Apple’s 30-Pin Dock Connector Could be Getting a Huge Upgrade

By , Apr 6, 2011

A new and interesting patent reveals a very interesting possibility for future iDevices. Apple’s current proprietary connection technology has been in need of an update for a long time, and technologies like MagSafe have been considered as a replacement.

The current 30-pin connector is present on all of Apple’s mobile devices. And, apparently, Apple is looking to upgrade the 30-pin architecture with multiple connection technologies…

Patently Apple reports,

“Apple has just won a patent for an all-new Hybrid DisplayPort/USB 3.0 high speed connector. This new and extremely slim connector will work on all iOS devices like the iPod and eventually work its way through Apple’s entire hardware lineup.

Accordingly, Apple’s invention and patent cover various embodiments that could deliver male plug connectors and female receptacle in a reduced size – in at least one direction. Some embodiments of the present invention provide support for one or more new high-speed communication standards such as USB 3.0 and DisplayPort – combined.”

Multiple connection technologies in only one physical connection. Not too bad, Apple. Not too bad.

The 30-pin connector has been present on all of Apple’s mobile devices, and consequently on all accessories, since the beginning. Instead of totally ditching the 30-pin infrastructure, Apple seems to be doing the smart thing by adding technologies and keeping the current architecture.

It would be foolish to totally leave behind the 30-pin connector because all of the accessories on the market would suddenly become obsolete. If this patent is indeed an indication of the future, we’ll start to see the current 30-pin connector be phased out as Apple adopts faster technologies.

It’s unclear as to how Thunderbolt will play into all this, but hopefully we’ll see that blazing fast technology on the iPhone soon.

What do you think about this news? Do you think the iPhone 5 will have a different (or enhanced) dock connection?

[MacRumors]

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  • PastorB

    Whatever they do Thundertbolt should be at the heart of it. I hope to see it in the iPhone 5.

  • Lucas K.

    This sounds really cool.

    And LOL at the “thunderblot” typo there near the end ;)

  • http://www.iphonedownloadblog.com Jeff

    Yes, I’m looking forward to this. This is a huge bottleneck right now. USB is so outdated and slow.

    • Adam

      But USB is universal.

      • QuarterSwede

        USB is also only digital. The 30 pin connector is A LOT more versatile (ex. it can transmit analog audio).

  • Pete

    Why happened to the European union law forcing all cell phone makers to use the same connection. (micro USB)

  • Pete

    2nd attempt after “failed message”

    What happened to the European union law forcing all cell phone makers to use the same connection. micro USB

    • iXanczy

      Tip:
      Open a another tab and go to the same page. post your comment, and if you get the error messange just go to the other tab and refresh the page. If your comment shows up you are finnised, if not you just retry…

  • Pete

    3rd attempt after “failed message”

    What happened to the European union law forcing all cell phone makers to use the same connection. micro USB

    You guys need to fix commenting from iPhones

    • iXanczy

      Yeah, I was thinking the same myself.
      But I think Apple is “walking around” the rule since they don’t produse their product (iPhone) inside Europe…