Apple will provide an adapter for the new, smaller Dock connector set to debut with the iPhone 5

Apple will provide an adapter for the new, smaller Dock connector set to debut with the iPhone 5

While this seems like this should go without saying, because of all the questions we've been getting, and posts we've been seeing, iMore reached out to the original sources that gave us the new Dock connector story way back in February just to make doubly sure -- and yes, there will be an adapter for the iPhone 5's smaller Dock connector that will let it work with many of the accessories designed for the old 30-pin Dock connector.

We haven't heard if one will be included in the box along with the iPhone 5, or will only be sold separately, but either way, come October, you'll be able to get a new-to-old Dock adapter from Apple.

Apple has done this recently with the MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adapter, and in past years with a variety of other display adapters. Of course, there will likely be some accessories that, due to the physical size or shape, are awkward or impossible to use with the Dock connector adapter, but anything that doesn't require tight, flush contact should be okay

The reasons for the new, smaller Dock connector remain the same as what we outlined back in February -- Apple needs additional space inside the iPhone 5 casing to fit an LTE chipset and the battery to go with it. It's the same reason they're rumored to be going with the nano SIM, and perhaps an in-cell display as well. Every millimeter and milliamp matters.

Also, thanks to features like iCloud and PC-Free, as well as Wi-Fi sync and AirPlay, the Dock connector doesn't need to do everything the way it used to. A lot of the connectivity can be offset to wireless.

Apple is still on track for a fall release for the iPhone 5, and last we heard that was October. The new, smaller Dock connector will debut at the iPhone 5 event and be used in all iOS devices from then on out. (Including the rumored 7-inch iPad.)

But rest easy, and certainly don't throw anything away -- it'll have an adapter.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple will provide an adapter for the new, smaller Dock connector set to debut with the iPhone 5


I'll assume they'll be selling this for $20 or $30 more than likely. Seems to be the norm for Apple which is fine by me I guess. I'd rather buy one new adapter than 6 new accessories.

mini display-VGA were $30, ipad camera adapter was $30, this seems like it should be cheaper than that but more than a magsafe but we'll see.

i'm hoping an online store like meritline or monoprice will have a generic one for like $1.99 should i need such an adapter.

If it doesn't come with the phone, it will be $9.99 - like the adapters for the Magsafe-2 >> original Magsafe adapters that are available.

Because if they called it iPhone 6 everyone would wonder what happened to iPhone 5. It's not that hard to understand really.

not everyone would wonder. If they call it iPhone 5, the same amount of people will wonder why the 6th generation iPhone is called iPhone 5

I would like to believe common business sense (or sense in general) states that the adaptor would be sold separately for two reasons. The first, and most obvious, sales. If they sell the component separately, that's (potentially) millions of dollars in revenue just from that little part that probably cost them $0.25 to make. The second, by including the adaptor, adoption of new iPhone 5 specific accessories could be stifled for a while. Apple makes $$ off of ALL licensed accessories, so it would make sense that they would want these to move off the shelves as well.

Soooo, if Apple needs some space inside a device, instead of making the fone a couple of millimiters longer, they throw away a standard that is present in every other idevice. I challenge iMore to open an "iPhone 5" after launch and show how much those cubic millimiters were really needed.
Meanwhile we throw away all our gadgets that have a docking station, like alarm clocks and external speakers, because an adapter will do us no good there.
I think this is a BS move to revitalize their whole accessories business, since the patents for the old connector must be getting old by now and Apple needs to plan for the future. It has nothing to do with LTE chips or battery sizes. The latest iPad has shown that Apple has no qualms about making a devices a little heavier or thicker when needed.

That makes no sense. But your entitled to believe it if you want to. It probably wouldn't take a whole lot for Apple to renew the 30-pin connector patent. And the new phone is highly rumored to be a good bit longer for the new screen.

And have you seen or heard anyone with an LTE Android phone? The battery life is awful. So Apple needs all the space they can get for a battery.

I've had a couple LTE Androids (on both Verizon and AT&T), and it honestly all depends on your use and signal strength. Back when I had Verizon, there were days I had an average of 60% left after work each day (I work out with music before work, a few calls and email checks here and there throughout the day too). Same usage, but when there would be an outage on Verizon, the average battery life at the end of the day would be the 30's. Either way, I still had enough to make an emergency call if I had to, so I'm fine with that.

Honestly, if you have a 100% battery at the beginning of the day, watch your connections (ex. turning off Bluetooth/GPS/Wifi when not in use), and tone down the brightness, there's no reason you shouldn't make it through the day (heavy gaming excluded).

So true. If you have WiFi on, always searching for connections, it will affect battery life. Same with bluetooth, GPS, and push notifications. Some people have everything set to push. Tweak your phone, and you will be amazed in improved battery life. I can go a whole day of heavy usage, and still have a good 40% or more left.

Reuters and The Wall Street Journal should be reporting this "exclusively" in, oh, about 4 or 5 weeks!

As good for the consumer as that might would be, Apple would never ever do that. They make way too much money licensing their connector

I used to use my Playbook charger , which is a micro USB, to charge my Blackberry and it only took 30min to charge it from 0% to 100%. So its all about how much volts the charger is..

I bought the same charger for my Galaxy Note a few weeks ago. Even before that, it never took very long to reach a full charge from about 30%-40% (what's left at the end of the day). And even if it were to take 5 hours, if you charge it overnight while you sleep, you'll still have a full battery.

Can anyone confirm the rumor that your current 30 pin accessories will continue to work with all of your current devices? From the comments I am reading it is as if they are proposing to take away functionality from current devices, judt because a new product is released with a different port. If upgrading from the 10 year old standard to a new dock is unappealing, you have the option to keep using your current device or purchase a brand new 3GS, 4, or 4S and use your legacy docks for many many more years. But I digress, my intent was to inquire about the concept picture shown at the beginning of this article. This is by far the best looking new design for the phone. It doesn't look too long as many of the mock ups have and the space above and below the screen appears to be smaller than most have portrayed. That would make an awesome new iPhone, regardless of what dock it ships with. Is this a possible design or are we more likely to see the thin long 16:9 phone?

I hope the next iphone looks nothing like the one in this picture because it is disgusting....I dont care it its just a "mockup" or image to associate or whatever... its ugly

The adapter is nice but that rendering of what you think the iPhone 5 will look like is just a barely tweaked iPhone 4, in appearance. Sure, thinner glass, audio port moved, and smaller dock connector, but if the screen is just 3.7 versus 3.5, this isn't going to be that impressive compared to everything else being released later this year.

No other phone, in fact no other device yet produced, has so many options and ancillary hardware based on the existing port - only Apple could get away with dumping it and smile as they walk away. I suppose they could have used the port virtually everyone else uses - then again - we are talking Apple (face-palm). Is this the price of outrageous success?

For accessory makers, this could be the golden goose, as the 30 pin dock has been around for as long as there has been iPods (2001) and iPhones (2007). This means an accessory maker investing in docks, radios, speakers and the like could have around 10-12 years lifespan with the new connectors. But for the rest of us it could be a right pain. I am sure Apple would smooth this transition, let's hypothesise what this might look like. As recent as 2009, the big tech companies agreed a new micro standard for USB, which is great, it should mean being able to use the same charger for all products who sign up for this standard. Apple has introduced a dock to miniUSB converter to comply with the EU legislation. When is a charging cable, not just a charging cable? When its an Apple charging cable, in this humble cable is a host of proprietary technology hidden inside, making it small and efficient.