What the New iPhone Connector Means for Your Old Accessories

Your iPhone accessory’s chances of survival are surprisingly good if Apple updates the iPhone’s dock.
Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired


new report from Reuters adds to the steady trickle of stories that the next iPhone will feature a smaller dock connector with a radically different form factor than the one we’ve come to know over the past nine years. It will give the iPhone’s components more elbow room. Yet the new connection is likely to cause some problems for consumers who have invested in accessories based in the old design over the years. In short, really old accessories are probably not going to work very well. But of course, really old accessories often already have connection issues with the newest iPhones. Newer accessories should work, but will require some sort of adapter.

The latests reports and rumors point to Apple replacing the current 30-pin connection with a 19-pin connection. By losing 11 pins, Apple can make its long-running proprietary connection smaller, which opens up all kinds of design possibilities. iFixit cofounder, Kyle Wiens told Wired: “It’s too big. That’s the fundamental issue.”

Design aesthetics aside, as far as connections go, the 30-pin connection is long in the tooth. Introduced with the third-generation iPod in 2003 as a replacement to the iPod’s Firewire port, the 30-pin connection has been adopted by nearly all of the iPods and all iPhones and iPads. The connection’s size is a result of Apple’s desire to allow backward compatibility with legacy analog connectors, and Apple’s own Firewire connection. Those legacy connections lower the cost of third-party hardware. Building fully compliant USB docks is expensive.

“The primary reason to have all the pins is to make it cheaper for companies to implement accessories.” Weins told Wired: “If your (iPod) alarm clock had to implement a full USB interface, it would cost more. It would be a more expensive device to make.”  Read More


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Posted on July 23, 2012, in #technology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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