Rumor: iPad Pro Smart Connector included on 'iPhone 8,' to be used for AR, charging

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2017
A new rumor, possibly recycled from 2016, claims that the Apple Smart Connector, or a variant thereof, will appear on the iPhone 8 and will be utilized for charging the device, plus potential AR and VR applications.




The connector's inclusion is predicted in a new report from Israeli site The Verifier, with claims that it somehow will be utilized to facilitate wireless charging somehow as well. It is not clear what peripherals will be connected to the Smart Connector, or derivation thereof, to facilitate Apple's augmented reality or virtual reality ambitions.

The magnetic Smart Connector debuted on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in 2015. It has been used for keyboards, and little else -- but is able to charge the device. How much data can pass through it per second is not known.

Apple's Smart Connector magnet strength by itself isn't particularly great. In all likelihood, peripherals intended for peripherals surrounding activity, like those for AR and VR, will need to attach to the iPhone in some other fashion -- which begs the question to why not just use the relatively speedy Lightning port.

In April 2016, the then forthcoming iPhone 7 was said to have the connector. It appeared on many "leaked" schematics, but never materialized.

The Verifier is a new publication, and in 2017 has predicted changes in the forthcoming "iOS 11" including FaceTime group calling, and Siri iMessage integration.

Apple's "iPhone 8" is expected to be revealed alongside the "iPhone 7s" family in the fall of 2017, and use a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED panel with a 5.1-inch practical area, the rest being dedicated to virtual buttons. Other features rumored to be included in the device are a 3D facial scanner, and other sensors embedded in the front glass of the device.

Friday's report is the first to suggest that the Smart Connector will appear on the "iPhone 8."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    I use a charging dock at bedside and prefer a vertical, portrait orientation because that is the way the time is displayed on the lock screen. The implication that the Smart connector is on the side so the time would display sideways unless they change the lock screen behavior to detect orientation.
  • Reply 2 of 25
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,612member
    Wish Apple kept female part of lightening on cable side and male connector inside iphone's port like iphone 4/4S and USB(Type-C, MicroUSB,etc). Instead, when Apple introduced lightening in iphone 5, Apple reversed the placement(male connector on cable side adapter and female inside lightening port). Overtime, lint/dust get collected inside iphone's port blocking female connector pins creating charging issues. By moving to smart connector, Apple can solve this. Other scenarios is reverse lightening male/female orientation or move to USB Type-C.
    edited April 2017
  • Reply 3 of 25
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    The Lightning connector is eventually going away, as are all open ports. Wireless charging, high speed wifi, and wireless audio will all eliminate the need to plug anything into the iPhone. However, there will still be a need for a hard-wired connection in some applications, like higher quality wired headphones, or manual restore using USB. I'm not sure the smart connector is the best option for this, but it's the right idea.
    tmaywilliamh
  • Reply 4 of 25
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    wood1208 said:
    Wish Apple kept female part of lightening on cable side and male connector inside iphone's port like iphone 4/4S and USB(Type-C, MicroUSB,etc). Instead, when Apple introduced lightening in iphone 5, Apple reversed the placement(male connector on cable side adapter and female inside lightening port). Overtime, lint/dust get collected inside iphone's port blocking female connector pins creating charging issues. By moving to smart connector, Apple can solve this. Other scenarios is reverse lightening male/female orientation or move to USB Type-C.
    No Apple did it the right way. What happens when that little tab breaks off the USB-C connector? USB-C still has a female component that will also collect stuff, preventing a plug from making a good connection. At least the female Lightning connector can be easily cleaned out -- cleaning out a USB-C port might just result in breaking that tab off.
    edited April 2017 tmayimergingeniousimergingeniousdementuschikanRayz2016watto_cobraurahara
  • Reply 5 of 25
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    On-screen fingerprint scanner is worth a mention when talking about potentials for the device. It'll be the best thing about the device and will, if added, be the reason for the full front display.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 25
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,612member
    mac_128 said:
    wood1208 said:
    Wish Apple kept female part of lightening on cable side and male connector inside iphone's port like iphone 4/4S and USB(Type-C, MicroUSB,etc). Instead, when Apple introduced lightening in iphone 5, Apple reversed the placement(male connector on cable side adapter and female inside lightening port). Overtime, lint/dust get collected inside iphone's port blocking female connector pins creating charging issues. By moving to smart connector, Apple can solve this. Other scenarios is reverse lightening male/female orientation or move to USB Type-C.
    No Apple did it the right way. What happens when that little tab breaks off the USB-C connector? USB-C still has a female component that will also collect stuff, preventing a plug from making a good connection. At least the female Lightning connector can be easily cleaned out -- cleaning out a USB-C port might just result in breaking that tab off.
    You got point but since casing of cable adapter guides insertion inside the port, can it be possible to break the tab inside port ? unless you wiggle so hard but still casing would not let it move. If male tab inside port breaks easily than this problem would have shown up in phones with micro-usb and USB Type-C. Moreover, when female connector on cable side get clogged, you simply replace cable(cheap solution) but if female connector inside lightening port get clogged than changing cable doesn't help and you can't easily replace the port on iphone other than gently clean it without damaging pins. After cleaning port, charging problem temporarily get solved. There are many threads with intermitant charging complains and how to clean/fix it. So, there is clear advantage of having female connector on cable side and not on phone's port side. Macbook and Macbook pro moving to USB Type-C with female connector on cable side.
    edited April 2017
  • Reply 7 of 25
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,357member
    I doubt that the smart connector has a ton of bandwidth.  The lighting port would be able to carry that more effectively.  I think that Apple would rather implement USB-C in a "Pro" line of iOS products and use Lighting for the consumer end, but that's my take.  USB-C just has tons more bandwidth and could support TB3 for even more.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,724member
    This simply doesn’t make any sense. How do you charge the thing when you’re out in the world? Do you have to carry around a charging dock? Can it still be charged using the Lightning port or whatever port it turns out to have? Can you even call it ‘wireless’ charging?
    pscooter63
  • Reply 9 of 25
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member

