Apple getting ready to ditch the traditional iPhone, iPad, and iPod dock connector

Apple could be getting ready to ditch the traditional dock connector

An updated "micro dock" would make room for bigger batteries, 4G radios, and other iPhone and iPad components far more important in a PC free world.

iMore has learned that Apple is getting ready to ditch the dock connector as it's currently sized and implemented on iPods, iPhones, and iPads. The reason isn't anything political, like a desire to conform to the outdated micro USB standard, but typically Apple: to save space inside the iPhone 5 for what are now more important components.

There are some precedents for this. Apple switched from the very common mini SIM card to the then very uncommon micro SIM card for the original iPad. They took the antenna out of the core package and put it around the edge in the iPhone 4. They had 10 hours of battery life they wanted to hit. They had a Retina display and its backlight. They had an HSPA radio. They had 802.11n Wi-Fi. They had a bigger camera sensor. They had a lot of power-hungry components, and they needed space to hold them and power them, so they switched to a smaller SIM and kicked the antenna to the outside.

The dock connector, which not huge, still takes up space that could otherwise go to what are now more important components like battery and LTE radios

The dock connector as it exists now is a relatively big component. While it doesn't take up a lot of space compared to the entire assembly, it certainly takes up more space than was saved by switching from mini to micro SIM.

4G LTE radios also take up a lot of space. Apple won't be going to a form-factor the size of the Galaxy Nexus or Nokia Lumia 900 any year soon, and while they've waited on better, smaller chipsets, every square millimeter they can save inside the device will still matter.

The importance of the dock connector has also changed. When the iPhone 4 was released, iOS was not yet PC free. There was no iCloud. There was no AirPlay. There was no Bluetooth 4.0.

Apple cut-the-cord to iTunes with iOS 5. Cutting the 30-pin dock connector down to size is a logical next step.

The 30-pin dock connector handled all syncing and data transfer, including backups, music, movies, and other media, all car and other connections, even video-out dongles. Over the years it changed slightly, most significantly the change from FireWire to USB-only charging, but traditionally it has done all the heavy lifting. That was then.

This is now. Backups are easier and better over iCloud. Wi-Fi sync can handle even large media files, if not as quickly, still relatively painlessly given their average frequency. Video and screen mirroring just bean straight to the Apple TV. Accessories can connect and interact over the air.

The iTunes app tether has been appreciably cut, so the timing to cut down on the dock connector has never been better.

Apple has also reduced the size of connectors in their Mac line, going to the PCI Express- and Mini DisplayPort-based Thunderbolt connector almost across the line (Mac Pro is the lone holdout).

iOS devices probably can't go Thunderbolt since they don't use PCI Express architecture. They probably won't go micro-USB either, because it's not faster and not Apple's style. That doesn't mean the dock port can't get smaller. A smaller dock connector -- a "micro dock" if you will -- makes a lot more sense. It could do everything the dock still needs to do in a PC free world, while still saving Apple precious space inside the iPhone 5 package.

(I'm saying iPhone 5 because we haven't heard a specific timeline. iPad 3 is a much bigger device which may not be facing the physical size constraints of the iPhone yet. iPad did get the micro SIM first, however, so it's possible Apple could be looking to debut a newer, smaller dock connector on that device first. We just haven't heard anything specific about it and so think iPhone 5 is more likely.)

Not all current accessories would be compatible, of course, even if Apple offered an adapter dongle. It would upset as many customers as it would thrill. But Apple had never been afraid to ruthlessly jettison the past for a better future. Just ask the floppy drive, and now the optical drive and FireWire port.

Apple is fearless when it comes to driving the future. And the dock connector might be next on their list.

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Apple getting ready to ditch the traditional iPhone, iPad, and iPod dock connector

139 Comments

This would suck. It would make all of the components that I have for the iphone very difficult to use. I'm sure an adapter of some sort would be made to convert to the new dock connector but some ihome type products may not be compatible with the new dock connector.

Adapters will be made and the accessories will change. What would suck is if everything stayed the same forever. In order to innovate, you have to change.

a0a0 This review is from: Brand New White USB Data Sync Transfer Cable for iPod Nano Tounch Classic iPhone + 12 Month Warranty Works great with ipod, i boguht it as didnt have charger and paired up with the lupo adapter is an excellent buy rather than having a seperate cable to charge and transfer from computer

Not a snowballs chance this will happen anytime soon... An adapter for a display is one thing but on a mobile with docking, not so much. Rendering millions of $$ worth of accessory sales with the launch of a new generation device would not be in anyone's best interest.

