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Old Feb 23, 2012, 06:45 PM   #1
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Apple Readying Miniaturized Dock Connector for Future iPhones?




iMore claims that Apple may be transitioning away from the standard 30-pin dock connector to something more compact in the very near future.
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An updated "micro dock" could make room for bigger batteries, 4G radios, and other components far more important to the iPhone and iPad in a PC free world.
As the site points out, Apple has worked hard to miniaturize other components in their iOS devices. Apple was one of the first to adopt the micro-SIM and has even proposed an even smaller SIM card design so they could make even thinner designs.




As iMore points out, the current dock connector isn't huge, but as devices continue to get smaller and thinner, every little bit counts.

Moving away from such a ubiquitous connector, however, would be walking away from an enormous ecosystem of existing 3rd party products. Still, Apple's constant desire to make smaller/thinner designs will naturally put pressure on the size of all their components. Apple's recent move to PC-free computing with iCloud syncing may have also diminished the importance of the dock connector.

We reached out to iMore's Editor-in-Chief Rene Ritchie who said that the report came from a "solid source". iMore also made headlines recently by predicting the date for the iPad 3 launch, which is believed to be accurate.

Article Link: Apple Readying Miniaturized Dock Connector for Future iPhones?
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 06:49 PM   #2
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That and the European standard of micro USB plug for all smartphones (simplifying power chargers) would imply a shift away from 30pin dock connectors.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 06:49 PM   #3
Timoke6
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Don't know whether i like this or not...
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 06:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
...
Moving away from such a ubiquitous connector, however, would be walking away from an enormous ecosystem of existing 3rd party products. Still, Apple's constant desire to make smaller/thinner designs will naturally put pressure on the size of all their components. Apple's recent move to PC-free computing with iCloud syncing may have also diminished the importance of the dock connector.
...
Most likely there will be an adapter cable made by someone so people can use their existing add-ons.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 06:51 PM   #5
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Question:

Is there a point of diminishing returns with "thinner and smaller"??

No sarcasm...serious question.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 06:51 PM   #6
oakland6980
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Originally Posted by Grimace View Post
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That and the European standard of micro USB plug for all smartphones (simplifying power chargers) would imply a shift away from 30pin dock connectors.
I thought the EU was requiring all devices to use micro USB without a dongle. Did i misunderstand that?
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 06:53 PM   #7
zachkolk
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Thunderbolt?

Smaller dock and Thunderbolt support? I hope so. It would greatly increase the need/want for a Thunderbolt port on your Mac and would probably get a lot of people to upgrade their Macs just for this boost in syncing speed (including me).
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 06:55 PM   #8
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Let's move them to the MicroUSB standard that most phones are now using, even here in the U.S.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 06:57 PM   #9
zachkolk
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Originally Posted by oakland6980 View Post
I thought the EU was requiring all devices to use micro USB without a dongle. Did i misunderstand that?
Yes, you did misunderstand. Apple is currently getting by with shipping a dock to micro USB adapter with iPhone in Europe. Changing what the dock looks like, as long as they continue to supply a sufficient adapter, will keep them within the confines of the law.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 06:57 PM   #10
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How about an adapter that is only compatible with Thunderbolt? That'd be popular.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 06:58 PM   #11
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Hi,

first, EU-law does not require the micro usb port to be directly on the device. An adapter (which already exists for the iphone) is sufficient.

second, I fear, that a smaller and slimmer dock connector won't be able to support the weight of the device anymore.

bye
Darky
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:00 PM   #12
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It will be a bad day, but its inevitable and might as well happen sooner rather than later. I initially felt sorry for accessory makers (obsolete inventory), but this will be a boon for them forcing people to upgrade.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:01 PM   #13
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How old is the patent on the 30-pin connector at this point? I would certainly expect them to transition away well before the patent expires, so that virtually no third parties could cash in due to the number of devices still in the wild.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:02 PM   #14
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And that's why AirPlay is so nice. No physical connection required.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:04 PM   #15
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Hopefully, in a not-so-far future, they'll remove the cable all together.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:05 PM   #16
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I thought the future is clear on this: wireless sync
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mKizzo View Post
I thought the future is clear on this: wireless sync
The dock connector is used to charge the phone as well. You can't wirelessly sync a device that has no battery power. Additionally, wireless sync activates by default when it detects a power input.

It's not just a "dock" connector, it's power.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:11 PM   #18
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Apple was one of the first to adopt the micro-SIM and has even proposed an even smaller SIM card design so they could make even thinner designs.
Smaller than what it already is?
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:12 PM   #19
jeznav
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Smaller dock, fewer pins, peripheral compromise?

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Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
Let's move them to the MicroUSB standard that most phones are now using, even here in the U.S.

The 30-pin dock currently carries power, usb data, line-audio, video, and serial. These peripherals still matter if you want connectivity to other devices.

But then again, Apple already has alternative to having audio/video–via Airplay and BT audio–they could simplify the dock by having few pins. Or they can opt a protocol agnostic port like thunderbolt.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark-Sider View Post
Hi,

first, EU-law does not require the micro usb port to be directly on the device. An adapter (which already exists for the iphone) is sufficient.

second, I fear, that a smaller and slimmer dock connector won't be able to support the weight of the device anymore.

bye
Darky
It doesn't require a dongle, either. A proprietary cable that terminates in a USB-A plug (e.g., the current iPhone dock cable) meets the requirements. Absolutely nothing (not a single thing) needs to change for Apple to be 100% in compliance.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:14 PM   #21
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Taken from 9to5Mac's article:

Quote:
iMore says Thunderbolt is unlikely due to lack of architecture support, and the report says micro-USB is out of the question because of its slow data transfer speeds. The report hints that the iPhone 5 may be Apple’s first iOS device to use the new connector, and a WSJ report from last year said that the 2012 iPhone would sport a new way of charging.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:14 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by slrandall View Post
And that's why AirPlay is so nice. No physical connection required.
how does on charge?
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:15 PM   #23
oakland6980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscrk View Post
Hopefully, in a not-so-far future, they'll remove the cable all together.
How to charge?

nductive charging i guess. but i dont want to have to use a special case to charge. So i guess its up to Apple to make a inductive chargeable back plate.

any other ideas?
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:16 PM   #24
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It's a few years overdue, better late than never. A big ugly relic finally redesigned. I knew Apple had the confidence to pull it off.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:17 PM   #25
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Add Firewire support!
Otherwise, this is a stupid change. The iPod touch is thin enough, and it supports the current dock connector.

I can't imagine even wanting anything thinner than an iPod touch, especially not at the cost of losing my accessories.
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