Adding even more fuel to an already blazing rumor bonfire, iLounge editor Jeremy Horowitz claims to provide new information on the new snaller dock connector for Apple’s next iPhone, as well as an interesting detail about iOS 6 that might relate to the next iPod nano.
First, the report states that Apple’s new, smaller dock connector will feature only 8 pins, contrary to numerous rumors that it will be a 19-pin connector. Horowitz also claims that Apple doesn’t actually need any more pins than what current USB standards have to offer.
According to two sources, Apple’s new Dock Connector features only 8 pins [...] reports of 16- or 19-pin connectors seemed hard to square with the port’s small size and Apple’s actual need for additional pins beyond what USB/Micro-USB offer. No images or parts for the connector have leaked out, either. [...]
One source claims that the new connector will feature other design innovations, potentially including the ability to be connected to docks and cables in either orientation (like MagSafe), but the other source could not confirm this or additional changes we’ve heard about…
This is hard to swallow for a number of reasons. Forst, Apple’s 30-pin connector is far from pointless. Each of those pins has a specific purpose, and many of those pins are used to simplify the process for 3rd-party accessories to communicate with a device. As CultofMac notes, not all of those pins are still in use – but only 11 of them are actually obsolete, making the 19-pin connector rumor seem more plausible.
Even so, the smaller connector which has been pictured in various leaks does seem a bit small to be packing 19 pins, although it’s possible that Apple can now pack the pins more densely, or has found a way to combine the functions of multiple pins onto one.
Second, the report also claims that iOS 6 will introduce a new feature allowing various Bluetooth 4 capable Apple devices (such as almost all current Mac, the iPhone 4S, the 2nd and 3rd-gen iPad, the iPod touch, etc.) to link up and communicate one another.
The possibilities for this are quite exciting, and could include aspects such as using your Mac or iPad to make calls via your iPhone (essentially functioning as a modem of sorts), as well as possible allowing a future iPod nano to display iMessages received on an iPhone or iPad (the ultimate Apple iWatch?), and so forth.
Apple making deeper use of Bluetooth 4 makes a lot of sense – and the ability to link iOS devices together would be very welcome for many users.
All in all, I’m quite skeptical of this report. Not only does it fly directly in the face of numerous other reports from highly credible sources – there’s also a complete and utter lack of evidence for any of the claims. I wouldn’t bet the farm on this one if I were you.