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Apple's Lightning connector detailed in extensive new patent filings - Page 2

post #41 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The way I read the document they only have 4 data lanes which seems really odd. If so that makes your question even more interesting. It is almost like this is part of the security arrangement in that dynamic data lanes makes it difficult to just plug in a connector and grab a port. Or in other words there are no data lanes until the authentication process succeeds.

Or taken another way this is an extended effort to screw the consumer as the port offers no real value other than limiting choice.

The 4 data pins make sense when you consider that current iPads/iPhones only have 8 contacts and only connect to one side of the lightning cable. I suppose in the future if they come out with a device requiring more pins, they could redesign the cable and port to utilize both sides while preserving backwards compatibility with the current cables.

I don't think it is fair to accuse apple of screwing us just yet. We still don't know the full capability of the port. For example we have only looked at the USB data cable. Remember, the old 30 pin dock had pins dedicated to things like A/V out and control inputs. I think we will likely see accessories like external speakers that will reassign the "data" pins to things like controls and A/V.
post #42 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by iaeen View Post

I suppose in the future if they come out with a device requiring more pins, they could redesign the cable and port to utilize both sides while preserving backwards compatibility with the current cables.

I don't think that will happen but I would like to note if they have planned for allowing 8 data pins by adding connectors on both sides of the female connector in iDevice they probably don't have to do anything with the cable except a firmware update which would come from the iDevice when it's plugged in an sees that it's not the latest version for the cable.

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post #43 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I've never understand the desire for MagSafe on an iDevice. For starters, the device you're not likely to trip over. Also, you end up making the cable end much larger. Also note that MagSafe doesn't need to deal with data as it's only power going over those wide spaced pins.

 

For the reason mentioned above: so there is no damage to the device, the dock, or the cable when the device is rotated/pivoted.  The other fellow mentioned the broken connectors at the Apple store, and I'd point to the potential damage every time you grab your phone off a dock.  You have to lift it straight up (or even worse upwards at the proper angle), rather than just grabbing it an old way.  Sure, not having a magnetic connector isn't the end of the world, but if the iPhone had one I'm pretty sure you'd say "huh, that's just better."  Connecting and disconnecting a magsafe power cord to your iMac is easier/better/nice than using the plug designs that preceeded them.  Same principle.

post #44 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

For the reason mentioned above: so there is no damage to the device, the dock, or the cable when the device is rotated/pivoted.  The other fellow mentioned the broken connectors at the Apple store, and I'd point to the potential damage every time you grab your phone off a dock.  You have to lift it straight up (or even worse upwards at the proper angle), rather than just grabbing it an old way.  Sure, not having a magnetic connector isn't the end of the world, but if the iPhone had one I'm pretty sure you'd say "huh, that's just better."  Connecting and disconnecting a magsafe power cord to your iMac is easier/better/nice than using the plug designs that preceeded them.  Same principle.

1) That is only really an issue with the Apple Store displays, not a cable in a device. No one in the real world tries to detach them by breaking it like a Twix.

2) Again, how do you make a cable that small and functional that still has a usable magnet. A power cable for MagSafe is not the same as a data cable that is magnetic.

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post #45 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

This is the opposite of every experience I've had with the connector.

I have the WD Thunderbolt Duo (connected with the Apple 0.5m Thunderbolt Cable) and the Apple Thunderbolt Gig-E adaptor and they're both a wobbly fit in both my Thunderbolt ports. I think connectors either need to be extremely tight or have some sort of latch/grabbing mechanism (like the little plastic clip on Ethernet) but Thunderbolt has neither.

post #46 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by iaeen View Post

Does anyone know why they didn't just mirror the pins on both sides? Dynamically assigning pins is neat and all, but it seems to me to be an overly complicated solution to a simple problem.

 

So it frees up pins for other uses.

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post #47 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

... I've seen them broken on displays at the local Apple store because a kid grabs the phone and doesn't lift up and they end up putting too much pressure on the connector and it ends up snapping...  The other drawback is that it isn't a standard whereas Micro or Mini USB 

 

So what happens to a plugged in micro USB cable under exactly the same circumstances?

 

I have seen plenty of broken USB ports on phones, mainly the internal connectors are bent so you really have to force the plug in, some plugs seem to work better than others, minor variances in manufacture I guess.

 

I haven't seen a damaged lightning connector or port yet.

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post #48 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

How in the world are you confusing that with anything?

 

I can't find anything on the release date of 3.5mm (which is ludicrous to me; that should be easy to have somewhere), but I have a walkman from the early '80s that has 3.5mm.

 

Some phones used to use a 2.5mm jack but the movement to 3.5 started well before the iPhone first launched.

