iOS 6 could point to new, smaller Dock connector sporting 9-pins

iOS 6 could point to new, smaller Dock connector sporting 9-pins

Back in February, iMore reported that Apple would be switching away from the traditional 30-pin Dock connector currently found in all iPhones, iPods, and iPads, to a new, miniaturized Dock connector, both to save space inside new, battery-needy devices, and in recognition of wireless technologies like AirPlay and Wi-Fi sync replacing some of the old Dock requirements. Now 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman has gone digging inside iOS 6 beta 4 and found reference to a 9-pin connector.

The reference comes as a new iOS hardware feature called “9Pin,” so we’re assuming this has to do with the dock connector. [...] This reference comes in a part of the operating system that details general hardware features in iOS devices. That mean this new 9-pin connector may not only be implemented into the iPhone.

TechCrunch has previously reported on a 19-pin connector and iLounge on an 8-pin connector. Both have had good sources in the past, though the code strings found by 9to5Mac, if indeed they refer to the new Dock connector, would be the least opaque to date.

The reference being part of the general OS, and not iPhone specific, could be an indicator that Apple will indeed be updating the entire iOS product line this September when iOS 6 launches.

Last month iMore learned Apple will be providing an adapter for accessories that use the old Dock connector, so does the exact number of pins make a difference to you? More the merrier or the fewer the better?

Source: 9to5Mac

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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

iOS 6 could point to new, smaller Dock connector sporting 9-pins


How does the number of pins matter in any way shape or form aside from the fact that it will be incompatible with old 30 pin connectors?

Really. 3, 6, 9 or 18 pins: who cares?

I'm looking forward to a smaller connector incorporating Mag-Safe technology, and the possibility of Wi-Fi sync happening while the phone charges complements of a cable-free inductive charging feature... (and for those that don't have the inductive charging set-up, or where it is not available, e.g. like in the car, the smaller connector will continue to carry this capability for flexibility ... just imagine all the fine inductive charging cradles that will hit the market!!)

The connector change will be a pain in the #!* for those who have invested in more than an Apple docking station. An Apple adapter is great (if it's cheap enough) for cables, but for those of us with an iHome radio w/dock, docking station on the work desk and chargers everyplace (cars, various rooms at home, travel kit) the cost will be higher. I somehow doubt that iHome and other manufacturers will have docking adapters ready (if ever) some a lot of technology may be made obsolete. I hope to be proven wrong. Whoever buys my 4S on eBay will get quite a grab bag of chargers and cables!

Yeah - I did an inventory and if we replace every iHome device and other things with a 30 pin "iPhone/iPad/iPod Ready" connector, I'm looking at about $1200 worth of stuff. To be honest, only half of that amount would cover the things we use on a regular basis, but that is still a lot of cash to replace things that are working perfectly otherwise. I really hope for Apple's (and my) sake that when the new connector is introduced they show real benefits that the consumer will reap now and in the future becuase of the change. "We need more room inside the phone" or "It lets us make the phone almost 2 whole millimeters thinner" are not "benefits" that will make the extra +/- $600 I'll be spending this year any less painful.