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

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?