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Apple iPhone 5 To Have A 19-Pin Micro Connector?


Apple iPhone 5
Could Apple finally be about to make Micro USB as universal as it was intended to be?

It is looking increasingly likely that the new iPhone, expected to launch later this year, will drop the old 30-pin Apple dock connector and adopt a smaller 19-pin socket.

The MobileFun site shows leaked line drawings of the iPhone 5 casing, which it says are confirmed as accurate. At the bottom of the phone is a noticeably smaller dock-connecting port. Although unconfirmed, it’s not a huge leap to assume this is a microUSB-sized connector.

Apple iPhone 5

TechCrunch reports that although the smaller port looks rather like the MacBook Thunderbolt port, its own sources claim that it’s not the same.

Since 2011, European Commission policy requires all mobile phones sold in Europe to use a Micro USB charging connector. Apple’s solution at the time was to issue an iPhone Micro USB adaptor. iPhone Micro USB adaptor

So it makes perfect sense to actually build the widely used port into the next generation of iPhone - but will the king of the proprietary approach really "go standard"?.

It's both a good and bad change depending on your situation. Micro USB is now widely used, so charging cables and kits are almost universally swappable between devices. It’s also smaller, meaning the phone itself can save a few millimetres or use the space for something else.

The downside would be for any peripherals that are made exclusively for the iPhone and, by default, the iPad and most iPods, which also use Apple’s proprietary 30-pin port. If you own any of these and upgrade your phone, it’s not yet clear whether a simple adaptor could be fashioned to make it work again.

Changing standards will also cause confusion among manufacturers of any dockable accessories, though in the future it could mean that new speaker docks, hi-fis and so on could feasibly dock to any Micro USB gadget, such as Android phones too, with remote control compatibility as well as audio-visual transfer functions.

It won’t be the first time Apple has introduced a change that makes some accessories incompatible. Although they use the same style of 30-pin connector, iPods dating back a few years do not have a digital audio output via this port, and therefore they don’t work with all ‘iPod-friendly’ hi-fis and speaker docks.

Apple iPhone 5

Will Apple go for a smaller proprietary socket or microUSB? Current-design microUSB ports use just five pins while the new iPhone one has nineteen. We know what our bet would be. Have your say in the comments.

Read more on the iPhone 5.

Via MobileFun and TechCrunch


June 21, 2012, 6:23 pm

Micro USB? Er, no. The extensive capabilities of the 30-pin connector are one of the major reasons why such a large accessory ecosystem has built up around iDevices. Many of those accessories would not have been possible if Apple had put a simple USB port on their devices.

I don't know where the assertion the new port has 19 pins comes from (neither of the links state their source in this regard), but considering that the old 30-pin port has pins reserved for outdated technologies like Firewire and S-Video, this sounds about right.


June 21, 2012, 8:45 pm

maybe it's MHL with USB-OTG instead? As far as I'm aware, almost everything possible via Apple's 30-pin connector is possible via MHL - including video out, audio out and return control channels - and USB-OTG could be used for all those MIDI related gadgets...

What else does the dock connector allow that the combination of MHL and USB-OTG doesn't?


June 21, 2012, 10:30 pm

Possibly, but that would greatly increase the complexity, power requirements and price of a number of accessories that would otherwise be simple, inexpensive devices. And for what? Is it really so hard to use an adapter/cable that's going to be so ubiquitous, it could almost be a standard in its own right anyway?


June 22, 2012, 12:36 am

I hope they at least make a very suitable adapter. I have 3 or 4 accessories I use all the time and I'd think twice about moving to the next generation handset if I have to ditch the toys I have.

Dan the Man

June 22, 2012, 5:46 pm

Can't they just have a 2 part adapter. Half is micro USB and provides the power, other half provides data etc. This would allow you to use only micro usb when charging and the whole adapter if syncing. Too late, I have already patented this.

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