Apple's new mini Dock Connector to feature 9-pin, orientation independent design - sources

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  • Reply 61 of 107
    vorsosvorsos Posts: 302member


    Originally Posted by jeffreytgilbert View Post


    It's not a standard plug, so i can't use any micro usb cord i have hanging around (dozens of these things) and it seems to have lost a few pins in the process, which i dont know if that impacts this thing negatively or not functionality wise for accessory makers.




    Exactly which of the 14 shapes of mini/micro-USB plug should Apple use? Tell me now.


     


    For the record, I have had three micro-USB devices in my life; two cameras and a flip phone. Guess how many of them used the same shape.


     


    Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post


    And this way Apple gets to control the cable market with proprietary tech that third parties are not allowed to license.



    Let's ignore the thousands of officially licensed dock-equipped accessories over the last ten years. "Made for i**" stickers are earned, not made up.


     



    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Apple seem obsessed with constantly designing new ports. Do they have a special ports division or something?



    The dock connector's extra pins enable more intelligent automatic configuration of, and communication with, a wide variety of accessories. The only way to do that through a "standard" port like USB is by making accessories more expensive with controller chips, and an iOS device full of drivers. Who doesn't love managing device drivers?


    But by all means, stick with legacy ports like VGA. Goodness knows there are still plenty of laptops being made today with that 20+ year old spec.


     


    By the way, it was 0 of 3 devices. Want some bonus juice? My SO still uses a flip phone (Samsung m300), and it uses its own "proprietary dock."

  • Reply 62 of 107
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NormM View Post





    There's also the issue that most people currently don't have a Thunderbolt device to plug this into! USB3 is compatible with earlier USB, so that's what is likely to be used here. Hopefully, though, they'll design this as a hybrid, so that future devices can also support Thunderbolt without another change in the connector.


     


    Which is a selling point to people to a)look for products with the port when they upgrade or b) go buy a nice new Apple laptop that has the port you want.  Clearly B, but if all the iDevices changed over to TB next month, the uptick on TB inclusion on systems would be pretty swift.


     


     


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    Half the time I try connecting the phone the wrong way, because either the symbol is faded, or the lights are off and it's too dark to see it, etc. What does this have to do with intelligence?



     


    You forgot another perfect example.  Reaching around teh back of your computer to insert a USB cable.  Even when you have it oriented right, it can still be finicky to slot and if its backwards, repeat.

  • Reply 63 of 107
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,612member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    I've been thinking the same things myself. There are a bunch of pins on the old connector that do nothing. Getting rid of some of them wouldn't limit functionality, except for giving Apple extra pins for other uses in the future.

    What I'm concerned about is that they limited the functionality to the point that devices that connect now won't be usable in the future. I have a device that connects microphones, and acts as a headphone am as well. This is used with a very good app called Audio Tools. It would be a shame if this would no longer be usable on newer Apple devices.


     


    Just out of interest, have you tried Signal Scope Pro?  It has proven very useful to me.

  • Reply 64 of 107
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,695member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    Don't be a wiseass. Your comment reads negatively, as you must know. I was wondering why you apparently think its not a good thing.


    I disagree - it reads neutral or at least factual.  Take it however you wish.  I don't care either way, I'll buy the cable and not worry about it.

  • Reply 65 of 107
    idaveidave Posts: 1,283member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    Just what society needs another idiot proof connector, are people that stupid they do not know how to plug something in, I know people still have problem plug in two prong power cords into the wall with on prong bigger, they have not figure out how to rotate it 180 degrees.





    Remember when car keys were asymmetrical? A real pain to use, especially in the dark. I'm glad we got past that and I'm glad Apple is too, with their connectors.

  • Reply 66 of 107
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,452member
    One question, assuming this connector is real. Presumably Apple will continue to use the same minimal strain relief for the cable attachment. One of the things about the T-shaped MagSafe connector that had an incredibly high failure rate, even after the redesign (longer strain-relief, not the L shaped one), is that being symmetrical, and having no specific orientation, allowed the connector to be rotated an unusually high amount, thus twisting the poorly connected cable a greater amount than if the connector were always inserted in a single orientation.

