Why use 30-pin connector instead of some sort of USB (like micro usb)?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by frosse, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    #1
    Since the dawn of time (almost) Apple has used the 30-pin connector, which was originally used for laptop docking stations, and of course the iPhone inherited that port. Now, I can see why they have it on the iPhone since almost every portable Apple products use it and that's good for accessories like sound systems and various other products.

    Now, I remember hearing about a new phone standard for cables/chargers with all parties using the same port. Apple among others have joined. So, what's gonna happen to the 30-pin connector? Are there any real benefits of using the 30-pin connector over a USB solution, like micro usb.

    I personally think that the industry and consumers in general would benefit from a standardized cell phone standard for chargers and connections so I'm happy to hear that Apple joined in.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10274953-94.html
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    1) The first iPod did not have a Dock Connector.

    2) Apple will almost certainly just ship an adaptor from dock connector to the standard charger

    3) The Dock Connector allows things that micro-USB does not. For example it used to be used to provide Firewire as well as USB connections. Currently it enables line-out which would not be possible without USB-host level hardware using micro-USB.

    In short the chances are it's here to stay.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    SI, NY
    #3
    I think by like next year or the year after they have to switch
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #4
    The EU legislation allows for adaptors: all Apple have to do is ship an dock<->standard charger adaptor and they can keep using the Dock connector. Given that the standard is for charging only, not data interchange, in car stereo connection etc I cannot see Apple giving up on something that locks people into the iPod/iPhone ecosystem.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #5
    Considering how slim the dock connector is and I have never seen a cell phone that has every bit of siding used up for connectors and buttons, I don't expect apple to switch to anything else for a LONG TIME, you'll see 2.5mm jack before you see micro-dock connector or anything else.
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    #6
    I think the dock connector is a great idea. If anything, I think Android and other smartphones should be using something similar. There's a standardized alternative to the dock connector called PDMI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDMI) that I hope other smartphones would adopt. You can do so much more with a dock connector than you can do over regular USB: analog audio, device control, HD video. It lets you dock your device to a variety of peripherals for doing different things. Android and other smartphone platforms are missing the rich peripheral ecosystem the iPhone has due to the lack of a standard dock connector.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #7
    Because they need the 30-pin connector for more than charging?

    Sound, video, file transfer and charging.
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    #8
    It is also a mechanical connector - capable of locking the iPod / iPhone into an upright position for use on all manner of docks.

    C.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol.UK
    #9
    Isnt it next year that all mobile manufacturors have to supply the same charging connecter...pretty sure it will be micro-usb,which i think will be a great idea...just one charger for all...not sure what big manufacturors such as apple,nokia,samsung etc will think..even they arnt allowed to contest EU laws...lol..it seems here in the EU Brussels says jump and everybody says how high!!,they will either switch to micr-usb or provide an adapter with every phone...i suppose its a bit of a pain if its just for the EU..what with supplies for the EU market...
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #10
    [​IMG]

    First iPod just had firewire.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #11
    I'm surprised none of you got this one right yet. There are benefits using the dock connector in general... but the real reason is control. If they used a standardized format like USB, they can't control the port fully. As it is now, since it's proprietary, any "use" of apple's port must be authorized by license fees.

    Apple was smart enough to envision a future where their devices would / could get endless add-ons. Those Bose dock speakers you see at the stores? Apple gets a cut out of every single one sold due to the dock port usage. Thinking about writing an iPhone app that utilizes the dock port for some hardware add-on functionality? Gotta pay Apple.

    This is also why we aren't seeing much innovation in the port add-on space. It's also why that one credit card swiping add-on company (the name escapes me right now) is using the audio port to do the scanning and not the dock port. We would see all sorts of add-ons anywhere from medical devices to field test systems (for all kinds of businesses) if only the port wasn't so expensive to license.
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    #12
    The commercial aspect is valid.
    But full-sized / mini or micro USB would be an unsatisfactory connector for the iPhone / iPod /iPad. It isn't good enough. Because these devices need a connector that does more than data and power.

    They also need...
    • video-out
    • mechanical connector strong enough to secure the device to a dock
    • device control
    • audio-out
    and a bunch of other stuff that USB does not deliver, in any of its versions.

    There simply isn't a standardised format that does all that stuff. Apple developed their own - and then allowed others to exploit it for a modest fee.

    C.

    To comply with the legislation Apple simply has to provide an adaptor. It does not have to resign the phone or lose the dock connector.