But the customers of apple will buy it. This will not slow down apple sales one bit. Despite the general disappointment at launch of iphone4s te phone still became their biggest seller. The same with apple 4 and all the old cases were rendered useless. The only different is the phone end of te cable the USB part at the other end will still stay so it won't affect people as much as we think

That is not true. Since when does a manufacturer care about holding off on revising a product, just becaue it won't be compatible with other 3rd party hardware. That is why they come up with adapters or 3rd party vendors create products to accomodate. You say at it wouldn't happen anytime soon, but at what point can you not make that statement. After they change the port in say a year, 5 years from then they could change it again and then you could still say there a millions of $ worth of devices that work with the new port that they wouldn't change anytime soon, but they would.

It wouldn't be so bad. Well just dont change the dock connector! Die heart Apple fan like me, like the dock connector we have grown to love. I love it because everybody at my house or job know's its josh's white charger. I'm pretty sure everybody got an spare Dock Connector laying around the house. It just one of those little things that make the iPhone what it's has grow into today!

I'm fine with all of this, but if they're going to do away with the 30-pin connector and traditional tethered syncing via iTunes, then they better fix WiFi sync making it more reliable. I had to turn it off because I would always get random pop ups errors from iTunes saying "Can't find iPhone" even when I wasn't even trying to sync.

Agreed! WiFi syncing on both my iPad and iPhone doesn't work well for me. It has troubles connecting to iTunes (similar error you have) and when it does, it is SLOW. granted a hardwire should be expected to be faster they need to slim down what is sync'd so it could be faster.

Floppy disc invented by IBM. Optical disk drive invented by Sony. Ultra fail. Micro USB is outdated? Didn't everybody else stop using 30 pin adapters like 5 or 6 years ago? Lol. Good lord

Never said they invented them but Apple was one of the first companies to stop using the archaic floppy drives and same with FireWire. By leading the pack they may have pissed off people but hindsight shows it was clearly worth it.
That's what the author was saying. The 30 pin has many advantages to micro. Micro is becoming archaic it is slow as hell for data transfer and charging. Both things the iPhone is amazingly fast at. Thanks to the 30 pin

Slow on charging?
I can charge from 4% to full in no more than 2 hours while using it.
My iPod on the other hand...

I have several power adapters and cables (up to 6 feet) I found on Fleebay and some of them are slow as molasses. One does not even work at all.

Your 4S has a 1432mAh battery as opposed to the 1850mAh battery in the Galaxy Nexus. It sort of makes sense to go to 100% slower than the iPhone.

And if you can believe it, there was a time when the iPod was "Mac only" and they didn't support Windows PC's.

So Apple giving up on FireWire is a sign of innovation... I'm pretty sure a couple years ago that Apple making FireWire built in was a sign of innovation. AFAIK no one else jumped on that bandwagon.

Oh, amd Micro USB is the standard. Adopted by everyone besides Apple. Meaning nearly everywhere I go I can borrow a charger if I need too. I don't care about throughput, I just want to be able to be in a random bar somewhere and be able to borrow a charger from anyone that doesn't have an iPhone.

That's the one great thing about MicroUSB, very broad compatibility and easy of borrowing a cable. That said, charging is painfully slow (I also have a Nexus S that takes forever to charge via MicroUSB), and it's usually pretty easy to find an Apple lead to charge with -- always tons of iPhone users nearby.

I have a G.Nex. with android 4.0 and with the USB charger you can go from 1% to full in under 2hours (if using a outlet and not the computer), so the slow charging issue has been fixed.

The slow charging has probably nothing to do with micro-USB, it depends on the current from the charging source, kernel/ROM. I was able to double the charging speed on my Samsung Galaxy S2 when I switch from stock to custom ROM/kernel.

IIRC, this really is a political decision, but from the EU and not Apple. The European Union passed a regulation requiring all mobile devices to use a common connector instead of the hundreds of chargers that were swirling around before.

Surfaces, if they're to stay looking exnellect, will need to have to be resilient. Ceramic tiles or a paint finish (with stenciling, in case you like) are most effective for walls and sheet vinyl is likely one of the most serviceable covering for the floor. An easily removed, non-absorptive carpet may well also be considered.