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post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Again look at the print, the pins are connected opposite each other not mirrored. Now the drawing could be wrong but I just checked again. To do that they have to be connected through the substrate, if you are going to do that you could have easily mechanically mirrored them. The reality is we have a solution that is more complex than it needs to be.

 

Need to be?

 

Did you foresee that the 30 pin dock connector introduced in 2003 would be capable of HDMI for instance?

 

You just don't know what may be around over the next ten years.

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post #50 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

 

Is it any more likely to break any other connector?  I had a mini-USB connector attached to a portable hard drive fail last week; it looks like it got bent breaking one or more of the wires inside.  Of course it cost less than $5 to get a replacement whereas a lightning cable will be much more expensive.

 

A magsafe-style connector would have been very appealing.  I'm sure Apple considered it/prototyped it, but it didn't make the cut for some reason.

 

Thank heavens they didn't settle on mini or micro USB however.  Talk about a design done by committee and having almost nothing going for it.

 

A $5 MicroUSB cable might not be expensive but what would it cost to replace the port it plugs into if that gets damaged?

 

Happened to my printer, luckily I found another obsolete printer that used the same toner cartridges (which are worth more) on sale, it was more up to date and also had wifi.

 

I never bothered finding out the cost of replacing a USB port in a $40 printer, in my experience it costs more just to have someone take a look at it.

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post #51 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by iaeen View Post

Does anyone know why they didn't just mirror the pins on both sides? Dynamically assigning pins is neat and all, but it seems to me to be an overly complicated solution to a simple problem.

Mirroring the pins means you have half as many pins...
post #52 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

So it frees up pins for other uses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

Mirroring the pins means you have half as many pins...

Guys, look at the patent. We already have the same pins on both sides; all I was talking about was the arrangement.
post #53 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

^ article

Strange that the article didn't mention the patent on a Dock:



Is Apple reluctant to sue companies like Belkin:


Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It's been a long time since I've seen a patent that had excellent drawings.

I agree. Especially when I saw the Dock, which I want.
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post #54 of 59

Whadd'ya think of the last paragraph in the patent app?

 

"Also, while a number of specific embodiments were disclosed with specific features, a person of skill in the art will recognize instances where the features of one embodiment can be combined with the features of another embodiment. For example, some specific embodiments of the invention set forth above were illustrated with pockets as retention features. A person of skill in the art will readily appreciate that any of the other retention features described herein, as well as others not specifically mentioned, may be used instead of or in addition to the pockets. Also, those skilled in the art will recognize, or be able to ascertain using no more than routine experimentation, many equivalents to the specific embodiments of the inventions described herein. Such equivalents are intended to be encompassed by the following claims."

 

I think it translates as "We know there's things we hadn't even thought of yet and new uses or variations that someone might "invent", so this patent will cover those things too". lol.gif

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post #55 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Whadd'ya think of the last paragraph in the patent app?

"Also, while a number of specific embodiments were disclosed with specific features, a person of skill in the art will recognize instances where the features of one embodiment can be combined with the features of another embodiment. For example, some specific embodiments of the invention set forth above were illustrated with pockets as retention features. A person of skill in the art will readily appreciate that any of the other retention features described herein, as well as others not specifically mentioned, may be used instead of or in addition to the pockets. Also, those skilled in the art will recognize, or be able to ascertain using no more than routine experimentation, many equivalents to the specific embodiments of the inventions described herein. Such equivalents are intended to be encompassed by the following claims."


I think it translates as "We know there's things we hadn't even thought of yet and new uses or variations that someone might "invent", so this patent will cover those things too". 
lol.gif

Seems standard to me. If someone takes their Lightening port design and applies it to something else it's still Apple's proprietary interface and IP, regardless of where someone may "invent" a user Apple has specifically outlines, utilized, or even thought of.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/12/13 at 1:20pm

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post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I think it translates as "We know there's things we hadn't even thought of yet and new uses or variations that someone might "invent", so this patent will cover those things too". 
lol.gif

But isn't that the whole purpose of IP? It certainly seems to be the way these patents are written up and filed at the USPTO.
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post #57 of 59

Apple typically licenses accessory makers where patents are involved and as a major supplier of Apple accessories sold in Apple stores, I assume they have licensing agreements.

 

The basic purpose of patents is to provide users a term limited right to exclusively produce or license inventions, lawsuits are a by-product.

post #58 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Besides reversibility, can anyone provide any other practical uses of dynamic pin assignment?

 

Future upgradeability?

post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

Future upgradeability?

Or just the current assortment of transmission types that can be had via that single connector instead of using the 30-pin option.

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