Reuters adds to rumors that the next iPhone will have a smaller 19 pin dock connector

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?

Source: Reuters

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chrisoldroyd

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Reuters adds to rumors that the next iPhone will have a smaller 19 pin dock connector

11 Comments

I am sure they will have some sort of adapter for all the older accesories. I am glad to see it smaller and am hoping it will be a magsafe! Seriously! And maybe a longer charging cord!! That would be awesome. :)

Oh agree they will have a 19pin to 30pin adapter. Of course they will probably charge $29.99 for it!

The idea is quiet good but, the change will cost a lot of money for iPhone users because they have to buy their favorite accessories and i think apple is intelligent and there are always a solutions.

I don't want a new dock connector if it's just going to be smaller. If they're going to make it smaller then they should provide a much faster connection if they can. Otherwise a connector just being smaller is just frankly nonsense. It's not like a connector is heavy to carry around. I don't see any advantage of a connector by just being smaller.

Sure if they produce a smaller connector they can fill in the accessory problem gap with an adapter & that adapter can be as low as 5$ or 10$ since the new MagSafe adapter is 10$ but people would have to buy at least 3-4 adapters and it would be money spent for nothing when we have a rock solid ecosystem.

I kinda like the smaller adapter, I only have a few accessories that will lose functionality, I will just sell them with my current iPhone on eBay as extras.

I'm excited for the new 19-pin dock. But... one of the reasons why I love the iphone so much its because it actually charges very quickly. Quicker then any other phone I have seen and it actually holds up its charge. (Unlike android phones that charge quickly to 100% but immediately drops to 60% after using it for 10 minutes.) With that said,
would the 19-pin connector charge the phone at a much slower rate?! Right now the 30-pin currently charges at about 1% - 2% per minute.

Apple is opening themselves up to a lot of negative press unless they can show a real benefit to the new connector. Yes - the 30 pin has been around a long time and every square millimeter of real estate inside a phone today is precious, but the gazillions of fairly new Apple fans who spent millions on iHomes. car docks, and countless other expensive 30 pin accessories will see it as a money grab - and don't think a lot of press won't take full advantage of the feeding frenzy. Tim Cook & Co. better have a couple of solid, quantifiable feature enhancements tied to the smaller dock that the other 97% of iDevice users and fair minded Android fans see as "pretty cool" - or Apple could have a PR nightmare on their hands. Apple did not get this rich and powerful selling iPhones and IPads to fanboys who read Apple blogs every day, they did it by selling them to massive numbers of people who never considered owning an Apple product before 2007, and won't like that all future iThings will no longer sit up straight and proud in their $200 audio device. Fanboys are used to (and secretly enjoy) being forced to buy all new stuff every now and then, but no one else is going to be happy about it if Apple doesn't clearly show real "wow factor"experience enhancements that the new dock provides.

It will be annoying and they should have gone micro-USB. Does anyone even use any of these accessories that work with the dock connectors now? I personally have never seen one being used. The only thing I see is the credit card readers in iPads that all use the headphone jack.

I think them changing the dock connector sucks but on the bright side, that would leave more dock cables for my iPad2. Assuming I don't get an iPad mini (unless they changed the dock connector on that too).

Clinging to our desperate hope that the mini dock connector will be a MagSafe connector. Love the idea of a smaller connector, don't have any 30-pin accessories other than the bare charging / syncing cables (bought from iMore, of course.)

Re: "Apple recently switched to a smaller MagSafe power connector for the new Retina MacBook Pro [...]"

Perhaps, in part, to set the stage for an even thinner MacBook Air later? The slimmer MagSafe charging port didn't seem necessary for the Retina MBP to get thinner.

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.

@SimplyApple_
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