Apple Working on 'Ultra Accessory Connector' for Made for iPhone Program [Updated]

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple is working on a new "Ultra Accessory Connector" that would be built into headphones and headsets certified under its Made for iPhone licensing program.

    The connector, introduced as part of a developer preview as shared by 9to5Mac, features 8 pins and measures 2.05mm by 4.85mm, thinner and smaller than existing Lightning and USB-C ports.

    The UAC is smaller than USB-C or Lightning, both pictured

    According to Apple's Made for iPhone specifications for the Ultra Accessory Connector (UAC), it's designed to be used with headphone cables. Accessory manufacturers will be able to develop Lightning to UAC, USB-A to UAC, and 3.5mm jack to UAC cables, connecting to a UAC port built into an accessory for charging and audio purposes.

    Such a port could perhaps be built into products like Beats headphones, which currently use micro-USB for charging purposes, and it could save internal space manufacturers could use for other components.

    Why Apple has developed a new port rather than encouraging manufacturers to adopt USB-C or Lightning is unknown (there are already MFi specifications for Lightning ports), and it is also unclear if Apple will allow accessories beyond headphones to use the new Ultra Accessory Connector in the future.

    Update: As Ars Technica points out, the "Ultra Accessory Connector" is a new name for an existing port that's already used in digital cameras and other accessories.

    Apple told Ars Technica that the port has been added to the Made for iPhone program at the request of licensees, not because it is trying to push accessory makers to adopt a new type of connector.

    Similarly, sources told The Verge that Apple has no plans of replacing Lightning or using this port on any of its devices -- it will be used as "an intermediary in headphone cables."

    Article Link: Apple Working on 'Ultra Accessory Connector' for Made for iPhone Program [Updated]
  2. DaPizzaMan macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2016
    Making work for themselves... just stick to one standard and end this madness!
  3. e-coli macrumors 68000


    Jul 27, 2002
  4. Appleaker, Feb 6, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017

    Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    This is very strange and interesting...

    EDIT: The update has cleared things up. It is an unusual move but its not what people originally thought.
  5. brvhrt macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2015
  6. DocZoidberg macrumors newbie


    Nov 5, 2016
  7. dan110 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2013
    This is no less than "Death By A Thousand Cuts". Why do we need another port when we can't connect our computers to our phones without a dongle? We can't trust the bluetooth hardware to pair 100% of the time all the time with zero hiccups? Groan
  8. JaJaWa macrumors 6502


    Feb 16, 2013
    Hong Kong | London
    New Beats have a Lightning port rather than a microUSB one...
  9. DrumApple macrumors 6502a

    Jan 30, 2009
    WOW another proprietary port that will be outdated in a few years when they make another proprietary port. They have NO clue what they are doing over there anymore. Idiotic.
  10. dannys1 macrumors 68020


    Sep 19, 2007
    I'm sure most people will go nuts about this, but i'm all for a tiny charging connector as long as micro-USB and mini-USB both die, they along with USB-A are the worst three connectors ever designed.

    (Although Scart was horrendous)
  11. morcutt11 macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2015
  12. asleep macrumors 68040


    Sep 26, 2007
  13. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    Proprietary connectors = licensing fees

    That's why.
  14. imaginex20 macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
  15. Creep89 macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2012
    This makes sense if your business is built on selling dongles. Adopting USB-C for iOS devices would be too simple.
  16. Pootmatoot macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2014
    USB C threatening profits, eh?

    Keep walk down that cul-de-sac, Apple, ignoring touch convergence, AR/VR incoming, connector convergence.

    Are there any major tech shifts you've actually navigated since 2008?
  17. StevieD100 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2014
    Living Dangerously in Retirement
    Please no, not another prorpetary connector. Please Apple if you go down this route make it royaly free.
    Otherwise you are just re-inventing the wheel for the sake of it.
  18. entropys macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2007
    Brisbane, Australia
    Money. It makes it easier to charge a premium for accessories.

    Ooh! And dongles!
  19. syan48306 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 15, 2010
    This is seriously rage worthy.

    Either adopt USB-C or put this new standard on the new macbook pro's. I hate that I can't use the SAME headphones for the iPhone and Mac.
  20. iMcLovin macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    so when they said switching to lighting was future proofing, they just meant for a few years. So yet another plug....what happened to apple and simplicity.
  21. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Ultimately, this seems to create more confusion in some area's and gives options in others. I feel one primary option would be an easier solution for general purposes, to at least eliminate any distortion.
  22. manu chao macrumors 603

    Jul 30, 2003
    Right, stick with USB-C for charging on laptops and end the MagSafe madness.
  23. twa440 Suspended

    Aug 2, 2016
    It just gets better and better. I swear that they do this just to get press. Sound familiar?
  24. konqerror macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2013
    I think you'll find that USB-C is not better. It is actually bigger than micro-USB, requires fine pins and tight tolerances (as I mentioned, one of my USB-C ports will not lock into one of my Apple cables... even Apple can't make them right), the cables require thick wires for charging support plus large number of data pairs, or else you have a confusing compatibility problems (you grab a random cable from home then realize it can't charge your Macbook Pro, or you plug in your external hard drive with the bundled Apple cable and only get USB 2.0 speeds). Now you find cheap Chinese vendors are cutting corners and making cables that cause hardware damage and fires.

    It's a do-it-all standard with the inevitable expense and compromises.
  25. Swazaloo macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2014

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