved. And personally I am very glad that the mountain of useless old phone chargers I have hasn't grown in the last two years thanks to this.


Edited by Morris - 9/8/12 at 11:25am
post #36 of 118
What people forget about USB is that it's not a universal "connector", but a universal "bus". The myriad of USB connections just boggles my mind. There should be one standard size and one micro size, that's it. Not the 6 or 7 different variations that currently exist.

Apple develops its own dock connector so that it can manage the design and keep it simple. But even that hasn't been perfect over the past 10 years. The new dock connector will hopefully address the past problems and last another 10 to 15 years.
post #37 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Proven wrong: Consumers can buy Non-Apple cables and power adapters.

 

You know what's awesome? You make it so easy...lol.gif

 

Did you read http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/152341/apple-adapters-for-new-9-pin-dock-to-cost-10-cables-will-be-19-report

 

At least at first Apple will be the sole supplier of the new dock connector cables, of course it's a rumor, but so is the whole new dock connector

post #38 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

Proven wrong: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones-accessories/APCBS10UBEBSTD

 

 

 

 

Proven wrong: Consumers can buy Non-Apple cables and power adapters.

 

You know what's awesome? You make it so easy...lol.gif

 

I guess you missed the part where Apple's forbidding others from manufacturing this new cable type, as well as accessories to adapt to it.

 

Thank you for making it easy. Derp.

post #39 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

So if USB has those tiny clips to hold a solid connection between cable and port, how is Apple's solution going to keep their connection from being too jiggly?

If you look closely you can see there are indentations on the sides of the plug which I presume interlock with some sort of spring loaded mechanism that snaps in to securely fasten it to the device.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #40 of 118
I think it's a brilliant design and far better than micro-A USB. It shows what just a little original thinking can do, even to a cable.

By putting the metal on the outside they achieve the same thing as the fragile, ugly shielding on the current cables. By making it plain old male-female, instead of female/male-male/female like the current cables they make it far simpler and easier to use. By hollowing out the metal tang and putting the wires down the middle it achieves perfect shielding and excellent and exacting fit and finish. By making a window in each side for the contacts, it makes it reversible.

This is never going to be interoperable with USB (as the article incorrectly implies) however because the whole point of the cable is actually the circuitry inside.
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