Works well. Plug into ipod, plug other end into computer USB, and you can synch stuff bewteen ipod and computer. Cord is long enough, not too long to you trip over it. Good price.

Apple was the reason FireWire lingered around for as long as it did. Outside of the video camera market no one really ever adopted it but Apple. They didn't lead the pack, the pack left Apple.

The 30-Pin to USB cable has no advantages over the micro USB for charging or data transfer speed, only advantage was that it originally included pins for Firewire, only 14 pins were ever used anyway. It chosen because it was a already available component at the time it was implemented and Apple thought they might need the additional pins for future interfaces. The current iOS devises are only using the 3 of the 4 pins on the USB cable so charging and data transfer times will be the same on a micro USB as they are on the 30pin. However apple will almost certainly use something other than micro USB, better to sell you more $29 cables and chargers and adapters....

First off, charging speed has *nothing* to do with the connector. A charging current requires only two wires. Charging speed has everything to do with the size of the battery, the power output (amperage) of the charger being used, and also the phone's hardware. Lithium Ion Polymer batteries require a "circuit stabilizer" when charging to make sure that individual cells don't get overcharged. Some companies make these charge a little slow, since charging too quickly can shorten the life of the battery.

As for being amazingly fast at data transfer: then why the crap does it take half an hour to sync my iPod after I add 3 songs to my library?

But the Apple 30-pin connector has audio and video out in addition to data and charging. Micro USB can only carry data and power. Apples 30-pin connector is superior to micro USB.

Ugh yea, am I the only audio nut reading this hoping my line level out doesn't do away! I have my beloved dock connector on 3 receivers and in two vehicles.

Very good question, I have been reading blurbs about this for what seems like forever and still nothing... I have often thought that would be a great platform for one of these many struggling mp3 player manufacturers, you know in an effort to actually appeal to a higher end market. It just seems like the "big guys" are ignoring it.

Sean,The browser on the iPad srafai does not work with flash at all. However, there is some browsers that you can download that do have flash. The blackberry play book will have flash, but it can only work if it is tethered to a blackberry phone. The iPad has many more apps, can work alone, and is much bigger.Gen 2 will likely mean it gets bigger because of USB and cammera ports.P.s. Get an iPad. I wrote all of this from mine.

"Up until now. Backups are easier and better over iCloud. Wi-Fi sync can handle even large media files, if not as quickly, still relatively painlessly given their average frequency."
I'm not with you on this. For backups, I rely on usb to itunes...daily usually. iCloud is turned off for backing up purposes, i don't bother with it.
I'd rather have a better itunes than try to make a case for icloud backups.

iCloud backups work flawlessly. I've restored two iPhone 4's and an iPad 2 from iCloud backups. It backs up your device everytime you plug in to charge and you are within wifi. It restored EVERYTHING! All apps, all settings, all messages, contacts, and photos AND videos!
Wifi syncing needs some work though!!

Finding free WiFi outside big western cities can be surprisingly difficult. If you travel internationally, USB is a more reliable option.

I would go even further: what about no connector at all? That would be very bold, and when I say very bold you can also read apple-like. As Azreedtech sad above, one way or another people are going to complain about it. Apple doesn't care though, and neither it should. I know I would I wouldn't mind.

And you would charge your phone by...? If you bring up solar, what about at night? There has to be a connector - something.

Inductive charging was standard on the Palm Pre. I owned one, and it worked wonderfully. There was still a micro USB port on the side for data transfers, but even that could be accomplished wirelessly.
We're not too far off from a completely wireless device. And as is typical, Apple won't invent it, but they will popularize it and make it a success.

Imagine a bar with a pad rolled out from end to end, and all you have to do is set your phone on it.

Diners, Coffee shops, one in each room of the house. I wonder how many devices one of these could handle at once? Oh and I think there is a backpack you can get for you iPhone to induction charge it today!

I would rather see Apple become a driving force behind a standard connector I could use, rather than come up with yet another proprietary solution. If micro USB is outdated (not sure how, but granted for the sake of argument), mini USB would still save space and has significant room to grow. However, for some reason the USB folks consistently avoid nice touches like connectors that actually lock in place -- that is something Apple got right, and it would be nice to see Apple apply some of those flourishes to evolving standards.

