By Alexandra Burlacu | Jul 23, 2012 07:30 PM EDT
Apple has used a 30-pin connector on its gadgets for nearly a decade, but there has been a lot of speculation lately that the company is preparing to ditch the old connector in favor of a smaller one. Such rumors go as far back as February 2012, and now Reuters has joined the chorus backing up those claims.
Citing "two sources familiar with the matter," Reuters reports that Apple will soon replace the current 30-pin connector with a smaller 19-pin port in order "to make room for the earphone moving to the bottom" of the next-generation smartphone, expected in October. The current dock is indeed quite a big piece of kit and takes up valuable space inside the iGadgets, but a smaller connector port would also make all previous accessories obsolete.
The smaller dock rumors seem to have stemmed from a video posted on YouTube (see below) by parts reseller ETradeSupply. The video shows a metal chassis allegedly belonging to the upcoming iPhone 5, and features a much smaller slot for the dock connector, as well as a headphone jack hole that was relocated to the bottom of the phone.
According to several rumors, the new dock port will sport a magnetic connector, similar to the MagSafe connector found on Apple's MacBooks, and will save considerable space inside the iPhone. As it will be significantly smaller, the new connector would leave more space for valuable hardware. Moreover, the new connector is also expected to be more water resistant, and to be "chipped" in a way to make unlicensed peripherals, including potential cables, useless.
Apple has not confirmed any plans to shrink the dock connector, but all rumors seem to point in this direction. Shrinking the connector, however, just to make room for the headphone jack at the bottom of the iPhone seems a bit farfetched. It would cause a lot of hassle for Apple fans, and it's hard to believe Apple would go through all that trouble just for the sake of relocating a headphone jack. Hopefully there will be an adapter as well, otherwise all that money people invested in accessories will basically go down the drain.
If rumors prove to be true and Apple does replace the dock connector, users will have to replace everything that currently plugs into the 30-pin connector, including chargers, in-car chargers, music docks, FM transmitters, everything. An adapter would prevent all those accessories from becoming obsolete all of a sudden. On the other hand, if Apple does "chip" the connector so unlicensed hardware cannot be attached, all hope is lost.
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