iPhone 5: The latest from the rumor mill

February 24, 2012

The next version of Apple’s iPhone may have a new dock connector. The Post’s Hayley Tsukayama reports :

Fresh off the rumor mill comes the speculation that Apple may be doing away with its familiar connector for the iPad, iPod and iPhone. According to the blog iMore, Apple is said to be mulling the switch to save more space inside of its devices, such as the next iPhone.

If so, that’s fairly big news. Changing the dock connector would mean that, essentially, an entire industry built around iDevice accessories would become obsolete.

There may be a practical reason for changing the dock connector. VentureBeat.com reports:

A smaller “micro” docking port would give the company more room for other important components within the iPhone 5, which could be the first device to receive the new dock treatment. And since the iPhone 4S has a much shorter power lifespan than all the models preceding it, the most likely use for that additional space would be to include a bigger battery.

The new docking port is said to be a new design rather than the outdated microUSB standard used by the rest of the mobile phone industry.

It’s also worth noting that Apple is moving away from its reliance of transferring information to its mobile devices through a power cord. As part of Apple’s iCloud push, the company is now enabling more OS software, app, and digital media updates over the air. That said, the dock connector will be little more than a way to charge the device as well as connect to third-party accessories.

So, how will the new connector affect users of the iOS ecosystem? The Verge reports :

Apple could be considering abandoning its now ubiquitous 30-pin dock connector in its next generation of devices, according to a report by iMore. The Apple-centric blog is reporting that the company is looking to trim down more parts which take up excessive amounts of space in its devices, having already shrunk components like the SIM card and externalized the iPhone's antenna. However, for those of you who immediately thought that Apple might embrace Thunderbolt or the Micro USB standard, we've got bad news — iMore says that the company will probably introduce a micro dock connector in its place.

As Apple's network solutions — iCloud, Wi-Fi Sync and the like — have improved over the years, the dock has become less important to the Post-PC iOS ecosystem and its users. However, abandoning the current dock connector would render "Made for iPod / iPhone" accessories (including speaker docks, fitness aids, and even car head units) useless unless Apple were to provide an adapter. iMore tells us that its source for the information is solid, though timing for the introduction of the new connector is unclear.

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