Micro USB is still 2.0. 3.0 is on the horizon but with technologies like Thunderbolt, I'm not sure it makes sense for Apple to go with Micro USB and not something newer and faster, even if proprietary.

Mini, not Micro. Thunderbolt seems too expensive and resource-hungry for inclusion. No doubt Apple will go their own way; that is their way, and all of their customers know it. For something that could be potentially universal like a connector, I can dream that they'd cooperate. Whether that means USB or license and persuade everybody else to use AppleBolt, I do not care.

Um where is the Pre now? Oh that's right it doesn't exist.
Did you actually use that thing? Because i did, and it sucked.

There's no way the iphone 5 is going to get any changes, because it came out already and it has the dock connector
The next iphone is the 6th iphone model.
iphone
iphone 3G (2)
iphone 3GS (3)
iphone 4
iphone 4S (5)
future iphone (6)

Number the next iPhone XXXIV.........who cares? As long as the phone is great, which it will be, does it really matter what they call it?

That is the most irrational thinking ever. They aren't going to nave the next one 6 and skip 5, you folks with that logic make me lol. With that said I'd like to see them make something like the mag safe charging ports on the macbook models, make it charge and sync.

iPhone 3G wasn't the second gen, it was a rev of the first gen. iPhone 3GS was 2,1; iPhone 4S was 4,1. The next iPhone is 5,1. Apple can easily call it iPhone 5, and in fact it makes more sense to call it that than to have mainstream shoppers wonder why there's no iPhone 5 between 4S and 6.

That is a ridiculous thing to say, Rene. I mean I dont give a rat's ass what they call the next phone. But iPhone 3G was certainly the second gen device from Apple in the iPhone lineup. New radio, new casing, new software. I mean, minus Siri, I would argue the 4s is more a revision of the 4 than the 3G was to the original. You really baffle me sometimes, Rene. Baffle!!!

Yeah, I know it's confusing, but Apple doesn't consider the changes in the iPhone 3G to be "new generation" level changes. Those usually require a processor change.
Here's how Apple denotes the generations:
iPhone was iPhone 1,1, iPhone 3G was iPhone 1.2, iPhone 3GS was iPhone 2,1, iPhone 4 was iPhone 3,1, iPhone 4S was iPhone 4,1, next iPhone is currently showing as iPhone 5,1 (technically 5,x because radio variants get different designations)

I don't think I was clear enough, Rene. I wasn't saying that I was confused. I was saying you are wrong. I've never seen anything published by Apple that states they consider the 3G a "1.2" device. I mean, if you can cite something, I'll gladly eat crow. Until then, I'm just going to have consider your whole line of reasoning BS. But, again, let me state that I don't care what they call it. Call it iPhone Banana Split. Just release it and put some dope features in it.

But didn't they skip iPhone 2?
I don't think customers are that dumb, or worried enough, to be really concerned about the numbering system.

your own info backs up my assessment that your thoughts are wrong on the name.
The iphone 4 wasn't the 4th iphone as you admit. It was internal hardware revision 3,1. Apple based their model number on the number of models they released in total.
And it's more logical they'll do that again and make the 6th iphone be the iPhone 6 or name it "iPhone LTE" than use a naming sequence they've never used publicly.
And calling the next iphone the iphone 5 isn't elegant, which Apple always tries to be. Could you see one of their execs standing up and saying "Today we're announcing our 6th model of iphone, the iPhone 5"

Today, tomorrow or next year they are going to do it and you should accept like you accepted iMacs without Floppy drives and MacBook Airs without optical drives.

They definitely should adopt Palm's Touchstone inductive solution for charging; developing it in there own image of course. However, that only solved the problem at home. Many people use charges in there vehicle which would make it difficult to develop a mobile touchstone solution. I believe a port is necessary of some type. And in order to satisfy owners of peripheral accessories they will have to make a connector adapters. They really have no choice but make a connector the next time around (iPhone 5). But they can evolve slowly toward a more conservative solution that ultimately saves the space they want for the device. I would think by the iPhone 7 (lol) it would be acceptable if there were no longer any adapter solutions left for 30-pin connector accessories. By then tho - we should be charging/connecting with air itself lol.

I had a palm pre2 and used the touchstone in the car. Worked great, never fell off. It had mico suction cups on the bottom that griped the walls/ countertops. Yes i had the touchstone fixed to the wall. I like the iPhone but i miss the touchstone, gestures and card view.

