First rumored photos of new Dock Connector plug for iPhone 5 show 8 pins [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
New photos claiming to capture Apple's revised Dock Connector (expected to be used on the upcoming iPhone 5) show a plug with 8 visible electrical contacts on one side.

Update: In a follow-up post, Nowhereelse.fr notes the purported dock connector actually has a total of 16 pins, 8 on each side, and will be implemented across future versions of Apple's iPhone and iPad product lines. The new connector may also make its way to the iPod line, but no evidence supporting such a change has surfaced.

According to photos published by French blog Nowherelse.fr, which appears to have sourced the images from a Chinese site, the new connector appears to be about half the width of a full sized USB connector.

The new plug is also substantially thinner and appears designed to work in either direction, ending the hassle of having to orient the plug in the correct direction when attaching a cable (an issue with both USB and Apple's existing Dock Connector cables).

Apple similarly redesigned the power connectors on its MacBooks to function in either direction, while using a magnetic quick-release mechanism the company branded as "MagSafe."

Previous reports, including one by TechCrunch and a second by Reuters, claimed the upcoming new iPhone would replace the existing 30-pin connector with a smaller 19-pin port.




Apple's new Dock Connectors for iOS devices could supply unique or redundant contacts on both sides of the plug, enabling either more connections or a physically simpler, easy-to-orient connector.

Apple's 20-pin Thunderbolt port has a somewhat similar electrical contact design, but supplies 10 unique pins on each side, requiring cables to be inserted in one direction. The plug uses a keyed external plug shape however, unlike full sized USB plugs that have a simple, symmetrical rectangular shape.

Apple's original 30-pin Dock Connector, which has been in use since the third generation iPod appeared in 2003, was originally designed to supply pins for both FireWire (enabling fast sync with Macs) and USB 1.0 (providing slower sync but compatibility with PCs), as well supplying analog audio output and control signals.

The company later added support for audio input, composite and component video outputs, and later HDMI output for new iOS devices as the feature set of iPod, iPhone and iPad evolved, in some cases changing the pin-out assignments to assign new uses.

In dramatically scaling back the number of pins available on the new Dock Connector design, Apple could be relying upon AirPlay to deliver media via wireless networking.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 110
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,803member


    Can't wait for Sammy to copy that with the AppleUSB port.

  • Reply 2 of 110
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    I can't tell from those images whether it is keyed (enabling 16 pins) or simply reversable (8 pins)

  • Reply 3 of 110

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I can't tell from those images whether it is keyed (enabling 16 pins) or simply reversable (8 pins)



     


    I thought the same. Wouldn't 16 pins keep more functionality when converting from the 30-pin connector.

  • Reply 4 of 110
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    work in either direction… 


     


    Saints be praised. Now if only Thunderbolt had been a circle… 

  • Reply 5 of 110


    Could you imagine if Tim quadruppled down on security? I would probably have an iPhone (6th generation) in my hand right now

  • Reply 6 of 110
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    In dramatically scaling back the number of pins available on the new Dock Connector design, Apple could be relying upon AirPlay to deliver media via wireless networking.


     


    Or, maybe serial interfaces (in this case USB 2 and/or USB 3) are fast enough now.  No need for all those extra pins for parallel data transfer.

  • Reply 7 of 110
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member


    Wouldn't a metal housing surround the connector, grounding it, and thus making it a 9 pin connector?  


     


    I'm spitballing here.

  • Reply 8 of 110
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post


     


    I thought the same. Wouldn't 16 pins keep more functionality when converting from the 30-pin connector.



    Yea I don't know what the big deal is with having the plug reversible. Almost no connector has ever been reversible aside from a 1930s era lamp cord.

  • Reply 9 of 110
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I can't tell from those images whether it is keyed (enabling 16 pins) or simply reversable (8 pins)



     


    Hoping that it's orientation-independent.  And has MagSafe magnets.


     


    Actually, would it be possible to detect orientation and configure the connection?


    That would allow using all 16 pins.  I thought Apple submitted at least one patent related to detecting


    the position and strength of magnets in a connector for determining the connector's orientation.

  • Reply 10 of 110
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post


     


    Hoping that it's orientation-independent.  And has MagSafe magnets.


     


    Actually, would it be possible to detect orientation and configure the connection?