    Granted this twisting of the cable alone was not responsible for the failure of the old connector, but it is the most consistent source of strain I see on them, moreso than being pulled in a particular direction. Observing a typical T-shaped MagSafe connection, there is almost always some strain being applied from a twist at the connector as the cable attempts to return to the natural alignment. This is made worse, each time the user plugs the connector in without concern for the natural orientation. The more the connector is twisted, the worse the strain on the connection point, the more likely the failure.

    It's like the old phone cords.. The only way to parent the continual twisting after every lift and return of the receiver, was to use one of those rotating connector devices, something I don't really see Apple doing here with 9 connection points to maintain securely.

    By contrast the old one-way dock connectors seem much more reliable, with little twisting of the cable at the connector. At least I have never heard of one failing, or had one fail on me which cannot be said for my experience with the old T-shaped MagSafe.
  • Reply 67 of 107
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    Like the orientation independent T-shaped MagSafe 2 adapter that Apple introduced in June to replace the first-generation L-shaped adapters ...


     


    Just for the record, the L-shaped MagSafe connector is part of the second generation MagSafe design.


    First gen, starting in January 2006, has the T-shaped connector.  Second gen, from late 2009, has the L-shaped connector.

  • Reply 68 of 107
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,060member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


     


    Yes but in case he didn't read that thread, the reason MagSafe would be bad for the phone connector is that magnets can interfere w/audio.  As far as who says it isn't, the Thunderbolt spec.  It calls for 20 pins.


     



     


    Thanks, I was wondering the same thing.  I've been on the road a lot lately for work and missed that.  Sometimes a two sentence answer is better than a two sentence snark reply.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iDave View Post




    Remember when car keys were asymmetrical? A real pain to use, especially in the dark. I'm glad we got past that and I'm glad Apple is too, with their connectors.



     


    And a growing number of cars manufactured today only require you to have the keys in your pocket when you pull on the door handle then push the big start button!

  • Reply 69 of 107
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post


     


    Just for the record, the L-shaped MagSafe connector is part of the second generation MagSafe design.


    First gen, starting in January 2006, has the T-shaped connector.  Second gen, from late 2009, has the L-shaped connector.



    Wouldn't the "beta" of the whole thing be the original MacBook Air which had a (different) L-shaped design?  


    That's the way I remember it at least, but memories are often wrong. 

  • Reply 70 of 107
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    ...

    PS: When you now type "etc." in iOS 6 and double tap the space bar to add a period it no longer auto-capitalizes the next letter like it's starting a new sentence. It's about time!


     


    Cool. This will help with writing.  


     


    Now if they could put in an ellipsis as well a lot of my "capital frustration" would disappear.  


    I'd still like more control over auto-correct and the ability to edit the dictionary though. 

  • Reply 71 of 107
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post



    One question, assuming this connector is real. Presumably Apple will continue to use the same minimal strain relief for the cable attachment. One of the things about the T-shaped MagSafe connector that had an incredibly high failure rate, even after the redesign (longer strain-relief, not the L shaped one), is that being symmetrical, and having no specific orientation, allowed the connector to be rotated an unusually high amount, thus twisting the poorly connected cable a greater amount than if the connector were always inserted in a single orientation.

    Granted this twisting of the cable alone was not responsible for the failure of the old connector, but it is the most consistent source of strain I see on them, moreso than being pulled in a particular direction. Observing a typical T-shaped MagSafe connection, there is almost always some strain being applied from a twist at the connector as the cable attempts to return to the natural alignment. This is made worse, each time the user plugs the connector in without concern for the natural orientation. The more the connector is twisted, the worse the strain on the connection point, the more likely the failure.

    It's like the old phone cords.. The only way to parent the continual twisting after every lift and return of the receiver, was to use one of those rotating connector devices, something I don't really see Apple doing here with 9 connection points to maintain securely.

    By contrast the old one-way dock connectors seem much more reliable, with little twisting of the cable at the connector. At least I have never heard of one failing, or had one fail on me which cannot be said for my experience with the old T-shaped MagSafe.