Apple already has a patent for a "Reduced Size Multi-Pin Male Plug Connector". "Some embodiments of the present invention can provide support for one or more new high-speed communication standards," the filing read, citing USB 3.0 and DisplayPort as examples of these standards.http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/04/05/applegrantedpatentfordockconnectorwithusb30thunderbolt.html

I sure hope they won't do away with USB sync. Cloud sync can be VERY expensive if you're abroad. All this cloud stuff is great if you never leave your home country, have a stable 3G/WiFi signal and an unlimited data plan, but not all of us have that or not all the time.

Uh, how is that link relevant to my post? Several people in this thread have speculated that iCloud and WiFi sync is the way forward and that USB sync may be abandoned, and most promote WiFi over USB. I offered an alternative view.

My views have a strong belief that Apple won't leave the 30pin for something smaller, they will leave it for nothing.
A patent pasted last year makes for a wireless charging device made possible.

We'd like to see a MagSafe dock connector of some kind. That metallic sliding/grinding is unpleasant. And the next-gen connector should be orientation-independent. There should be no need to look for the gray icon to determine which way to attach the cable.
Or, going a little further out, maybe Apple could eliminate the dock connector entirely. iOS devices can already sync wirelessly. Maybe Apple can leverage that and add inductive charging to all iDevices (except for the Apple TV of course.) Boom. No more dock connector of any kind.
There may be some issues with the inductive charging pad interfering with cell, wi-fi, and bluetooth radios, of course. So it won't be that easy. And inductive charging tends to cause heating, which indicates wasted energy. It wouldn't be as green as wired charging.

Did an Apple PR person write this?
If this happens, just one more thing to push me to Android when I upgrade next. Apple's "let's make our own new proprietary crap" is not flying anymore.
First, there is nothing outdated about mini or micro USB. It's STANDARD on virtually every other device I own. Are there even faster options? Sure, but no one needs them (and USB is certainly faster than WiFi). This means I can charge via USB from my car, my office, anywhere. USB is ubiquitous - you know, UNIVERSAL, part of the name?
Just because it would be different, wouldn't mean it would be better. If they dump the current connector (which I have all over the place, no way am I replacing all those cords!), and don't pick a UNIVERSAL option, then the deal is sealed for me - no more iPhone.
Let's not pretend here - the only reason Apple would design a new proprietary dock connector would be to sell more accessories. I respect their right to make money, but I don't have to participate in it. It's already ridiculous that they want $20 for a cord and another $25 for a little tiny plug for the wall. $45 for a flimsy charge solution? Same reason they won't put a micro-SD slot - why let us have unlimited storage when they can charge $100 more for a lousy, non-removable 16GB?
Seriously - I was already on the way out because I'm tired of being gimped just for having an iPhone, and this really would make the choice easy.

The memory thing is also about quality control as well. No more curroupted sd card errors and apps that won't load off the card.

First, no need to put apps on cards, really. The real need is photo and audio storage. It really bothers me that in an "emergency" I couldn't just dump everything off my phone without Internet access, and even then it's a PITA.
Second...I have a half dozen SD devices, and I've never encountered any error whatsoever. And I've never heard of real people getting such errors. I don't doubt it's possible (any storage can corrupt), but as I said, App Data is fine on the phone - if I corrupt some music or photo files, life goes on (and they wouldn't be my only copy anyway).
Make no mistake, the lack of the industry standard micro- or mini-SD card is simply a gimmick so they can justify charging $100 more for a bit more memory (which is way more than the memory costs to begin with). Just like it would be if they dropped their proprietary connector for yet another connector. Just like when they redesigned the connector before internally so they will fit in a lot of devices, just not charge due to the pin change.
It's all about wanting more of your money after you've already bought a premium product. I like my iPhone, but these limitations become more irritating over time. It does seem like Apple is open to change now that Jobs is not dictating these decisions - we will have to see what the iPhone5 brings. I'll be honest - the lack of storage is what will keep me from ever buying an iPad. A true computing device without any type of removable storage is just crazy. If they'd put one in I'd buy one tomorrow, but no way I am forking over more than my very nice 17" laptop cost until they do.

Yeah, cause, you know, Apple buys their from different places than everyone else.... Really? Just cause it's in an iPhone the MTBF is different? Here's the difference: if my SD card gets flaky, I buy another one, and lose what I haven't backed up. If your SD card gets flaky, you go to store, spend the afternoon with customer service, and then lose whatever you haven't backed up. The odds of either happening are pretty much the same, and vanishingly small.