    C.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    gixxerfool

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #13
    It seems to me that it's pretty weird for apple to have to do this. Not because they are above anything but the 30 pin is standard across all their products. If i remember they want to standardize everything to keep the chargers out if landfills. If you own an iPod, iPod touch, iPad or iPhone you have this charger and cable already. Seems silly to add another adapter to standardize the line. Just my opinion.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    alecgold

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #14
    At least Apple had the 30pin connector for years and years. Samsung and the likes change the connector with every model and sometimes even the submodels. The eu legislation is only for chargers and apple can state that you can use any standard USB charger, and it isn't just a charger, it's as well a video out, sound out, ir-remote in.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    insidmal

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Eugene
    #15
    proprietary accessories = more profit.. sony has been doing it since their existance.. it means more profits
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    #16
    What non-proprietary connector would be preferable then?

    C?
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    Washington State
    #17
    I'll just come out and say I'm selfish and I don't want them to change the connector. Mainly cause I have something installed in my car radio that connects via the ipod's(iphone's) connector and plays the ipod through my car radio. And I'm sure if some one has a lot of accessories already they are happy for iphone/ipod to keep the same connector.
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    #18
    Brcause they want the iPhone to be compatible with all of their previous docks and cables. If they switched to USB then you might as well throw out any previous accessory that you've ever bought because it would now be useless.
     
  19. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    Around
    #19
    I also think the 4 pins in USB only supports data transfer and power and the 30 does so much more like you said. You plug your iPhone into something that plays music and controls the iPhone from a different source (like a car radio) that uses a remote. You can't do that all with only with 4 pins in the USB.
    • VCC Red +5 V
    • D− White Data −
    • D+ Green Data +
    • GND Black Ground
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Uk
    #20
    The next iphone will have to charge off micro USB if apple want to sell it in the EU. I believe there is legislation coming in. This will mean:

    •Users will enjoy an easier life with their mobiles.

    •The number of chargers will be reduced

    •There will be a positive environmental impact.


    It will also mean that after a few years, phones will not have to ship with chargers as there would be so many around.


    I remember the days when everyone had a nokia charger. It was so easy to charge your phone, everyone had one and they were standard across the range. I think standardisation of chargers is a great idea.

    Edit:

    Apple have agreed to the legislation:

    http://europa.eu/rapid/pressRelease...format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    Around
    #21
    Apple won't drop the 30-pin. Someone posted before that all the accessories you bought in the past will be useless, and it's true. I bet they will have a 30-pin to USB adapter which is fine.
    My issue is did they determine which which USB they are going to use? I have a smartphone for work and the other workers have dumb phones. Both use USB, but one uses USB Micro B and the other uses USB Micro AB. Now Micro B will work in both but Micro AB won't.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #22
    30-pin is here to stay until the iDevices adopt Light Peak connectors in 2-3 years.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    Washington State
    #23
    Well, besides the many accessories people will no longer be able to use there is also the point some one said above of not being able to do as much with the micro USB. So maybe they should come up with a better standard that allows for more functionality first.

    I guess in the long run. In the short run the iphone and ipods are so popular that people when they get the new one are going to be throwing out a lot of old accessories they cannot use (and may not be able to sell off) and buying (which means producing more) new accessories for the new connector.

    From a consumer point of view (not environmental or from the corporation's point of view), this is a good thing? I personally didn't like it when things like printers started moving to not coming with the cords you need. First of all, the cords I had were probably already taken by other thigns, second of all, even if not, it is nice to get a new set to replace the old (specially with cords, they can start fraying. I'm very happy to have been able to replcae my old ipod USB cord as it was obtaining a weak point with the new one that came iwth my new ipod).

    I'll give you that this can be handy if you forget your own while on a trip and can borrow some one else's.

    And hopefully what they'll do is put in a converter like some people mentioned. As I said, I'm selfish and I don't want to have to rebuy my accessories (or find the stuff I have is no longer useful).
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Uk
    #24
    I never said apple would drop the 30 pin. In my opinion an adaptor would suck and it would defeat the purpose of standardising chargers. You wouldn't be able to charge your phone unless you remembered to carry it with you.

    Apple WILL drop the 30 pin eventually. No way will it last forever! I think they should just add an extra micro USB port. I know all the apple fan boys would scream NOOOOO due to asthetics, but function should come before form.

    On your worries about USB standards, that will be standardised.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #25
    Maybe I am missing something since I dont know a ton on this topic... With USB anything can be transfered over it so losing the 30pin connector I think would only be losing a easy way to support your device in a dock... People mentioned HD video etc... It would work more like flash drive or something similar... ATM I can copy video/pictures/audio from my computer to my flash drive and go downstairs and plug it into my tv and it plays... Considering my iphone syncs most of my music and video it would be great to be able to take all of it over to a friends house and not have to worry about having a special connector to put it on the tv or play it in the car...
     

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