    Apple's "iPhone 8" is expected to be revealed alongside the "iPhone 7s" ...
    I expect it to be called "iPhone Edition."
    No way Apple will officially call it the "iPhone 8."

    And, if it really will be called "iPhone Edition," I expect it to only be made in one color.
    White ceramic back, white bezel on the front screen (or possibly no bezel at all).
    To match the  Watch Edition.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 25
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,012member
    volcan said:
    I use a charging dock at bedside and prefer a vertical, portrait orientation because that is the way the time is displayed on the lock screen. The implication that the Smart connector is on the side so the time would display sideways unless they change the lock screen behavior to detect orientation.
    Apple's handling of orientation specific behaviors seems somewhat random across the various iOS devices. The iPad is orientation aware on the lock screen and home screen while only the Plus versions of the iPhone have orientation awareness but only on the home screen. I'd like to see the iPad follow the iPhone Plus home screen behavior and the iPhone adopt iPad lock screen behavior. The best solution of course would be to adopt a uniform orientation behavior across all iOS devices. As part of the unification Apple should figure out how to make the iPad split screen swipe behavior less annoying. The whole dock concept needs to be revisited as well. 

    One possible use for the smart connector on the iPhone would be to provide power to smart covers for the iPhone that support a secondary always-on display, something along the lines of color e-ink to display clock, notification summary, alarms, etc. Adding solar charging capability to the aforementioned Smart Cover would be kind of cool too. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 25
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,711member
    jkichline said:
    I doubt that the smart connector has a ton of bandwidth.  The lighting port would be able to carry that more effectively.  I think that Apple would rather implement USB-C in a "Pro" line of iOS products and use Lighting for the consumer end, but that's my take.  USB-C just has tons more bandwidth and could support TB3 for even more.
    The tear down of the Smart Keyboard suggested it would limited to USB 1 speed. Not sure what that would be useful for given you'd want high quality video maybe laser scanner. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 25
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,079member
    While this may have ramifications for charging, I think it has more of potential for dropping an IPhone into a dock and using it's CPU, GPU and memory & storage to drive a keyboard, mouse and external monitor -- which is consistent with its initial purpose on the iPad Pro
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 25
    thttht Posts: 4,202member
    I definitely would like to have a smart connector like on the iPads. Actually, I would prefer an upgraded Smart Connector "2" with 5 contacts for 5 to 10 Watt charging and USB 2 data transfer bandwidths. 

    It would allow for some interesting case accessories. Battery cases that don't have chins. Clamshell (wallet style) cases with keyboards or secondary screens, or other active function. Cases that have bigger speakers in them. 
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 25
    jax44jax44 Posts: 79member
    wood1208 said:
    Wish Apple kept female part of lightening on cable side and male connector inside iphone's port like iphone 4/4S and USB(Type-C, MicroUSB,etc). Instead, when Apple introduced lightening in iphone 5, Apple reversed the placement(male connector on cable side adapter and female inside lightening port). Overtime, lint/dust get collected inside iphone's port blocking female connector pins creating charging issues. By moving to smart connector, Apple can solve this. Other scenarios is reverse lightening male/female orientation or move to USB Type-C.
    A soft bristled toothbrush does the trick, followed by a vacuum for a second.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 25
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,771member
    jax44 said:
    wood1208 said:
    Wish Apple kept female part of lightening on cable side and male connector inside iphone's port like iphone 4/4S and USB(Type-C, MicroUSB,etc). Instead, when Apple introduced lightening in iphone 5, Apple reversed the placement(male connector on cable side adapter and female inside lightening port). Overtime, lint/dust get collected inside iphone's port blocking female connector pins creating charging issues. By moving to smart connector, Apple can solve this. Other scenarios is reverse lightening male/female orientation or move to USB Type-C.
    A soft bristled toothbrush does the trick, followed by a vacuum for a second.
    You may wanna try a toothpick or tweezers before the toothbrush. I pulled a lump of lint the size of a Tic-Tac out of mine.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 25
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,334member
    I just have a hard time seing Apple coming out with a full fledged AR solution this year. But Cook has been talking openly about his belief in the technology, so perhaps they've come a longer way than one would expect.
    I think for Apple to release a full AR headset, it must be a pair of glasses that look and behave just like a regular pair of glasses. No heavy clunky shit. Nobody from the outside would tell the difference at first glance.