Are you all blind? This is a vast crApple conspiracy to block jailbreaking! Can't you see it? May you all suffer stock hell. :)

HA! Suckers. This is why you buy Bluetooth speakers. (or speakers that connect with AirPlay) you never have to worry about the form factor of the phone.

Personally I'm fine with them changing this. The existing dock connector on the iPad 2 is actually a little hard to use, and while the rumors are that the new iPad will actually be a little thicker, I can't see a smaller connector being a bad thing.
It would be nice if they moved the iPad connector from the short to the long side though so it would be possible for a third party to build a keyboard dock along the lines of the Asus Transformer, e.g. one that plugs into the side of the system and allows the hole thing to fold up, allows the keyboard to supply power to the iPad, etc. It would open up some options for the accessories market.

Let it be a magnetic connection, please! It is a marvel on the MackBooks. Would make docking much simpler as well (magnetic snapping would help the alignment).

Big problem with Apple using the MagSafe connector (and I agree I'd love to have it on the iPhone and iPad) is Apple doesn't license it out. Unless they do that Apple would be the only game in town for any type of car charger, third party device that uses the dock to charge.

We don't really need the connector except for charging. All data comm can happen thru bluetooth and wifi.

Any space in the design saved by replacing the traditional dock connector used for simple re-charging (will now be covered by MagSafe) could now conceivably be used by different types of connectors for sexier emerging applications such as vehicle telematics, HD-IPTV, or mobile solar recharging.
I also think it would be cool if someday the customer could custom specify orders with additional/different types of connectors based upon required utility. Perhaps served by a nationally based custom manufacturing initiative that sets the global standard for humane, enviromentally pro-active operation, while providing jobs for American workers.

Micro USB IS FASTER in the 3.0 standard. And it would handle "all the heavy work" you mention. Which is NOT heavy at all, not even close to "heavy". It's just data, plain and simple. And NOTHING is outdated with the micro USB standard. That's like laying the RCA plugs are outdated, but even Apple uses these plugs in some of their cables today. USB will never be outdated. Even thinking so invalidates your ability to quantifiably report on electronics.
Apple is just full of themselves. They always have been.

Actually came to this post hoping to see them embrace a more open standard, but I guess it is more of the same.

The only way to force Apple to use an open standard port is for people to not buy Apple products because of the non-standard port. The truth is, Apple consumers generally don't care that much. Those who do care, don't own an Apple product, and therefore don't matter in Apple's scheme. Sad, but true.

Funny how people say that USB is too slow, so Apple should not (or could not) switch to micro-USB.
But wait... Look at your Apple charging/syncing cable again. See what the connector is on the other side? Yeah... USB!!! So I certainly don't buy the argument that USB would be too slow, because virtually all wired syncing is done through USB.
Nonetheless, wired syncing is going away.
My personal preference would be a micro-USB connector (or smaller), but square and tweaked to act like the 'mag-safe' connectors.

The connector will function similar to that of the power connector for the MacBook Air's. Magnetic connector.

One of the primary strengths of the iOS platform is it's built up plethora of accessories; this isn't the wisest idea considering Android's gains in market share.

Not to mention the additional (though largely unused by most accessories) functionality of the current connector.

But what evidence do you have that Apple is going to drop the current 30-pin connector? In the whole article all we get is the incredibly vague "we've heard" followed by a whole lot of unsubstantiated speculation as to why Apple might do it. Who did you hear it from? Someone at Apple, or some guy you met down the pub? How can we judge the veracity of your source if you won't tell us what their qualifications are, even in general terms?
Well I've heard that iMore is planning to change their name again. They've done it before, they'll probably do it again. iLinkBait is the new name being considered apparently.

This wouldn't surprise me. I always wondered why Apple needed a 30 pin connector for those things. It just needed to provide for power, syncing, audio and video signals, but that's about it. That still leaves at least half the connectors apparently unused. Still, if Apple changed it, all the accessory manufacturers would go nuts. :-) And, my accessories would need some kludgy adaptor.
On the other hand, whatever new connector and plug design they settle on must be a robust one. I usually use my iPhone without a dock adaptor to plug it into the docking port on the clock radio or speaker. In other words, the dock connector holds the weight of the iPhone and the stress from docking and undocking. That's because all of the dock adaptors only fit a naked device, and I almost never use a naked device. There's always some sort of case on it. If they went with a smaller connector, it had better be strong and solid on both ends.