     


    I think there are several factors mitigating this problem on the iPhone.  In the first place it's a much lighter device so any stress or torque would be much reduced.  Secondly, the connectors primary use will be in a dock (no strain at all), or the phone will generally be laid on a flat surface if using the cable instead.  In that case (using the cable), the entire device would tend to rotate before any real stress or strain would build up.  


     


    In terms of the twisty cable problem, there's no mechanical latch (seemingly) on the connector so you won't be able to hang the phone by an attached cable to un-twist it pendulum-wise, but it should be a very solid connection nevertheless since as it appears to be a machines metal tab being inserted into a machines metal slot.  

  • Reply 72 of 107
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post


    ... One of the reasons Apple is thought to have bought Anobit is that they have technology to increase the endurance of cheap NAND through controller logic.



     


    It seems to me that you're kind of purposely mis-stating this here in order to make your case.  


     


    The Anobit controller logic improvements are intended to increase the endurance not of "cheap NAND," but just of "NAND."  

  • Reply 73 of 107

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post



    One question, assuming this connector is real. Presumably Apple will continue to use the same minimal strain relief for the cable attachment. One of the things about the T-shaped MagSafe connector that had an incredibly high failure rate, even after the redesign (longer strain-relief, not the L shaped one), is that being symmetrical, and having no specific orientation, allowed the connector to be rotated an unusually high amount, thus twisting the poorly connected cable a greater amount than if the connector were always inserted in a single orientation.


     


    This doesn't add up to me. How can a connector that may require a 180? rotation from the orientation it naturally falls to, lead to less strain than one requires a maximum of 90? rotation?


     


    I have a dock connector on my desk that does this. It happen to lye "face down" when unplugged and I have to twist it 180? to plug in my devices so that they are face up, as I want them on the desk. If the connector could use either orientation I wouldn't need to twist it at all.

  • Reply 74 of 107


    Like the adapter, hate headphones being on the bottom of the phone.

  • Reply 75 of 107

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    There is no evidence that Apple is using cheap NAND. In fact, according to testing done at Anandtech, Apple has some of, if not the fastest NAND transfer rates available on mobile devices, attesting to their use of higher quality NAND. Some other devices have NAND speeds several times slowed, showing that they are using cheaper AND, as well as no controller. Apple appears to be using an effective controller.


    I was meaning in comparison to computer SSD as Anand is talking about in his Anobit article rather than against other mobile devices.

  • Reply 76 of 107


    After reading through the whole thread there has not been a mention of one of the major issues, which is that NONE of my existing iDevices will work with the new iPhone, from cradles to clock radios, they'll all require replacement or some sort of adapter plug, which I've not heard anyone discuss and I doubt would even happen.


     


    Agree that from an ergonomics standpoint it's a better design for a plug, but for consumers with existing peripherals, not that great. For all the companies that make the peripherals, built in obsolesence is great! They get to sweep the decks clean and sell a whole new raft of new iPhone 5 compatible products.

  • Reply 77 of 107
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,452member
    This doesn't add up to me. How can a connector that may require a 180? rotation from the orientation it naturally falls to, lead to less strain than one requires a maximum of 90? rotation?

    I have a dock connector on my desk that does this. It happen to lye "face down" when unplugged and I have to twist it 180? to plug in my devices so that they are face up, as I want them on the desk. If the connector could use either orientation I wouldn't need to twist it at all.
    I don't know how you plug yours in, but I hold the phone, lift the cable off the desk, turn the connector the proper orientation that it naturally conforms to, I.e. I turn it naturally the direction that has less stress, when I see it is backwards.

    In this way, there is not a constant stress on the connecting point, as I have often noticed on my mag-safe. And weight is not an issue here. The iPhone is sufficiently heavy enough to keep the cable In place, I.e. the phone won't flip over to adjust to the natural alignment of the cable.

    The mag-safe on the other hand, I will plug in however I happen to pick it up off the desk, regardless of the orientation of the Mac. Since I don't have to think about how I plug it in, I usually don't. I have however, caught myself, realized how much the cable was twisting at the connector and rotated it around -- and this is only because I lost two mag safe connectors to burned out (literally) connections at the strain relief.

    This I believe is the weakness of the symmetrical connector. The L shape connector eliminated this. I can't imagine why Apple would go back to it.

