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  • 1008anan - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    This is a significant update. Could you post a picture of the 8 pin dock connector next to a micro USB for size comparison?

    Jason Inofuentes, why do you think Apple doesn't just switch to Micro USBs like everyone else?
    Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    No video output for docks. Reply
  • sabot00 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    MHL Reply
  • steven75 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Two connectors instead of one means twice the space usage. How is this better? Reply
  • steven75 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Twice the cables needed as well. Terrible solution. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Well, the cynic in me says they enjoy the thriving iDevice only aftermarket toys which rely on the nonstandard Apple connector. Those devices exclude all non-apple connectors and adds a barrier to those who more might want to change to android/windows at some later time.
    My angel, however, says that their new connector has horizontal symmetry, which none of the USB connectors have, so it is a bit easier to connect. Of course if they really wanted it to be easy to connect they would've added some friggin' magnets instead of fiddly pin connectors.
    Reply
  • Belard - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Because MicroUSB ports SUCK. They really do.

    While I admit to one of those who said it could include Thunder or USB 3.0 (Okay, it is Lightning) - nobody knew for sure. But, there is no reason why the cable cannot support USB 3.0 in the future. So apparently, the lack of 3.0 ability is a matter of costs and space.

    Also, this new Apple connector can do other things than USB - which Apple will do sometime in the future (digital audio/Video? As the said in the intro video "Audio and video is used more and more over wireless". There are already Android Speakers which are wireless (HTC One X with Beats anyone?).

    Okay, back to your question: "why Apple doesn't just switch to Micro USBs like everyone else?"

    Answer: Micro USB SUCKS! I have several USB 2.5" drives and of course an Android phone with a mini-micro-USB connector. I've also used a mico-USB HD-DOCK caddy system which LOOKED good but.... they don't make good docking connectors.

    They are made as cheap as possible. They wear out and are easy to break. Same as comparing an old 9-pin 80s style joystick port (Atari / Amiga) to that of a Super Nintendo/Game Cube or PS-One joystick connectors... the newer consoles were much better.

    So with my PHONE, I always have to check orientation of the cable and still have to angle the thing into the phone's USB port. On my iPad1, plugging in the connector is far easier to aim. The fact that Apple made this reversible is an EXCELLENT idea. It saves hassle and wear on the connector. (Too bad Apple spends far too much time in the court room!)

    My guess... Apple will be adding this connector to ALL their desktop/notebook computers in the next product refresh.
    Reply
  • Pessimism - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    "They wear out and are easy to break."
    Wrong.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Serial_Bus#...
    Micro USB mechanical spec : 10,000 insertion cycles.

    https://nuxx.net/wiki/iPod_Dock_Connector
    Ipod Dock Connector spec: 10,000 insertion cycles.

    Now, MINI USB, was terrible at 1000 insertion cycles. Zillions of Blackberry 8300 series phones suffered from this when they used mini-usb as the charge port. Kept phone shops in business soldering in new connectors.

    I agree reversible is convenient. However, USB does not require angled insertion. That is simply false. If your phone does for some reason, it is a result of terrible industrial design on the case plastics or too bulky of a moulded connector head on the cable.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    I've always found MicroUSB to be terrible in use vs full size USB. Do you disagree? Reply
  • Pessimism - Friday, September 14, 2012 - link

    Nope. All the micro connectors (USB, HDMI and friends) are delicate compared to their full size cousins despite being a necessary evil. Heck I even find full size HDMI to be a bit weak looking. I miss 36 pin centronics printer cables complete with locking wire loops on the sides for added clamping force Reply
  • moep - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    My guess... Apple will be adding this connector to ALL their desktop/notebook computers in the next product refresh.

    To have people plug their Retina Macbook Pro into a 10 Watt charger and complain that the notebook won’t charge?

    No sir, Magsafe 2 is here to stay.
    Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Surely he didn't mean replacing Magsafe ports... surely? If anything, Magsafe style ports should replace most of the insertion-style ports, being so absurdly convenient to use. Reply
  • Galatian - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    I wonder (and hope) that Apple will also release a thunderbolt version with this. Might drive adoption. Of course there needs to be speed advantage first.

    Then again, I rarely ever plug my iPhone in anymore since iOS 5 brought wireless sync.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    These devices don't even saturate USB 2 speeds yet, they will take a looong time to saturate USB 3.0, why use Thunderbolt which has only one port per computer and a much smaller install base? Reply
  • iwod - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    I am pretty sure they do saturate the 20MB/s provided by USB 2.0

    So we do need USB 3.0, although not really desperate, i hope Apple dont wait until the last minutes to do so. ( Of coz it would properly have to wait until the controller size is acceptable as well )
    Reply
  • dananski - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Mentioned at the end of the article. Any chance of >160GB this time around? Reply
  • agent2099 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    All that and not a faster interface? Ubelievable. Reply
  • rs2 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    But it's "all digital"! Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    A faster interface would not magically make the NAND inside faster. Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    People seem to greatly underestimate how slow the storage on these phones (all of them!) are. Just because a couple hundred dollar SSD drive is blazingly fast, doesn't mean a $5 flash drive will set any speed records... and the flash in the phones is much closer to the $5 flash drive than the SSD... sadly. Reply
  • rs2 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    It seems that someone in Apple asked 'How do we get more money out of the millions of people who already have iOS accessories that they're happy with and don't want to upgrade?'.