Nice review Mike. I was cichkeng this out at the gdgt event in Chicago a few weeks ago looks like a great product. From your demo it makes me wonder if the power cord is even needed if it is plugged into the computer. Maybe it is just for charging the main unit when not hooked up to the computer say if you used it when traveling just as a charging dock.

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Jesus F. Christ, you waiting for Apple to go bankrupt? Enjoy living with disappointment.
I think the suggestion that Apple will get rid of the dock in favor of wireless is a sign that someone isn't quite living in reality. Whether I'm in Honolulu, Atlanta, Boston, or anywhere else and not in my own network with 50/5, living on the air sucks and I'm back to cables.

This article thinks small, there is really no need for a connector at all. Inductive charging has matured enough to eliminate the need for a cable and I can also imagine apple using a magnetic type headphone adaptor that would work in a similar fashion as inductive charging by simply providing lets say "inductive audio" no real reason this would not work. Go even further and completely eliminate any holes in the device at all. What about speaker or microphone? Well, it would be easy enough to either use a transducer and turn the entire class panel into a speaker or cover with a micro porous material that would allow efficient transmission of audio waves wile still preventing water from entering the device. Maybe not the next iPhone but a vacation of this will happen ; )

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If apple were to replace the dock, it should be with a magnetic connector so it's as easy to remove as the Macbook power cord.

Supposed other sources (and easy guesswork) suggest it is being replaced with Thuderbolt I/O technology which, if it's true and makes sense, forget about WiFi syncing! It would heel is comparison!!

I have been planning to purchase the iPhone 5 if it ever comes out. But if Apple changes the connector to anything other than micro-USB, I won't be trading in my Droid.

Every other smartphone these days uses micro USB connectors - they are required by law in Europe (to cut down on the waste of people junking incompatible AC adapters). Right now Apple includes an adapter with their phones in Europe, but it would be much cheaper and greener if they just went to micro USB like everyone else.
And driving accessory makers nuts? The opposite will happen! Apple won't care and the accessory companies will love it - all the Apple fans will run out to by new docks, cables, etc.

I hope they don't try something radical like completely removing the dock connector> I still back up locally as opposed to cloud based because its just more secure. Also data transfer for people with large iTunes libraries is easier with the dock connector. And charging is easier, your able to multitask more by physically having the charger sticking in the phone as opposed to having the phone lay on a powermat.

If your going to remove the 30 pin connector to make room for NFC ,Lte etc ,just make a powermat that uses NFC to sync . If you think that it's not fair that things change try buying a new TV with RCA jacks

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I bought this when my orgiinal Apple cable stopped working. It works fine for what I need it for i.e. connecting to I-tunes to synchronise my ipod. It is just a basic cable and I do not believe an official piece of kit but good value for money.

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Smartphone companies are restless in developing more features to integrate in their next versions every time. So they focus primarily on space and energy. As they can't make the phone size beyond a certain limit (it will create uneasiness for users), so they are trying their best to micro size their inner hardware parts. In this regard, Apple has to reconsider the dock connector. apple iphone 3gs cases

oh and for the video/audio.... the headphone port is on the bottom so an adapter or dock can plug into both at once. Then apple tv is network or wifi based. and newer usb standards are pretty high bandwidth so with an adapter that could be a possibility if apple goes for it, but it means two devices. Of course with todays technology, the cable could contain the device, and it would be just like the current dongle.

Firewire & thunderbold issues are already mentioned, but usb is universal, there are some interesting comments under the article linked in this story. go up and look for "No PCI Express"

Maybe it's just me but I'm confused. If the new cord has the new small pin on one end as opposed to the 30 pin that Apple uses currently, is the other end not still just a simple USB? And if it is the same USB, then why does everyone complain that you won't be able to sync the new iPhone, or iPod Touch to iTunes in your computer? Am I misunderstanding the problem everyone seems to have? For me, I guess it's a non issue. I'll still charge my new iPod Touch the way I did before. I'll have to buy an adapter, I guess, so I can put it on my iHome iPod playing clock radio. But beyond that I don't see any issues. Unless of course I'm missing something.