    That would allow using all 16 pins.  I thought Apple submitted at least one patent related to detecting


    the position and strength of magnets in a connector for determining the connector's orientation.



    The shape seems like it is rather a deep socket, relatively speaking, to be MagSafe compatible.

  • Reply 11 of 110
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post


     


    Hoping that it's orientation-independent.  And has MagSafe magnets.


     


    Actually, would it be possible to detect orientation and configure the connection?


    That would allow using all 16 pins.  I thought Apple submitted at least one patent related to detecting


    the position and strength of magnets in a connector for determining the connector's orientation.



     


    Clearly there will be a Male connector and a Female socket - as to their "orientation" perhaps that is best left unasked. image


     
  • Reply 12 of 110
    chiachia Posts: 710member


    Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post


    I thought the same. Wouldn't 16 pins keep more functionality when converting from the 30-pin connector.







    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I can't tell from those images whether it is keyed (enabling 16 pins) or simply reversable (8 pins)



     



    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }


     


    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

    I'd go further and suggest it may be no more than a reversible USB 2.0 connection - what we see as 16 pins could be in reality eight pins, with each pin showing on both faces.


     


    The 8 pins themselves could be carrying only four pairs of signals, each pair consisting of the same signal on the left hand side and right hand side, that way it doesn't matter which way the connector is plugged into the port, just like on the MagSafe.


     


    I believe this is the nature of the connector, after all the current 30 pin connector leads into the 4 pins of a USB plug.


     


    Those other 26 pins are either legacy ports no longer used or possibly direct audio in and out signals utilised by docks and accessories.


     


    Plugin USB audio adapters can be purchased for one or two British pounds on eBay so it won't be expensive for audio dock manufacturers to incorporate the necessary circuitry into future docks, if they don't do so already.


    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     


    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     
  • Reply 13 of 110
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,501member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Yea I don't know what the big deal is with having the plug reversible. Almost no connector has ever been reversible aside from a 1930s era lamp cord.



     


    Future products by Apple and 3rd party accessories most likely.

  • Reply 14 of 110
    jccjcc Posts: 287member



    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    Why didn't they use MagSafe technology? That would have been awesome without having to push and pull. Just have it snap into place. If Steve were alive, that's what he would have asked the engineers to do.


     
  • Reply 15 of 110


    Would a micro or mini USB been so hard?  Why do we need yet ANOTHER non standard data connector that does exactly what all the other STANDARD connectors do?

     

  • Reply 16 of 110
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

    Or, maybe serial interfaces (in this case USB 2 and/or USB 3) are fast enough now.  No need for all those extra pins for parallel data transfer.


     


    They're not, though.





    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

    Yea I don't know what the big deal is with having the plug reversible. Almost no connector has ever been reversible aside from a 1930s era lamp cord.


     


    Since you've obviously used a USB port at least once before in your life, I can't see how you can say this with a straight face.

  • Reply 17 of 110

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Yea I don't know what the big deal is with having the plug reversible. Almost no connector has ever been reversible aside from a 1930s era lamp cord.



     


     


    How about avoiding the annoyance of having to constantly flip the plug around when it won't insert, as happens with the stupid USB connector design.

  • Reply 18 of 110
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JCC View Post



    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    Why didn't they use MagSafe technology? That would have been awesome without having to push and pull. Just have it snap into place. If Steve were alive, that's what he would have asked the engineers to do.


     



     


    Magsafe is great when attached to something heavy, like a notebook.  But connected to a phone it's pointless, one trip on the cord and it's coming off the table anyway.

  • Reply 19 of 110
    chabigchabig Posts: 640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by UrbanVoyeur View Post


    Would a micro or mini USB been so hard?  Why do we need yet ANOTHER non standard data connector that does exactly what all the other STANDARD connectors do?

     



    How is it that you're so intimately familiar with the specifications and capabilities of this new mystery connector?

  • Reply 20 of 110
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    This can't be the final design. Doubt this is real. Apple would never create an insertable tab connector like that. There's nothing elegant about it. Unless this is a post Steve decision. Way too easy to break off. Now perhaps if this were intended to be housed inside some kind of shell al la USB, et al ... But take a look at any Apple product, aside from standard audio connectors there is nothing like this ... This has PC written all over it ...
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