Report: new dock connector has improved transfer rates, is orientation independent

By , Aug 13, 2012

As you know, Apple is planning to deploy a much smaller dock connector with MagSafe-like functionality across all future iOS devices this fall. And contrary to Reuters calling for a 19-pin design, purported photos from two days ago show fewer pins and noticeably smaller design compared to your regular USB connector.

And now, a new report sheds more light on the features the new I/O will provide, including faster data transfer and orientation independence…

Kasper Jade, writing for AppleInsider:

The 8 gold contacts seen on one side of the male plug in recently leaked photos of the connector are simply repeated on the flip side. They’re reportedly joined by the surrounding aluminum-colored metal shell of the connector, which will similarly serve as a functional contact, bringing the total number of pins to 9.

The new connector will also deliver a number of welcomed enhancements for consumers, according to people familiar with the design, one of which will be its orientation independence when plugged into any one of Apple’s future iOS devices.

It’ll be just like with the MagSafe power cord for Mac notebooks in that every orientation will be the correct one. And if leaked images represent the real deal, the new connector will be approximately one-third the size of Apple’s existing 30-pin dock connector, now a decade old.

Apple will reportedly provide an adapter to help with the transition to the miniaturized I/O.

Judging by a metal ring inside the casing cutout, seen in the image above, the cable could attach magnetically.

This begs the question whether makers will be required to design future accessories with this functionality in mind.

A year ago, Apple sued HyperMac for providing a MagSafe-compatible cord with their battery packs for Apple’s notebooks.

Apple holds a number of MagSafe-related patents so it’ll be interesting seeing how the shrunken down dock connector affects the accessories industry.

Are you excited about the new connector, its MagSafe-like functionality and other perks it reportedly provides?

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  • jose castro

    thank god, i was wondering when they where going to do this but then again you really dont even need it anymore becuase of the wireless sync,,,

    • http://twitter.com/tondalark tonda lark

      You do need the cable to charge your iDevice because wireless syncing doesn’t charge your phone. I think MagSafe will be a welcomed change so iDevices will disconnect themselves from the cord when you run into the cord almost knocking your iDevice off of the table.

    • Dan

      I’ll still be using the cable personally. I dislike wireless sync since it doesn’t always work 100%, and I prefer to do it manually. Plugging it in is quicker when you’re sending gigs of video data imo.

      • http://twitter.com/Adam_E_Official Adam Elkaim

        That isn’t an opinion. it is fact. It is faster to transfer GBs of video and apps over a cable than wirelessly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604885391 Richard Borkovec

    If Apple holds all the MagSafe patents, how are companies going to make the accessories (think iHome) to go with it? Apple rarely licenses their patents, and like the article says, someone else tried it but got sued.

    • ReanimationXP

      Personally I think MagSafe is either bogus, or won’t be useful. If the insert is that long, if it’s not in the perfect orientation, tripping over the cord will yank the whole phone off the desk, regardless of magnetism. This would make the so-called MagSafe ultimately useless and not safe at all, so I call BS. If it is magnetic, it won’t be under the MagSafe label and won’t be advertised as a feature.

      I will say however that orientation has always been a problem in the dark, and probably results in broken connectors. That seems VERY right on with how Apple thinks and designs, and would be in their interest to avoid replacing broken connectors.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604885391 Richard Borkovec

        I totally agree. The orientation fix is greatly welcomed, but I don’t think it’ll be magnetic or “MagSafe.” The name has “Safe” in it for a reason, and for a phone, I don’t think it’d be that safe.