As first reported by iMore back in February in the next generation iPhone 5, yet more rumors have surfaced concerning Apple ditching the traditional 30-pin Dock connector and replacing it with a new, smaller, micro-sized Dock. Reuters now says:
The iPhone 5, Apple's next generation iPhone expected to go on sale around October, will come with a 19-pin connector port at the bottom instead of the proprietary 30-pin port "to make room for the earphone moving to the bottom", two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
That would mean the new phone would not connect with the myriad of accessories such as speakers and power chargers that form part of the ecosystem around iPods, iPads and iPhones, without an adaptor.
Apple recently switched to a smaller MagSafe power connector for the new Retina MacBook Pro and provided an adaptor for older cables.
With LTE rumored to be coming in the next iPhone, and the battery needed to drive it, space will be at a premium. Apple is already rumored to be switching to a nano-SIM and to thinner in-cell screen technology, so a smaller Dock connector makes sense. Since iOS has also cut the cord and gone PC-free, and includes technology like Wi-Fi Sync and AirPlay, physical cables and all the pins required for different functions are likely required by fewer and fewer people.
The change away from the traditional 30 pin dock connector is also well overdue, it is a very bulky connector compared to other manufacturers cables. It was widely hoped by some that Apple would adopt the micro-USB standard that was being heavily pushed in Europe. Unfortunately, Apple will probably keep more pins for more functions than micro-USB allows, and continue to provide an adapter for Europe.
Of course there is always an upside when Apple changes a major part of a product. Accessory makers will be able to sell a whole host of new accessories including docks, cables, chargers etc. This revenue is probably very welcome; as the last two iPhones have shared the same design and the dock connector has been the same since the original iPhone was launched.
iMore has heard the next generation iPhone will be launching in October alongside iOS 6, and perhaps a new iPad mini device.
How do you feel about Apple changing the dock connector? Are you happy to buy new accessories as long as you get better battery life and other improvements?