    I also don't see this as primarily dock use ... I think most people don't have docks. Either way, the depth at which this thing slides into the device compared to its width still strikes me as something less safe than the current dock connector, and seemingly has a lot of breakage written all over it, as people rip their phones out of docks and connector cables, especially if they are using them with adapters. This might actually be a reason Apple won't sell an adapter themselves ... Huge liability ... If this is indeed the final design, I hope the insertion point on the iPhone is a solid mate and jerking or bending the connector one way or the other will result in the tab snapping off and not breaking the logicboard ...
  • Reply 78 of 107
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by treynolds View Post


    After reading through the whole thread there has not been a mention of one of the major issues, which is that NONE of my existing iDevices will work with the new iPhone, from cradles to clock radios, they'll all require replacement or some sort of adapter plug, which I've not heard anyone discuss and I doubt would even happen.



     


    Yes, no one talking about it at all.  From the article:


     


     


    Due to the abundance of accessories on the market compatible with the current 30-pin design, Apple is expected to provide an adapter to help ease the transition to the smaller design.


     


    included link to here:


    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/07/23/apple_rumored_to_provide_adaptor_for_smaller_iphone_dock_connector.html

  • Reply 79 of 107
    Actually, the L shaped Magsafe adapters are 2nd Gen. The first generation of MagSafe were also T Shaped, making MagSafe2 the third generation MagSafe.

    Can someone explain to me why they went back to the "T" shaped design?

    I was extremely jealous of the "L" shaped mag safe as it made perfect sence. Most of the time your cord extends behind your macbook and if I am not mistaken you could switch it to shoot towards you as well, albeit covering the closest port that sits near the charging port.

    Probable trivial but I like the "L" design. Only problem with it is if the outlet is parallel to where your sitting but I've seen that and it didn't seem to be a problem.

    Edit- I see there is debate about which is better going on here all ready. So I don't expect a proper answer.

    But my vote goes for a hybrid option. Lol

    A "LT"

    MagSafe

    With a liquid metal pivot joint that rotates 720 degrees . . . . And throw in a mini colapsable smart cover that prevents twists and acts a coffee splash guard.
  • Reply 80 of 107
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    ssquirrel wrote: »
    Yes but in case he didn't read that thread, the reason MagSafe would be bad for the phone connector is that magnets can interfere w/audio.  As far as who says it isn't, the Thunderbolt spec.  It calls for 20 pins.
    I don't think it needs to be all 20 pins it's only for charging and data transmission. It could even use USB protocol over TB.
    A 4th option (or tweak on #2) is that it is USB3x2.  Let's say that since the pin counts match, it might be USB3, just w/a different connector.  What if the pins being on each side to allow for it to be inserted either way all function when it is inserted?  The 9th pin would not be doubled, but it's possible they could maybe push extra power beyond spec this way for faster charging, maybe faster data.  I'm probably wrong for several technical reasons, but it's a fun idea.  If the edge was forming the ground pin, it might not matter that it wasn't duplicated.

    I like the out of the box thinking but I don't think it's feasible nor necessary. The bandwidth of the wire is not the reason the data transfer is slow and by the time the bottlenecks exceed USB 3.0 speeds in the iPhone we'll probably be well past USB 4.0.

    patranus wrote: »
    Like the adapter, hate headphones being on the bottom of the phone.

    Why would you want them elsewhere? I love the headphones on the bottom. I've been wanting this since the Touch first got it. No more cable getting in the way or my display or camera lens.

    Can someone explain to me why they went back to the "T" shaped design?
    Have you tried to yank the L-shaped connector out? With the wire parallel to the lock it can still pull your machine. Purhaps not all the way but it doesn't seem like a good design even though it looks better. Being perpendicular means it can't yank on your system more than the magnetic attraction allows.

    ssquirrel wrote: »

    The problem with that article is that it doesn't address how other devices connect to Thunderbolt. There has to be an Intel-based system with TB but you can connect to cameras, displays, external drives, etc. and non of them are running Intel CPUs in them. This means that Apple could have the same local controller on their devices that would convert the signal appropriately if it's connected to a Mac or a WinPC with Intel.
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