    If the magnet port is involved, I'd imagine it being for power, in order to keep the weight of the AR glasses down. But I have a hard time seing how that port could communicate fast enough for high resolution AR video. The video I believe muste be generated with an on-board processor.

    I'm typically imagining AR like the full Hololens kind of experience. But what if it's more like for displaying information, communication and not the full 3D "VR" experience? Then a much simpler graphics chip would do. It's not as fun. But perhaps, as long as it's not 4K per eye full 3D, full field of view - regular 720p per eye with a smaller field of view could do fine? At least if it turnes out useful.

  • Reply 17 of 25
    anomeanome Posts: 1,470member

    So, I can't read Hebrew. Are they seriously going with the location in the images on the website? As I said last year, that's not a good position for the Smart Connector. I don't see Apple putting it anywhere other than on an edge, which on something the size of the phone causes problems. (As does the use of magnets in the connector itself.)

    If they were to do it on an "Edition" phone (or iPhone 8 or X or...) then maybe they'll move the volume and lock buttons to fit the connector on the left side. Or maybe they'll even get rid of the Lightning connector and replace it with a Smart Connector. (If they do that, I expect they'll bundle AirPods with the phone, pushing the price up.)

    I'm not inclined to believe it at this point though. And I won't believe any render where it's in the middle of the back of the phone.

  • Reply 18 of 25
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,856member
    wood1208 said:
    Wish Apple kept female part of lightening on cable side and male connector inside iphone's port like iphone 4/4S and USB(Type-C, MicroUSB,etc). Instead, when Apple introduced lightening in iphone 5, Apple reversed the placement(male connector on cable side adapter and female inside lightening port). Overtime, lint/dust get collected inside iphone's port blocking female connector pins creating charging issues. By moving to smart connector, Apple can solve this. Other scenarios is reverse lightening male/female orientation or move to USB Type-C.
    I've never experienced charging issues with any of my lightning devices. You have?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 25
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,057member
    jkichline said:
    I doubt that the smart connector has a ton of bandwidth.  The lighting port would be able to carry that more effectively.  I think that Apple would rather implement USB-C in a "Pro" line of iOS products and use Lighting for the consumer end, but that's my take.  USB-C just has tons more bandwidth and could support TB3 for even more.
    jkichline said:
    I doubt that the smart connector has a ton of bandwidth.  The lighting port would be able to carry that more effectively.  I think that Apple would rather implement USB-C in a "Pro" line of iOS products and use Lighting for the consumer end, but that's my take.  USB-C just has tons more bandwidth and could support TB3 for even more.
    I was really hoping Apple would create another proprietary connection and the dongles to go with it.   Lol.  /s
  • Reply 20 of 25
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    wood1208 said:
    mac_128 said:
    wood1208 said:
    Wish Apple kept female part of lightening on cable side and male connector inside iphone's port like iphone 4/4S and USB(Type-C, MicroUSB,etc). Instead, when Apple introduced lightening in iphone 5, Apple reversed the placement(male connector on cable side adapter and female inside lightening port). Overtime, lint/dust get collected inside iphone's port blocking female connector pins creating charging issues. By moving to smart connector, Apple can solve this. Other scenarios is reverse lightening male/female orientation or move to USB Type-C.
    No Apple did it the right way. What happens when that little tab breaks off the USB-C connector? USB-C still has a female component that will also collect stuff, preventing a plug from making a good connection. At least the female Lightning connector can be easily cleaned out -- cleaning out a USB-C port might just result in breaking that tab off.
    You got point but since casing of cable adapter guides insertion inside the port, can it be possible to break the tab inside port ? unless you wiggle so hard but still casing would not let it move. If male tab inside port breaks easily than this problem would have shown up in phones with micro-usb and USB Type-C. Moreover, when female connector on cable side get clogged, you simply replace cable(cheap solution) but if female connector inside lightening port get clogged than changing cable doesn't help and you can't easily replace the port on iphone other than gently clean it without damaging pins. After cleaning port, charging problem temporarily get solved. There are many threads with intermitant charging complains and how to clean/fix it. So, there is clear advantage of having female connector on cable side and not on phone's port side. Macbook and Macbook pro moving to USB Type-C with female connector on cable side.
    You're seriously telling me that having a deep thin channel all around a middle plastic tab, is preferred to a single open hole? I don't even want to think about the debris that is going to get pushed down into this port over time, that cannot be easily cleaned out -- unlike the Lightning port, for which a paperclip would suffice; I'm not even sure a paper clip would fit into the channel around the USB-C plastic tab, which also runs the risk of breaking that tab off if too much leverage is applied trying to dislodge something.


    watto_cobraurahara
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