    And the answer apparently is "Make a completely unnecessary change to device connectivity so that we can sell overpriced adaptor cables to anyone who wants to keep using their accessories.". Nonsense like that is why I avoid Apple products like the plague.
    Reply
  • Belard - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    The 30pin old connector is big by todays standards... most of the pins were no longer needed. It keeps them from making smaller products.

    This is an improvement. The cables are not much more expensive than the usual premium cables already sold in stores. Its $20... about the same as other cables. BB sells cables for $5~30, depending on brand.

    You missed the part, they needed a smaller connector? Its better then any mini-USB cable on the market. Its a good idea, mind you - Apple still sucks for their legal BS.

    I'm not defending apple, but its kind of stupid to talk about over-priced Apple stuff...
    Most of their stuff is no more expensive than others. (Desktops/Notebooks not included) - iPhone = $200... funny, just like the Samsung Galaxy 3! Their Tablets are $400~500 - just like ASUS and Samsung models.

    If you talk about their notebooks... those are on the high side, but I don't recall Apple or anyone else putting a gun to your head to buy it... no?
    Reply
  • rs2 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    No, I didn't miss the part where Apple claims they need a smaller connector. I just consider that claim to be disingenuous. There are side-by-side comparisons of the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S available. Like this one here:

    http://www.iphonehacks.com/2012/09/iphone-5-vs-iph...

    Suffice to say, I'm not impressed. While the new connector is certainly narrower than the old one, it is just about as thick. So I don't see how it allows for thinner devices. Narrower, sure. But not thinner.

    Besides, if a smaller connector was needed, then why not just go with a standard option like the micro-USB form-factor? Those are about the same size as Apple's new proprietary "all digital" connector. And may people would already have cables handy.
    Reply
  • Leonick - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Not sure on the details myself but I'll point it out, it might be worth taking a look at the the part of the connector on the inside of the phone and not the part that is visible from the exterior, might be rather significant size differences there. Reply
  • steven75 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Did you really just link to a picture of a pre-production leaked part instead of the ACTUAL phone that is up on apple.com now? Why?!

    The connector portion is a tab that sticks out and is way thinner. The socket that accepts the connector is also thinner. The iPhone 5 is currently the thinnest phone on the market and is significantly thinner than the 4/4S. This isn't rocket science here.

    Many are of the opinion, myself included, that MicroUSB sucks in use and even if you don't mind about that it doesn't do audio/video over the same cable which both the old and new dock connectors do. Why do people CONSTANTLY ignore this when bringing up MicroUSB? No, I don't want to carry around ANOTHER cable just for A/V use! No one does.
    Reply
  • rs2 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    "it doesn't do audio/video over the same cable"

    Now that just doesn't make any sense. Bytes are bytes. If USB can transmit data at a high enough bitrate to support a video/audio stream, then nothing whatsoever prevents it from doing video/audio over the same cable.

    USB 3.0 supports speeds of up to 5.0 Gbps. That's half of the 10.2 Gbps that you can get with something like HDMI, but still more than adequate for carrying a high quality video signal. It's worth noting that HDMI extenders exist that transmit an HDMI signal (up to and including 1080p) over a pair of gigabit ethernet cables, so even a data rate of 2 Gbps is sufficient for carrying high definition video and audio.

    So yeah, there's no reason why a standard USB port would not be able to transmit video/audio, or why using one would require a second cable dedicated to A/V purposes. Maybe that's why people keep bringing it up. No matter what form factor the connector uses, sending bytes over a wire is sending bytes over a wire. Apple's fancy wire doesn't do anything that anybody else's wire can't do.

    As for the comparison shot, the connector on the production model is just as thick as in that shot:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6283/iphone-5-hands-...

    ...so I don't know what you're complaining about. That was the cleanest shot I could find that clearly showed the bottom edge of both phones at a good/flat angle. If you don't like it, then by all means find/make a better one.
    Reply
  • Ammaross - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    So, they stole AMD's "Lightning" tag for their Thunderbolt-alike tech over DisplayPort? I smell some lawyers getting into a frenzy.... Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    I'd be ok with some of Apples money padding AMDs pockets :P Reply
  • ervinshiznit - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    So if its reversible...how exactly do you connect it to a computer? Reply
  • Belard - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    There is no UP or Front side to the connector. Just plug it in.

    The other USB side, would go in like normal.
    Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Yep, no more trying to shove the cable in, it failing to go in, rotating it 180 degrees, and trying again... although, oddly enough, I've never actually had that problem happen with the old iPhone/pod/pad cable... while I'm not sure I've EVER gotten it right with USB on the first try (I'm sure it's closer to 50%, but it damn well feels like every time... sometimes it takes a few rotations for the micro ports!). Reply
  • iwod - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    I would love if this design gets to the Computers end as well. No more wrongly plugged USB. And it will be smaller. Reply
  • Pylon757 - Monday, September 17, 2012 - link

    That connector looks pretty easy to short circuit, considering the pins are exposed and flush. Reply

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