Apple's New Dock Connector Even Smaller Than Originally Thought

Back in February, iMore was the first source to claim that Apple will be introducing a smaller dock connector for its iOS devices, with the claim now being supported by a number of other sources and evidence in the form of part leaks showing a much smaller opening in the casing of what is claimed to be the next-generation iPhone.

But other details on the new dock connector have remained unclear, with various sources reporting different numbers of pins for the new connector compared to the current 30-pin design. TechCrunch was the first to report that the new design would contain 19 pins, a claim that gained credibility when Reuters cited the same number last month.

Other numbers of pins have, however, been circulating with iLounge last week claiming just eight pins for the new connector. And just yesterday, 9to5Mac reported on a reference to "9Pin" in a section of iOS 6 code addressing core hardware features.

Regardless of the exact number of pins included in the new dock connector design, it appears that the connector itself will be even smaller than originally thought based on leaked photos of casings seen so far. French site Nowehereelse.fr today posted a new photo [Google translation] it has received showing that there is actually a metal ring inside the casing cutout for the new dock connector.

iphone 5 dock ring
The purpose of the ring is currently unknown, but some have been hoping that Apple's new dock connector will include an attachment mechanism similar to the MagSafe standard used on the company's notebook computers. A MagSafe-like dock connector could allow users to insert the cable in either orientation, a feature suggested last week by iLounge, and make it easier for the cables to simply snap into place.

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Top Rated Comments

Mac-Addict Avatar
154 months ago
Surely a magnet would be strong enough to just pull the entire device with the cable instead of just popping out? A magsafe cable on a Phone/iPod seems a bit pointless.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
robopath Avatar
154 months ago
phone looks wider by a bit also...
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SuprUsrStan Avatar
154 months ago
Gosh, this has been long overdue for an improvement.

Bets on how long before Samsung copies this [magsafe] idea? I say 6 months.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Domalais Avatar
154 months ago
I've been saying for quite some time that iPhone users have surprisingly small docks.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
retinarob Avatar
154 months ago
I hope it isn't magnetic.. lord knows how many times the cord has saved my phone's life...
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
840quadra Avatar
154 months ago
What can it not do? Please enlighten us :rolleyes:
Not to sound snide, however the information is easily obtainable.

USB doesn't have all the signals used by the dock connector.

::EDIT:: This isn't all of them but gives an idea of what it has.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)