Apple's Lightning Connector Detailed in Newly-Published Patent Applications

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 9, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    As noted by AppleInsider, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published three Apple patent applications related to the company's Lightning connector introduced on its iOS devices late last year.

    Perspective view of Lightning connector
    The first application describes the hardware itself, while two nearly identical applications outline the adaptive technology used to assign pin functions. The only difference between the latter two applications appears to relate to one describing implementation on an electronic device while the other addresses its use on an accessory.
    Example pin-out diagram of Lightning connector
    As part of the hardware-focused patent, Apple shares several examples of implementations for the Lightning connector, including the Lightning Digital AV adapter, Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader, and even an as yet unreleased Lightning dock of similar design to the company's iPad dock for the first-generation iPad with its 30-pin connector standard.

    Apple's three patent applications published today were filed in November and December of last year, but are continuations of similar applications filed on September 7, 2012, five days before the company officially announced the standard as part of the iPhone 5 introduction. The patent applications can, however, be traced back even further to several provisional patent applications filed by Apple in November 2011.

    Article Link: Apple's Lightning Connector Detailed in Newly-Published Patent Applications
  2. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2009
  3. macrumors 68020


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
  4. macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2010
    Can I buy this patent and make apple move to usb?
  5. macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2007
    Yes you can.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2006
  7. macrumors member


    Jan 31, 2013
  8. macrumors 68000

    Aug 11, 2008
    Seems like something ridiculously over engineered.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2011
    Livingston, Scotland
    How do you charge wirelessly? Sure, you could go down the Lumia 920 route, but it bulks up the device, and I'm pretty sure Apple won't want to make the device fatter. :cool:
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2011
    Because having a giant pad on your desk to rest your phone on for charging is so much more convenient than a little plug, right? :rolleyes:
  11. macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    Plus with wireless your not actually getting ride of everything, the Micro-USB port is still there taking up room.
  12. macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2011
    Miami, FL
    Wireless charging right now may not be a very useful addition to the iPhone, but I'm sure Apple is looking at ways to improve the technology. Cables like this are impressive, but having a phone that doesn't need cables is much more so.
  13. PracticalMac, May 9, 2013
    Last edited: May 9, 2013

    macrumors 68020

    Jan 22, 2009
    Why so complex just to simply CHARGE your device?
    EDIT: For devices designed simply to charge the iDevice, no data function at all, like some 30 pin devices do (ie: car chargers with built in 30 pin cable)

    (all the data abilities is fine by me, just the charging the device part)
  14. macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Not with witricity.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    May 8, 2008
    Des Moines, IA
    So that everything can be in one connector. Would you rather have a charging port and cable separate from a cable/port that does everything else?
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2007
    Vienna Austria Europe
    Come on Apple, I NEED a Lightning/HDMI connection w 1080p!!! (Apple TV/AirPlay is okay but it's too slow for games.)
  17. macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    I'm confused as to why the connector is so complex. The plug has eight pins on either side, but the jack only has eight pins on a single side. It seems that if the function of the pins on the plug were identical on each side, everything should work just fine. Even though the old dock connector had 30 pins (most of which were never used), I'm not sure what flexibility Apple is gaining by having adaptive Lightning connectors. I would think eight non-adaptive connectors would be able to carry all the needed power and data.
  18. macrumors 68020

    Jan 22, 2009
    No no no.

    Because of the complex circuit, a simple charging doc or charging cable will now cost $10 more.

    I can point out a number of simple charging adapters for the 30 pin that has no data ability, why should they. With the Lighting now you need to spend more to get the circuits just to charge the phone (no need for any data transfer.)
  19. macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    Because this is what allows the connector to work no matter which side you plug in. Probably my favorite feature of the Lighting connector. Nice little innovation IMO.
  20. macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2006
    And Yourself?
    I thought the same, but it's all probably necessary! Crazy how much engineering goes into such a small, lame product.
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
    They introduced the 'revolutionary' Lightning connector whe their ideas ran out. A pointless, unecessary and expensive "upgrade". Their next innovation was to reduce the size of their winning innovation under Steve Jobs. The iPad Mini. Now New (post Jobs) Apple are stumped for leading ideas after th best they could 'upgrade' the 'new' iPhone 5 by increasing the screen size and the camera resolution. So. In two years. Bigger screen phone. Smaller screen iPad. Pointless connector change. Er ...that's it. Not good.
    Curse you for scrapping the company, New Apple :mad:
  22. macrumors regular


    Mar 23, 2009
    Lightning to HDMI connector. Outputs 1080p. Expensive as balls:apple:
  23. macrumors 6502a

    May 29, 2009
    I could see wireless being very useful in a car where I'd rather not have cables running.

    What would be really cool for car use is a magnetic phone with wireless charging. So if you imagine a flat surface on the center console panel, you just place your phone on it. No cables, it's being charged, and it serves as a screen for GPS, Podcast/music control, Siri, etc etc. You can do all that now, but it's pain and very un-elegant with all the little contraptions you need to setup.
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2010
    Maybe I am mis understanding this but the possibilities with this connector seem quiet endless if each pin can dynamically be assigned a different function.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2009
    Santa Monica, CA
    I'd love a low friction one. That way I can lift it out of the dock with one hand.

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