New iPhone 5 Dock Connector Could Be A Modified MicroUSB Port

Here is an interesting theory: the new dock connector in Apple's next iPhone could be a 19-pin port that would be mechanically and electrically compatible with the microUSB standard. I don't know what it would be like, but I love the idea.

The theory is that Apple would have engineered this new dock connector in order to comply with the European Union directive to standardise chargers around microUSB. This would make the iPhone compatible with the standard set by the European Standardisation Bodies CEN-CENELEC and ETSI, as well as by the Open Mobile Terminal Platform.

At the same time, such a custom design would be able to do all the things that Apple and third-party manufacturers need for iPhone and iPod peripherals. That includes hardware controls, digital data, audio, video and power.

If this is true, it would be good news for consumers. They would be able to use any microUSB mobile phone charger and they would be able to keep their current peripherals working with the new iPhone by using an adaptor like the one imagined by Italian blog Mela.



    Yeeeerz ... I love the 'panic' that's been inspired by all the 'your old accessories won't be compatible with the new iPhone" stories that have cropped up !

    When the solution Mela have imaged in their post is totally logical, feasible and inevitable. You'll have to buy a $5 adapter if they change the connector, and all your old deivces will continue to work. A no-brainer really ...

    Wow so apple are doing something not evil?

      Hopefully. Don't think it'll fly though. Come iPhone 5 release time, I'm betting my left nut it would have some proprietary port so it doesn't play well with others.

    Im sure they will do something to the pins that would make ONLY Apple connectors work regardless of the port shape....

      Like samsung did with the latest galaxy s3? Thats the problem with these standards... they get loosely enforced and you end up with different phone dependant variations... whats the point in the end...?

        wha? the s3 uses a standard micro usb cable/plug.

          Not strictly the same as apple's connector usage, but his point still stands.

    Am I the only one who believes Steve Jobs would of hated this?

      I think I would have indeed hated this. But as far as I know, European iPhones already have a micro USB to 30 adapter to comply with the standard anyway.

      I've always thought that the headphone jack should be on the bottom, makes pocket-iPhone interaction a lot easier. Having it on the top means that you need to have the phone upside down in your pocket and turn it around every time you get it out.

      This present quite an advantage though, it would make any size iPhone compatible with all the iPod docks that have the 30 pin connector. Breaking this compatibility would have been a big pitfall. It also paves the way for wider phones in the future. This would raise it above the cradle that would have previously limited expansions of the phone widthwise.

      Seeing as half the connections to the new MacBook Pro with RD use a thunderbolt adapter, this doesn't really surprise me.

      I agree. I also don't understand what is good about having to buy an adaptor. The phone is already going to be longer, why add another 5mm to that?

        You don't have to buy an adapter. It would be optional for those that want to keep their old accessories. Would you prefer they didn't offer an adapter so all your docks etc were suddenly rendered useless?

    I think Steve would have*

    Bizzare that they might go with MicroUSB, I would have sworn they'd go with Thundbolt given Apple have been pimping Thunderbolt for a couple years, you've got much higher data transfer rates and from what I understand can charge devices much quicker.

      Isn't that rather a clumsy option though? Thunderbolt isn't just a simple cable, it needs chips or something on each end to control the data or reassemble it... I can't recall, I just remember that it isn't a simple setup, so your phones would need space for yet more hardware just to support the cable and your cable would be incompatible with 99% of non-Mac computers and about 30% of Macs currently in use, whereas USB gives you 100% compatibility.
      That's discounting an adapter being supplied with the cable of course though.

        You might be thinking of the whole "active cable" concept. Basically the thunderbolt cables are expensive because they have little processors on either end. I imagine the reason for this is so that you can easily replace a copper thunderbolt cable with an optical fibre one, without replacing the ports and controllers on your motherboard (although you'd be sacrificing the ability to charge devices with it, in exchange for the longer distance cable). So the extra parts aren't in the device, but in the ends of the cable.

      The entire purpose of going to microUSB is because that's the law in Europe - they're trying to enforce microUSB as a common standard among all mobiles.

      Plus Thunderbolt and/or USB3, while nice, would be overkill on a phone. Other than the initial loading of apps/music, you simply don't transfer enough to justify the increased cost/size/power draw of the faster chips.

        Um.... phones in the future will use USB3.. not because of the extra data speed.
        But because of the extra power on USB3, for faster charging.
        And MicroUSB3 is backward compatible with MicroUSB2, it wont break the law in Europe.

      Thunderbolt is an extension of a 3rd generation Intel Core architectures CPU's PCI-E bus to external devices, there is no way to implement it on an arm based iPhone.

        You could do it, it would just be stupid to.

          Except that it's a proprietary technology made by Intel, and I doubt they're going to let you licence it for use in other architectures. More likely, Apple would have to move to Intel's mobile chips to do it.

          That is of course assuming that it is necessary to have another PCI-E bus on the device side. I doubt that Apple's thunderbolt dri ven displays have an Intel CPU in them, and they work, right?

        You could through display port v1.1 which it is compatible with. Hence how thunderbolt monitors work. So it can also be used to transmit other data through display port. Plus seen as it was a joint venture between apple and Intel I'm sure they have both thought of that already.

      USB 3.0 makes more sense currently given the cost of the cable Apple would need to supply would jump from a $2 cable to something 10x or so more expensive. While the device can sync wirelessly, it still needs the cable to ship with it for charging purposes.

      Additionally few systems yet support Thunderbolt. I think it is a great technology, but for a high profile and mass market device such as the iPhone, iPod and iPad, relying on a technology that few have access to is a very very risky move. Hard drives etc can get away with it because they're marketed towards a niche.

    If thunderbolt is optical, how you going to charge with it?

    An adapter for your adapter. Bravo Apple,. Bravo.

    ...could be a usb port hahahaha, what optimism some of us still have for apple...

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